Joe Bussard, 75, has perhaps the world's greatest collectors of 78 RPM records. Back in 2004, I posted about Bussard and his remarkable collection of blues, folk, gospel, and Americana shellac records. But Joe wasn't just a collector. From 1957 to 1970, he ran Fonotone Records, the last 78 RPM record label, from his basement in Frederick, Maryland. Indeed, Brussard and Fonotone are best known for making the first recordings of fingerpicking guitarist extraordinaire John Fahey. This year, Dust To Digital released John Fahey: Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You: The Fonotone Years (1958–1965), a critically-acclaimed five-CD/book set of Fahey's earliest recordings. (I don't have it yet but it's on my wish list… along with everything else from Dust To Digital!) In an audio special at The Wire, Bussard tells the story of Fonotone while playing some amazing cuts throughout.
Also, be sure to check out the podcast of Joe Bussard's Country Classics radio show.