Berlin in the 1920s: record factories and recording studios line the Ritterstraße in Kreuzberg. The ethnomusicologist Pekka Gronow and the Swing expert Stephan Wuthe lead a guided tour of this center of the then-burgeoning international music industry—and other hidden sites of Pop history. With a demonstration of historical playback devices at the Märkisches Museum, Stadtmuseum Berlin.
Pekka Gronow is adjunct professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Helsinki. He is an internationally recognized historian of the record industry who has written many books and articles on the subject. In 2014, he was one of the organizers of an international conference on the history of the Berlin-based Beka record company at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. From 2009 to 2014, he was the leader of “The Lindström project.” The research project, initiated by the Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger (Society for historical sound recordings), documents the global history of Carl Lindström AG, which was one of the major multinational record companies from 1904 to the 1940s. The Lindström Company building is still standing in Berlin, although it has been taken over by a number of small businesses today. It will be one of the points visited during the POPTOUR.
Since the 1990s, Stephan Wuthe, who was born in Berlin in 1966, has been holding Swing evenings. He is a storyteller and DJs with shellac records he began collecting as a child. His Swing and Jazz archive contains more than 5,000 recordings from between 1926 and 1958. His book Swing-Time in Deutschland was published by Transit Verlag. Wuthe studied fashion design in Paris and worked as a theater sculptor for the Deutsche Oper Berlin.