RIP Brian Rust 1922-2011

The following statement has appeared today on the website of pre-eminent discographer Brian Rust.

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“We are saddened to have to inform visitors to the site, that Brian Rust died peacefully in his sleep, on January 5th. His loss is devastating to those who knew him as a true and constant friend, for many years. The world of discography and the study of early jazz history has changed completely, by his death.

He leaves behind his wife of six decades, Mary; daughters Angela and Pamela; and son, Victor; plus grandchildren. As details of funeral arrangements and addresses to which condolences may be sent become available, we will update this bulletin.”

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2 replies »

  1. I am so sorry to learn of Brian's demise. I knew him in 1946 with my brother John. We were very young then and my brother started a New Orleans style band in which Brian took an interest. I can remember making a record with John playing Cornet with Brian on Washboard at Star Sound Studios. It was very raw – dreadful really – but historical. I think Brian sang a track in the time remaining which was a song called “Moonbeam, kiss her for me”.
    He was great supporter of early Jazz and I thank him for his interest and support for “John Haim's Jellyroll Kings” who performed until 1949 when my brother died age 19. I am now almost 80 and live in Spain where I still play regularly.
    My sincere condolences to Brian's family.

  2. Sue Davies writes by email:

    Brian Rust's “Jazz Records” was the bible for all collectors of jazz – not only in England but in America and the rest of the world. It was an enormous undertaking and was finally produced in two volumes and with the addition later of “Jazz and Blues” .

    A labour of love, he spent most of his life researching the catalogues of all the record companies to find the personnels, titles, datets of all the jazz bands that anyone could come up with – though specially the American ones.

    Of course there were additions, some of which argued over with colleagues, and as an ongoing and expensive thing to produce very hard to find a good publisher who could even consider paying for the time that was spent on it.

    Other people were called in, including John R.T. Davies and in the latter years the generosity of Malcolm Shaw who helped substantially with the last addition.

    Without “Jazz Records” the many and various collectors of the music would have been lost without their guiding star.

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