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African American Studies Critical Guide to OHAM: Criticism, Industry, and Scholarship


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Most material listed in this guide can be accessed through OHAM's finding aids in Archives at Yale. Click above to view the finding aids.

Industry & Criticism

The interconnections between musicians, critics, and record labels are easy to take for granted in our contemporary digital age, when both public and private spaces are saturated with recorded music and the rise of social media has created seemingly boundless platforms for music promotion and criticism. But the role of record industry executives, producers, broadcasters, and music critics has been central to the formation of our modern musical landscape. OHAM’s collection includes interviews with industry figures from John Hammond, the producer and talent scout often credited with launching the careers of Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, to Quincy Jones, renowned composer and producer of albums such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Among OHAM’s collection of music critics and musicologists are Eileen Southern, African American music scholar and the first black woman to receive tenure at Harvard, as well as musicologist Carleton Sprague Smith, a specialist in Brazilian music who headed the New York Public Library’s music division from 1931 to 1959.

Babbit​, Milton
Cage, John
Carrington, Terri Lyne
Chadabe, Joel
Chavez, Carlos

Gensel, John Garcia
Gleeson, Patrick

​Hammond, John
Iyer, Vijay
Jones, Quincy
Mackey, Steve
Mingus, Sue
Moore, F. Richard

Partch, Harry
Ruff, Willie
Schuller, Gunther

Seeger, Charles Louis
Southern, Eileen
Smith, Carleton Sprague 
DJ Spooky (Paul Dennis Miller)
Taylor, Billy T
Tenzer, Michael

Wein, George

Zorn, John

Last updated 1/13/2020​