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June 16, 2010

Two of the AAAMC's Finding Aid's Now Available Online

Through the assistance of Indiana University's Digital Library Program, the Archives of African American Music and Culture is now able to provide access to our finding aids online. As of Sunday, June 13, 2010, the AAAMC has uploaded the finding aids for the Portia K. Maultsby and Michael Lydon collections, both of which are searchable through the link listed below each collection. Plans are well underway to load additional finding aids by the end of this summer.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to use any of these materials, please call the AAAMC at 812-855-8547 or email us at

Michael Lydon Collection, 1977-1997, Bulk 1995-1997, Collection SC 31:

Michael Lydon graduated from Yale University in 1965 and embarked on a career as a writer, singer, songwriter, and founding editor for Rolling Stone. The Lydon collection includes interviews about Ray Charles primarily conducted from 1995 to 1997 in preparation for Lydon's highly acclaimed biography, Ray Charles: Man and Music (2004). In addition to three interviews with Charles, there are also interviews with many of Charles's friends, family members, and associates including former managers and band members. Overall, the interviews document the significant contributions to American music by Charles, whose gospel-inflected rhythm and blues gave birth to soul. Of broader interest are the conversations with a multitude of musicians and record company personnel whose careers spanned the decades 1940-1980, providing a first person chronicle of the postwar emergence and influence of black popular music. (93 sound cassettes + 7 sound discs + 1 document case)

Portia K. Maultsby Collection, 1981-1986, Collection SC 18G:

Portia K. Maultsby is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and the Director of the Archives of African American Music and Culture at Indiana University, where she also is adjunct professor of African American and Africa Diaspora, American and African Studies. Her research topics have centered on black religious and popular music and she has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, as well as in England, The Netherlands, Russia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. She is co-editor of African American Music: An Introduction (2006). She also has served as consulting scholar for PBS, BBC, and NPR productions on African American music and is the founding director of the IU Soul Revue, a touring ensemble specializing in the performance of African American popular music.

The current finding aid represents a series of interviews conducted by Maultsby from 1981 to 1986 as part of her research on the black music industry. These interviews provide aural documentation of the history and development of rhythm and blues music through the personal narratives of musicians, composers, producers, deejays, and record company executives. In particular, Maultsby's interviews trace the emergence of black music divisions and the promotion of black artists by major record labels. Other significant issues emphasized in the discussions are cultural identity, gender, appropriation, aesthetics, and the racially defined politics and marketing practices of the industry. Of equal importance are the stories told by musicians who profoundly shaped the development of rhythm and blues while redefining the direction of American popular music. (137 sound cassettes + 5 document cases)

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Archives of African American Music and Culture
Indiana University
2805 E. Tenth St., Suite 180-181
Bloomington, IN 47408-4662
Phone: (812) 855-8547
Fax: (812) 856-0333

Last updated: 4 May, 2011

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