Edwards, John, 1932-1960

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John Edwards (1932-1960) of Sydney, Australia, was one of the first collectors of early American country music and a pioneering discographer of this music. Edwards's collection of about 2,500 rare records and tapes is now housed in the Southern Folklife Collection, Manuscripts Department, Academic Affairs Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

From the description of John Edwards papers, 1945-1969 [manuscript]. WorldCat record id: 26661025

In his short life, John Edwards (1932-1960) amassed a valuable collection of early American folk music from his home in Sydney, Australia.

While in his teens Edwards started listening to, playing, and collecting what he called American hillbilly music. As his collection grew in the mid-1950s, he also began compiling professional discographies of early American country music of the 1920s and 1930s. Edwards, along with a few others, such as Eugene Earle, pioneered discographical research in this field. Around 1953, he started corresponding with other record collectors in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He continued both activities, producing a greater output each year until he died in an automobile crash in 1960.

After he was graduated from high school, Edwards accepted the job he would hold until his death, roster officer in the Department of Transport. He apparently worked there chiefly to earn money to build his collection.

Edwards had another avocation, hiking. He was a bush walker, and also apparently an amateur botanist and map maker. In 1967, Mount Edwards was named in commemoration of his outdoor work.

From the guide to the John Edwards Papers, 1945-1969, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Greenway, John. John Edwards memorial collection, n.d. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection discographical files, 1907-2006. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Meade, Guthrie T., 1932-1991. Guthrie T. Meade collection, 1817-1991. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Edwards, John, 1932-1960. John Edwards papers, 1945-1969 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf John Edwards Papers, 1945-1969 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection field notes. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
creatorOf Edwards, John, 1932-1960. John Edwards memorial collection, 1957. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Green, Archie. Archie Green papers, 1944-2009. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Seeger, Mike, 1933-2009. John Edwards Memorial Collection, 1958-1971. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Green, Archie. person
associatedWith Greenway, John. person
associatedWith Hawking, Alan. person
associatedWith Hawking, Russ. person
associatedWith Meade, Guthrie T., 1932-1991. person
associatedWith Seeger, Mike, 1933-2009. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Australia
Australia
Subject
Sound recordings--Collectors and collecting
Collectors and collecting
Folk music--Discography
Country music
Sound recordings--Catalogs
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1932

Death 1960

Information

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