Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who's Who In Knickerbocker Village History: Moses Asch, 1940 Census

In 1940 Moses Asch was living at 10 Monroe Street with his wife Frances.
An excerpt of a bio from folklife
Moses ("Moe") Asch (December 2, 1905, Warsaw – October 19, 1986, New York City) was the founder of Folkways Records. Asch ran the label from 1948 until his death. Folkways was instrumental in bringing folk music into the American cultural mainstream. Moses Asch was the son of Yiddish language novelist and dramatist Sholem Asch, and the younger brother of novelist Nathan Asch. Asch recorded and published LP records by such famous folk and blues singers as Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Pete Seeger. Cisco Houston and Ella Jenkins. In 1952, Asch's label issued the Anthology of American Folk Music, compiled by Harry Smith, which brought a wider awareness of traditional American folk and blues to a new generation. Asch had a significant recording relationship with James P. Johnson, the so-called Father of Stride Piano. Johnson made a significant series of recordings for several labels controlled by Asch, including Asch, Stinson, Disc, and Folkways. On the Stinson album, New York Jazz, Johnson recorded 5 numbers which he stated could be heard in New York in the 1910s, in addition to the first recorded piano solo of Scott Joplin's, Euphonic Sounds. This established the link between the stride piano of Johnson, and the ragtime of Joplin, from which stride is descended. One principle behind Asch's direction of the Folkways label was that he never deleted a single title from the Folkways catalogue. As he said, "Just because the letter J is less popular than the letter S, you don't take it out of the dictionary." After his death, the Folkways recordings were acquired by the Smithsonian Institution, and Asch stipulated in his will that no titles were to be deleted, and that the unexplored master tapes in the Folkways archive should also be explored.

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