[78-L] Quentin Riggs, RIP

Ryan Barna phonostalgia at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 13:12:06 PST 2013

I am extremely sad and sorry to report the passing of former ARSC
member and stellar researcher Quentin Riggs, on October 26, 2012.

For those of you who don't know Quentin, he contributed information to
several books and articles on early recording artists. He was
frequently mentioned (and pictured) in Jim Walsh's "Favorite Pioneer
Recording Artists" in Hobbies magazine, often supplementing Walsh's
research for well over three decades, up to 1985. He also wrote for
other publications, including the New Amberola Graphic, Hillandale
News, and Talking Machine Review. He is credited as a co-author of
"Billy Murray: The Phonograph Industry's First Great Recording Artist"
with Frank Hoffmann and Dick Carty (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1997).

Quentin also had a privilege that new researchers can only dream of --
with interest in early sound recordings that began in the 1940s, he
was able to correspond and meet with several early recording artists
before their passing, including (and by no means limited to) Elliott
Shaw, Olive Kline, John Bieling, Irving Kaufman, Walter Van Brunt, and
Billy Murray.

All the way to the end, Quentin remained active, enthusiastic, and
mentally sharp. He frequently sent emails, searched digital databases,
downloaded mp3s, and streamed music and videos. He was still checking
matrix numbers for me in his collection as late as August.

Few of his fellow hobbyists knew about his passing. I only found out
about this from curiously searching the web, to see why I hadn't heard
from him in so long. That's when I found his obituary.

I talked to his sister-in-law this afternoon, who gave me permission
to announce his passing to the collecting community. His wife Evelyn
is not on the Internet, so she was unable to notify his email
contacts. His brother and sister-in-law are currently handling the
estate. I told her I was very surprised and sad learn about this,
since he was still active only a couple of months before his death,
but as she told me, "congestive heart failure got the best of him.

I'm sure that by now, Quentin knows all the biographical and
discographical answers that people like us are still searching for.

You may read about his life and leave sympathy comments on his Dignity
Memorial page at

Ryan Barna

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