Colloquium Speaker Series - Dr. David Suisman

“Sound Thinking: The Early Career of Tony Schwartz, Guru of the Electronic Age”

PSA Library (114), May 11, 2012 — from 4:00 - 6:00 pm

This talk explores the early career of Tony Schwartz--pioneering advertising consultant, media theorist, and collector of vernacular sound recordings. As the creator of Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” commercial, Schwartz became known in the 1960s for his iconoclastic approach to advertising, and his ideas about media and communications led Marshall McLuhan to hail him as “the guru of the electronic age.” Earlier, however, in 1950s Schwartz first earned acclaim as a prolific documentarian of the soundscape of New York. Over the course of his career, he amassed an archive of tens of thousands of unique recordings, recently acquired by the Library of Congress. Focusing on this earlier phase of his life, this talk will detail Schwartz’s path breaking approach to sound recording and conclude with a discussion of the connection between his work as a sound recordist and his later career in the 1960s and beyond.

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