Chris Strachwitz recently passed away at 91, who was the founder of Arhoolie Records, which was an essential label for American roots music for nearly seven decades, releasing everything from gospel and zydeco to gospel and Mexican folk.
Chris Strachwitz Is No More
The German-conceived Strachwitz kicked the bucket calmly Friday at home in Marin Area, CA, encompassed in his last days by dear loved ones, as per the Arhoolie Establishment reports via online entertainment Saturday; Strachwitz set up the non-profit to preserve a lot of the music he’d found since starting the label in the year 1960.
The Arhoolie Establishment included a proclamation that throughout his 91 years, Chris was able to record the music that best represents the best down home music in the world. The proclamation added that he was at the front of essentially every one of the roots restorations throughout recent years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music.
His drive to report conventional music acquainted the country with our different melodic legacy. Through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation, he helped to strengthen cultural traditions and had the foresight to save music that might otherwise have been lost to obscurity. He really focused on everyone around him, battled for eminences and acknowledgment for Arhoolie specialists, and gave guidance to innumerable artists, authors, movie producers, and scholastics.
According to NOLA.com, the death of the label head and musicologist also reportedly occurred just hours after the New Orleans Jazz Fest honored Strachwitz’s efforts to preserve Cajun and creole music.
Chris Found The Label Arhoolie Records
Strachwitz emigrated to America following The Second Great War and immediately drenched himself in the local music of the country. Strachwitz stated to the Guardian that he remembered his father saying in German that Bunk Johnson were playing off key, as he listened to them. To this, he added that it did not matter to him as it had soul and feeling, and therefore, he was constantly opposing the mainstream.
In the year 1960, Strachwitz started the label Arhoolie, which he called a song catcher and archived and reissued important music recorded well outside the American mainstream. Strachwitz was inspired by Moses Asch’s Folkways label. Arhoolie released recordings by blues icons like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton, and Lightnin’ Hopkins.
Bonnie Raitt wrote in Arhoolie Records’ Down Home Music that no one has meant more to the preservation and appreciation of Americana roots music than Chris Strachwitz. After the Smithsonian acquired Arhoolie’s catalog in the year 2016, curator and director of Smithsonian Folkways Daniel Sheehy stated that Arhoolie changed American culture. He also added that it was a dream come true that they might be able to help preserve that legacy in the future.