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Finkelstein-Ranz Recorded Music Collection

Last week we picked up a great folk, bluegrass and political collection in Sheepshead Bay – more than 800 LPs collected and curated by Henry Finkelstein.  Henry is a retired Civil Servant who lovingly described favorite cuts off of his favorite LPs as we packed them up one-by -one.  Around the house we also noticed little handmade tableau boxes honoring a few of his other passions and pastimes – one about the IWW, the Wobblies Labor Union (b. sez, “I was a Wobblie”) and the other commemorating his craft beer making years. 

The strength of the collection is all the small label folk and bluegrass albums.  Sure there were plenty of Rounders, Tradition, Flying Fish and Folkways, but how often do you see Wildebeest (Pittsburgh), Fretless (div. of Philo), Rooster (VT), Poppy (the tiniest division of UA), Country (NYC), June Appal (KY) Greenbays (Chicago) or Front Hall from Voorheesville, NY.  Harder to find than Voorheesville is Urana Records releases from Wise Women Enterprises, a lesbian-feminist collective.  They only issued seven albums in the  late 70s. 

What really caught our attention were the political, activist and protest recordings illustrated here.  Note the “Don’t Mourn” badge in Henry’s tableau above and the  “Don’t Mourn” LP below – the slogan drawn from a letter by labor organizer and songster Joe Hill on the day before his execution.  

So a big thanks to Henry and Shirley for this wonderful gift and hope you enjoy this gallery destined to get you off your Trump and into the streets!  

 See all 34 Activist LPs here…


Also published on Medium.


3 comments

  1. Henry

    Great post. Great contribution – really a great example of what the Archive is all about.

  2. Shirley and Henry Finkelstein Ranz

    Didn’t know I could contact you this way.

    E-mail letter on way.

    Ready for pick-up of more musical history and memories.