Two important Bay Area music history projects are seeking funding from the public (read: you).
As The Chronicle reports today, author Elizabeth Pepin and photographer and professor Lewis Watts seek funds to update their 2006 book, “Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era,” which documented the Fillmore at its musical peak in the 1940s and ‘50s.
Since the first two editions of “Harlem of the West” were published, the authors have found even more incredible content from the Fillmore heyday and are ready to update and republish the book; create a robust website to host the images, text and oral history recordings; and build a traveling exhibition. The first set of recordings were done on cassette tapes that need to be digitized and transcribed, the new images need to be scanned and restored, and the book needs to be redesigned.
“Since the 1980s Lew and I have been working for nothing on this labor of love. It would be nice to have some funding to at least get this important information out there so the world can know about this unique time in San Francisco’s history. The oral histories are the only way to understand what exactly went down in this neighborhood, and scholars want access to the recordings and images,” Pepin says. “This project has a track record and a huge demand for the content — this is a no-brainer.”
Their budget hovers around $40,000, and they have raised over $10,000 through an Indiegogo campaign. They are now accepting donations via PayPal and checks. To find out more, e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, over in the East Bay, efforts are underway to create a Blues Walk of Fame.
After 20 years of struggling, The Music They Played on 7th Street Oakland Walk of Fame is now ready for installation. The beginning phase includes 88 plaques that will be installed on the sidewalk at the 7th Street BART Station between Center and Henry Streets in West Oakland. This one of a kind Blues Walk of Fame perpetuates the music legacy of the most popular street for blues, jazz and gospel entertainment on the West Coast and those that were a part of that history. The West Coast Blues Society continues to keep the HISTORY ALIVE while teaching the AT RISK YOUTH that they can have pride in their COMMUNITY HISTORY OF WEST OAKLAND.
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