Quest for Black Patti
, King of the 78s, talks about record collecting in clips below. Click heading above for 2003 NPR interview with Bussard playing some of his records. The founder of Fonotone Records
, Bussard owns 25,000 78s. Fonotone was the last 78rpm label, in operation from 1956 to 1970 -- and recently revived on Dust-to-Digital
In 2005, Bussard contacted Dust-to-Digital, the record label he had worked with a few years earlier in compiling tracks for the Grammy-nominated gospel collection, Goodbye Babylon. What started as a conversation about Fonotone Records metamorphasized into a five-CD retrospective, for which no stone went unturned. Master reel-to-reel tapes, unplayed for decades but still pristine, were remastered; forgotten Kodak slides in old cigar boxes were dusted off and retouched; and musicians of all stripes who had disappeared more than 35 years earlier were tracked down. Their stories, and the story of Fonotone, the very last 78rpm record label, are told here with words, pictures and music... a rare portrait of a long-gone America.