Sound recordings are mainly comprised of interviews of the Christos, their family, and their associates conducted by Burt Chernow between 1984 and 1996, in the course of his research for Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Biography. Chernow wrote the biography chronologically, collecting research for each period of the Christos' lives in sequence, so the early interviews deal mainly with their early years, and later interviews with more recent years. In some cases, the subject content of the interview -- often a place or project name -- is indicated on the tape label, in which case it is noted in the container list. Interviews with associates include other artists, curators, people who worked on the Christos large-scale projects, critics, and others who knew them personally. Among the many significant interview subjects are Arman, Mary Bauermeister, Leo Castelli, Lynn Hershman, Ray Johnson, Allan Kaprow, Ivan Karp, Albert and David Maysles, Claes Oldenburg, Pierre Restany, Niki de Saint Phalle, Peter Selz, Harry Shunk, Holly Solomon, Saul Steinberg, and Sam Weiner.
In addition to the more formal interviews, a series of impromptu interviews were conducted by Ann and Burt Chernow during the three Christo projects that were executed while Chernow was working on the biography: the Wrapped Pont-Neuf, Umbrellas, and the Wrapped Reichstag. These project-related interviews and recordings were typically made on site with spectators and producers of the projects while they were on view. Also found are lectures, press conferences, broadcast programs, recorded notes, and music, including a 1981 lecture on Christo by Jan Van Der Marck.
Interviews of Christo by others, and lectures given by Christo which pre-date the period of Chernow's research, are filed at the end of the series. Some were recorded off the air, and others were recorded by Chernow or other attendees to the appearances. Some appear to have been copied from original recordings, and the sound quality is poor. Two musical recordings associated with Christo projects are also found in the series, including a protest song about "Surrounded Islands," and music composed for the Japanese installation of "Umbrellas."
Chernow's research was conducted chronologically, that is, Chernow collected information about each period of their lives and then wrote his first draft of that portion of the biography before moving on to the next period. The interviews reflect this process, with earlier interviews covering earlier periods of the artists' lives, and later interviews covering later periods as each section was researched and written.
Most of the interviews have partial transcripts in series 1.3, which were created by Burt Chernow. The transcripts typically contain summarized portions, with only the portions Chernow found most salient to his research transcribed. The recordings in this series, then, are a unique record of the complete interviews that took place. Recorded conversations with Jeanne-Claude regarding corrections to Chernow's drafts of the biography, created in 1995-1997, do not have typically have transcripts. See series 1.3 for more details.
Interviews with Christo and Jeanne-Claude are filed chronologically at the beginning of the series, and interviews with others about the Christos follow, filed alphabetically by name. Occasionally interviews from both of these categories are found on the same tape, and cross-references are provided in the inventory. For recordings made during the Pont-Neuf project (Sept 1985), the Umbrellas project (October 1991), or the Reichstag project (June 1995), cassettes are filed by project, with cross-references to subjects of the project-specific interviews found in the alphabetical inventory list. The collected interviews and lectures (1977-1984) are filed chronologically. Although the tape inventory created by Ann Chernow that came with the collection does not seem to follow any logical sequence, inventory numbers written on the tapes are included in the container list to facilitate access to the physical tapes in the collection.
Additional sound recordings include spoken translations of Christo letters to family in series 1.1, Biographical Materials, a spoken history of the biography project by Ann Chernow, found in series 1.6, Business Records, and an interview with Arman for an article about the artist from 1993, found in series 2, Other Writings.
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Burt Chernow papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Burt Chernow papers, 1930-2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' Hidden Collections grant program.
The Paredon Records audiorecordings consist of all 50 of the recordings released by Paredon, along with the master audiotapes. Many of the recordings have a file containing business records relating to their production. These business records include artist contracts, recording reports, various notes on records produced, photographs of artists, news articles both about and by Barbara Dane, Irwin Silber, and Paredon Records, correspondence by Barbara Dane, Irwin Silber and Paredon Records, and other miscellany. Many contracts are signed by both Paredon Records and the artist. Correspondence is primarily between business associates. A complete inventory of the business records is available.
Scope and Contents:
There are two main components of the Paredon Records audiorecordings: the master recordings and corresponding commercial records themselves and the paper files relating to these recordings.
Series 1: Papers is primarily made up of "production files"--files containing materials related to specific albums. These production files can include artist contracts, recording reports, photographs of artists, clippings, royalty statements, licenses, album cover proofs, and correspondence between Paredon Records and the recording artists. news articles both about and by Barbara Dane, Irwin Silber, and Paredon Records. Many contracts are signed by both Paredon Records and the artist. Also included in this series are articles by Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber, a transcript of Daniel Sheehy's oral history interview with Barbara Dane, as well as miscellaneous ephemera.
Series 2: Master Audiorecordings includes all Paredon master tapes. Their corresponding commercial recordings are not described in this finding aid.
Series 1: Papers (1970-2007, bulk 1970-1980)
Series 2: Master Audiorecordings (1969-1985, bulk 1970-1980)
Biographical / Historical:
Paredon Records was founded in 1969 in New York by Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber, and its first recordings were released in 1970. Paredon released four records at a time. Barbara Dane, a singer/songwriter herself, produced the albums and recruited the musicians, artists who worked on the covers, and volunteers who translated foreign language material and contributed stories for the record booklets. Irwin Silber, a writer and editor for The Guardian newspaper, assisted Dane in all aspects of production. Irwin worked on business aspects of the label, such as distribution, orders, and editing and printing the record supplemental materials. Dane and Silber traveled to almost all of the countries mentioned in these records, as part of their work as activists and personally knew the musicians and artists.
According to the interview with Barbara Dane, "Paredon" means "a big wall" in Spanish. Paredon represents "a wall of culture defending us [listeners] against this 'sleazy' culture that's out there on the other side of the wall." The mission of Paredon Records was to use music as a tool to spread culture: the stories and experiences of those involved in protest and revolution movements all over the world, in order to increase dialogue among similar movements and peoples. Dane and Silber hoped these records would promote social and political activism, and that the uplifting power of music would inspire people to be agents of social change. The records reflect the most important socialist or liberation movements in world politics as well as domestic issues in the United States of the late twentieth century.
The 50 Paredon record albums constitute a unique historical documentation of the political protest and revolutionary currents in the world over the course of three decades. 31 of the 50 albums come from national liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These include music, song, poetry and speech from Angola, Argentina, Chile, China, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Palestine, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Another five albums come out of the European oppositional political movements from; Greece, Italy, North Ireland and the United Kingdom. In all cases, the materials are performed and/or presented by the participants in these movements. A number of world renowned artists are among the performers, including Mikis Theodorakis (Greece), Marcel Khalife (Lebanon), Quilapayún (Chile) and Silvio Rodriguez (Cuba). Several important world political figures — Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Don Albizu Campos and Che Guevara — also appear on these records delivering seminal speeches. Not all of the political figures deliver their speeches, such as the Ho Chi Minh album, but were read by someone else. The other 14 record albums document political and social protest movements in the U.S. during this same period. The songs reflect currents in the civil rights, women's, and labor movements. Two albums document GI opposition to the Vietnam War. These recordings include a broad array of singers and songs associated with the political protest of the times. Albums by the band "The Men of No Property" and others were obtained clandestinely, as the movements often became dangerous. Smithsonian Folkways Director Daniel Sheehy interviewed Barbara Dane in 2007, the transcript of which is contained in the Supporting Materials folder in Series 1: Papers.
The Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections acquired the Paredon Records audiorecordings in December, 1991, when Barbara Dane and Irwin Silber donated their record company papers to the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage agreed to keep the record titles available for purchase, and to accession and store the Paredon Records Collection in the archives.
Access by appointment only. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at (202) 633-7322 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact archives staff for additional information.
34.28 Cubic feet (3 record boxes of business records; 8 record boxes, including 374 non-master audio reels (10", 7", 5", 4" and 2" reels); 160 10" reels in open stacks; 4 record boxes, including 853 audio cassettes; 1 record box, including 36 video cassettes; and 491 long play records, 45s and compact discs.)
Digital audio tapes
Vhs (videotape format)
This collection documents the activities of Joe Glazer's record label Collector Records. Materials include the label's original commercial recordings, paper records related to day-to-day business operations and production, field recordings made by Joe Glazer, and Glazer's personal music collection.
Scope and Contents:
The Collector Records business records, measuring 34.28 cubic feet, date from 1937-2004 and contain materials relating to founder Joe Glazer's work with the label, as well as his work as a participant in the labor movement.
The records include papers documenting the promotion, production, and business operations of Collector Records; original audiorecordings used for Collector Records masters; audiorecordings made in the field by Joe Glazer; video recordings of performances by and interviews with Joe Glazer, including performances at labor union events; audiorecordings of interviews with Joe Glazer; Collector Records recordings and releases; and Glazer's personal commercial music collection.
Records are arranged in 7 series:
Series 1: Promotional, Performance, and Record Planning Materials, 1971-2004
Series 2: Financial and Administrative Records, 1966-2003
Series 3: Open-reel Audiorecordings, 1937-1990
Series 4: Cassette Audiorecordings, 1949-2002
Series 5: Video Recordings, 1984-2004
Series 6: Digital Audio Tape (DAT) Audiorecordings, 1982-1994
Series 7: Published Audiorecordings
Biographical / Historical:
Since the Industrial Revolution, working people have been organizing and campaigning for better treatment from their employers. The labor movement and its unions struggle for fair wages, safe working conditions, and many other benefits. Music is an important tool in the labor movement to motivate workers and help build solidarity. Labor songs detail political issues, glorify martyrs and heroes in the movement, and, most of all, inspire and uplift workers.
Joe Glazer (1918-2006), often called "Labor's Troubadour," spent a lifetime as one of America's noted historians of labor song. His booming baritone and exuberant guitar have performed for millions of workers, strikers, and students. He was the author of several significant labor songs, notably "The Mill Was Made of Marble," which is a commentary on the need for cleaner, safer mill conditions for textile workers. In addition to his performing, he was employed by the United Rubber Workers, the Textile Workers Union of America, and the United States Information Agency over the course of his career.
Glazer founded Collector Records in 1970 to distribute his own recordings of labor songs and those of younger and newer performers he had met through his work—many of them through the Labor Heritage Foundation, which he founded in 1978, and its yearly Great Labor Arts Exchange. Some artists, such as Bobbie McGee, went on to become well-known folk singers, but many Collector artists remained at their jobs. Eddie Starr (1956-2003) was a third-generation Illinois steelworker who declined a life on the road as a rock musician, and took a factory job at home to support his family. Kenny Winfree was a textile worker when Glazer heard his bluegrass-style labor songs. He continues to work, now at an aircraft plant in Texas, where he is an active member of UAW Local 848.
Collector Records paints a clear picture of workers' struggles. Songs depict everyday hazards and ailments encountered on the job, allowing workers to express their situation and make audiences aware of their plight. "Cotton Mill Colic" is a classic folk song written in 1926 by David McCarn, a textile mill worker in North Carolina that describes the harsh conditions and low pay of mill-working life. The steelworker in "Corrido Minero" sings about the ever-present danger of working in a mine with outdated equipment. Newer workplace issues are expressed in labor songs as well. The worker in John O'Connor's song suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, one of the most frequent of modern workplace afflictions, occurring among those who perform a great deal of computer data entry and causing extreme pain in the hands and arms.
Collector Records Business Records is a historic collection presenting music to inspire and motivate working people. The Glazer family donated the label's recordings, along with Glazer's original song and narrative recordings, business records, and personal commercial music collection to the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in 2006.
The Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections acquired the Collector Records business records in 2006 through a donation by the Glazer family.
Access by appointment only. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at email@example.com or (202) 633-7322 for additional information.
Restrictions may apply concerning the use, duplication, or publication of items in the Collector Records business records. Please consult the archivists for additional information about the materials and their use.
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact archives staff for information.