Preserving the music of Detroit

Jun 24, 2012

Many genres of music have deep roots in the city of Detroit, including punk, rock-and-roll, blues, techno and soul music. A new organization wants to help connect people and groups that have been archiving Detroit’s musical history.  

Carleton Gholz is the president and founder of the Detroit Sound Conservancy. He’s been researching a book about the rise of DJ and hip-hop culture in Detroit. During that time, he’s come across small archiving groups, music journalists, and older musicians. Now Gholz wants to unite them.

He also wants the Detroit Sound Conservancy to help support smaller music preservation projects like the E. Azalia Hackley Collection at the Detroit Public Library. It’s a collection of sheet music of African-American songs from the 19th & 20th centuries.

Another thing on the DSC's agenda is an oral history project. It will include interviews with musicians and others who are knowledgeable about the city and its music.

Gholz says the Library of Congress and Cleveland’s Rock-and-Roll Hall Fame have national libraries and archives, but Detroit lacks any kind of large, formal archive.