The Music Collector

Roger Smith/Flickr

When a friend showed Nathan Salsburg some old records he had come across while clearing out an abandoned house, Salsburg at first wasn’t interested. He’s the curator for the Alan Lomax Archive, so he knows most old records are junk. But when he saw a rare 78-rpm Mississippi John Hurt, he knew his friend was onto something. That discovery led to a late-night Dumpster-dive and days spent rescuing fragile 78s from the collection of an enigmatic hoarder. I produced this story for The Organist, the podcast from KCRW and The Believer.