Fonotone Records: Frederick, Maryland (1956​-​1969)

by Various Artists

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about

After spending his early years soaking up the sound of thousands of 78 rpm discs, record collector Joe Bussard decided in 1956 to make some recordings of a few guitar-picking pals in his local National Guard unit. Little did Bussard know that his hobby would turn into a 14 year odyssey which would result in hundreds of custom-made 78 rpm records to be issued on his own Fonotone label out of his parents' basement in Frederick, Maryland.

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 78 rpm record label, are told here with words, pictures, and music. Take a look, give it a listen, and get a rare portrait of a long-gone America.

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released October 16, 2015

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Track Name: Lee Moore - Boweavil
Well, the boll weevil and the little black bug came from Mexico they say.
Came all the way to Texas just looking for a place to stay.
Looking for a home. He's looking for a home.