Photo courtesy Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries
I've written before about Berl Olswanger — musician, composer, music store owner, and all-around great fellow. In fact, I had so much to say about his remarkable career that I devoted an entire column to him back in 2009.
His daughter, Anna Olswanger, a literary agent in New York City, tells me that many of her father's musical compositions have now been archived online.
"When my dad died in 1981, he left behind a legacy of 50 years as a composer and orchestra leader, and after Naxos asked if it could include the Olswanger recordings as part of the Naxos Music Library, I agreed and had my dad's music digitalized," she says. "I'm happy that researchers and others interested in jazz recordings will now discover a hidden piece of Memphis music history through the Naxos databases."
Far too many times, the artistic creations of my fellow Memphians get lost or go unrecognized, so I'm glad that's not the case here. To listen to the music of Berl Olswanger, you have two options. You can go to a website called Classics Online, and then enter "Berl Olswanger" in the search box.
Or you can visit the jazz section of the Naxos Music Library (though Anna says this may require a subscription — but hey, it's worth it).