Brian Rust

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Brian Rust (born March 19, 1922 in London , † January 5, 2011 in Swanage ) was a British discographer and music critic of popular music and especially early jazz .

Live and act

Rust, who had been a passionate record collector from an early age (not only of jazz, but also of opera), began to work as a jazz journalist for "Gramophone" in 1948 after a time as a bank clerk, and later also for Melody Maker and other music magazines, and worked from the 1950s for the BBC , where he started in the record archive.

From around 1960 he made his love for shellac records his main job and became a professional discographer. During the Second World War , in which he was working for the London Fire Watch, a pile of 78s shellac records even saved his life when he - in search of rarities - found refuge at the last moment from a bomb behind them.

He was best known for his discography of 78 records "Jazz Records 1897-1942", first published in 1961 , which completed the earlier discographies of Charles Delaunay (1936) and Hugues Panassié (e.g. to include exact recording dates). In the 6th edition, it comprises around 33,000 records or sound carriers (and 2144 pages). The discography also included recordings of dance bands, where "hot" solos were involved, and ragtime .

For his extensive research, Rust not only relied on numerous record collectors, but also interviewed many jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong , Baby Dodds , Nick LaRocca (first trip to the USA in 1951, followed by work visits in 1959 and 1963). In addition, he published discographies on Anglo-American dance bands, musicals, record labels such as RCA Victor and Columbia (which gave him free access to their archives) and "Music Hall" artists. Rust wrote numerous liner notes , especially for reissues by dance bands from the 1970s onwards. In the 1980s he had his own radio show in London called "Mardi Gras". He was hardly interested in modern jazz (starting from the 1940s).

Rust is also known for his support for the claims of Nick LaRocca and his Original Dixieland Jass Band to be the actual originator of the old-time jazz idiom, which is disputed by scientific jazz research .

In 1992 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ARSC ( Association for Recorded Sound Collections ).

Brian Rust died on January 5, 2011 at the age of 88.


  • with WCAllen "King Oliver" 1955, Chigwell 1987.
  • with Rex Harris: Recorded Jazz: A Critical Guide . London, Penguin Books, 1958.
  • "Jazz Records 1897-1942", 2 volumes, 1961 and more, 6th edition "Jazz and Ragtime Records" Mainspring Press 2003, ISBN 0-9671819-2-5 .
  • "The American Dance Band Discography", 2 vols., Arlington House 1975, ISBN 0-87000-248-1 (second edition planned, revised by Richard Johnson)
  • with Sandy Forbes "British Dance Bands on Record 1911 to 1945", General Gramophone Publications.
  • British Music Hall on Record, General Gramophone Publications 1979.
  • with Allen G. Debus “The complete Entertainment Discography from 1897 to 1942” 2nd ed., Da Capo Press 1989, ISBN 0-87000-150-7 .
  • "Victor Master Book", Vol. 2, 1969, privately published.
  • with Ross Laird "Discography of Okeh Records, 1918-1934", Praeger Publishers, ISBN 0-313-31142-0 .
  • "London Musical Shows on Record 1897-1976", General Gramophone Publications 1976.
  • with Tim Brooks "The Columbia Master Book", 4 vols., Greenwood Press.
  • "The American Record Label Book," Arlington House.

Web links

Sources and Notes

  1. ^ Brian Rust, Father of Modern Discography, Dies at 88 New York Times, February 2, 2011
  2. z. B. in Melody Maker 1960, but also in 2003 in an interview. A letter in this sense is printed in the book by Horst H. Lange "How jazz came about"
  3. Death report ( memento of the original dated February 7, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed January 6, 2011  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /