[78-L] London "Times" Brian Rust obituary - published January 21 2011

Nigel Burlinson burlinson at orange.fr
Mon Jan 31 09:09:09 PST 2011

> Radio presenter and writer who became a respected authority on jazz
> musicians and record collecting
> Charles Dornberger's 1927 version of Tiger Rag was unlikely musical fare 
> for
> the newly launched Capital Radio in 1973. However, amid the contemporary 
> pop
> played by Kenny Everett and the middle-of-the-road melodies presented by
> Michael Aspel, the tune introduced the weekend vintage jazz and dance band
> programme Mardi Gras, presented by Brian Rust. For seven years, Rust 
> played
> the music he had devoted his life to researching and found a wide audience
> for what was a very specialist area of knowledge.
> To jazz enthusiasts Rust was better known as the author of the standard
> work, Jazz Records, 1897-1942, which ran through five editions from 1961 
> to
> 1983. It documented the music, dates and personnel of every jazz recording
> made during those years and the author's dedication to accuracy, and to
> scholarly discographical methods, made it a byword within the industry.
> Yet Rust also produced equally distinguished books on prewar dancebands 
> and
> American recordings. He wrote learned articles on discography and record
> collecting and also researched the early days of Edison's cylinder
> recordings to go alongside his encyclopedic knowledge of the 78rpm disc.
> Brian Arthur Lovell Rust was born in London in 1922, and began collecting
> danceband records as a child. In his teens he became fascinated by jazz, 
> but
> his first job was in a bank and during the Second World War he was in the
> London Fire Brigade. But in 1945 he began work in the BBC Gramophone
> Library, where he sought out dance records for the Light Programme.
> He was to stay in the library for 15 years, greatly expanding his 
> knowledge
> of jazz and dance music, and undertaking trips to America to find out 
> more.
> Among those he met and interviewed was Nick La Rocca, the cornetist with 
> the
> Original Dixieland Jazz Band who had made the first jazz records of all. 
> He
> also collaborated with Walter Allen on one of the first attempts to 
> combine
> biography with discography, in the life of the pioneer New Orleans 
> cornetist
> Joe "King" Oliver.
> In 1960 Rust left the BBC to work as a freelance researcher and author. He
> not only published books but articles for Melody Maker and The Gramophone,
> as well as copious notes for LP record sleeves. Already at the centre of a
> network of record collectors, Rust undertook copious correspondence with
> other enthusiasts round the world.
> Rust published a text on methods of discography in 1980, and in 1992 he
> received a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Recorded 
> Sound
> Collections.
> During his time at the BBC he had also played jazz, as a member of the
> Original Barnstormers Spasm Band, in which he performed on the washboard.
> The band was recorded by Parlophone, and its temporary success led to Rust
> being forced to leave it, as his superiors at the BBC said it would be a
> conflict of interest for one of the corporation's librarians to appear on
> television as a musician. He rejoined the band soon after the offending
> broadcast, but left when he became a freelance writer.
> He is survived by his wife Mary and by two daughters and a son.
> Brian Rust, author, discographer and radio presenter, was born on March 
> 19,
> 1922. He died on January 5, 2011, aged 88

Forwarded by Nigel Burlinson  burlinson at orange.fr

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