#recorddet interviewees Kim Silarksi, Doug Commbe, and DJ Cent.

Why Oral History?

In the summer of 2013, Detroit Sound Conservancy conducted a successful Kickstarter project to start a Detroit music oral history project online. We are currently making that project happen. When we began, there was no public oral history archive dedicated solely to Detroit music.

Now there is.

Kickstarter funds were used to digitize and conserve oral history interviews that already exist in the private hands of Detroit music journalists. The overall budget for the initial project was $5,000.

These tapes reinforce the richness of the sonic history we already know. These tapes also tell us musical stories we have never heard.

Ongoing Oral History Interviews

In the fall of 2014, we began a new set of short sonically-informed oral history interviews with musicians, journalists, librarians, archivists, academics, and activists called #recorddet Over the course of the season we settled on a standard set of five questions to ask:

1. Briefly describe who you are and your relationship to Detroit music.

2. What was the first (Detroit) record you remember hearing – what was it, how’d you hear it, and what did you think?

3. What was the first (or best) (Detroit) live music performance you remember hearing – who was it, where was it, who’d you go with, and what did you think?

4. Motown is known the world over—describe one aspect of Detroit music history that you wished got more attention.

5. Advise us: What should the DSC be concentrating on most in the coming years?

You can hear the interviews currently via our Soundcloud.

Other Detroit Music-related Oral Histories Online

Best Practices via Oral History in the Digital Age

Updated September 2017