David Sanjek

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David Sanjek
David Sanjek 01.jpg
Born(1952-09-03)September 3, 1952
Died(2011-11-29)November 29, 2011
New York (aged 59)
RelativesRoger Sanjek (brother)
Academic background
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Salford, New York University, Hunter College, Fordham University and the New School for Social Research
Main interestsLiterature, Music, Film
Notable worksThe American Popular Music Business in the Twentieth Century

David Sanjek (3 September 1952 – 29 November 2011) was a Professor of Popular Music and Director of the University of Salford Music Research Centre in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Alongside his father, Russell Sanjek, they produced the first comprehensive written history of the American music industry; American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years.

Sanjek was a distinguished scholar who published widely on Popular Music, Film, Media Studies, Copyright Law and Popular Culture. He was Director of the Archives at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) between 1991 and 2007 and was considered to be a world expert in this field.[1] He also served as an advisor to many organisations, including The Library of Congress, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, The Blues Foundation, The Center for Black Music Research, The Experience Music Project Museum, The National Endowment for the Humanities and on several committees for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). He was also the President, Vice-President and Secretary of the U.S. Branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

David Sanjek was the son of noted jazz collector, music industry historian[3] and long-time executive at BMI[4] Russell Sanjek. He received his B.A. in English and Philosophy from Connecticut College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature from Washington University in St Louis. He spent his pre-academic years as an influential and popular[5] youth leader at the Farm & Wilderness summer camps and associated educational programs situated in and around Plymouth, Vermont. Sanjek is of Croatian descent.

American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years[edit]

This colossal work of research and writing[6] traces the history of the American Music Business from its origins in Elizabethan England to the end of the twentieth century. David Sanjek was responsible for updating and refining the work in the third volume "Pennies From Heaven," which focusses on the technological and legal transformations that affected American Music industry between 1909 and 1984.


The David Sanjek Archive of many thousands of books, journals, papers, records and assorted audio and visual media artefacts is (at the time of writing) in preparation at University of Salford. It is hoped that this will form a valuable resource for current and future scholars in the fields of popular music, film, literature and theatre.[7]

The David Sanjek Memorial Graduate Student Paper Prize[8] is offered by IASPM-US.

David is survived by his brothers Rick, a Nashville-based music entrepreneur[9][10] and Roger Sanjek, an anthropologist and Professor.[11][12][13][14][15]

Music Publications[edit]



  • Sanjek, R. and Sanjek, D. (1996) Pennies from Heaven: The American Popular Music Business in the Twentieth Century. New York: Da Capo Press.
  • Sanjek, R. and Sanjek, D. (1991) The American Popular Music Business in the 20th Century. New York: Oxford University Press.


  • Sanjek, D. with Halligan, B. (2013) You Can't Always Get What You Want: Riding on the Medicine Ball Caravan in The Music Documentary. London: Routledge.
  • Sanjek, D. (2013) Zappa and the Freaks: Recording Wild Man Fisher in Paul Carr, ed., Frank Zappa and the And: Key Essays on the Contextualization of his Legacy. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Sanjek, D. (2012) Groove Me: Listening to the Discs of Northern Soul in Transatlantic Routes of American Roots Music. Farnham: Ashgate.
  • Sanjek, D. (2012) Putting It Together: The Institutionalization of the American Musical Theatre in Oxford Handbook of the American Musical Theatre. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Sanjek, D. (2012) Jimmy Bowen in Grove Dictionary of American Music. New York: Oxford University Press.... [and various other entries: Johnny Otis; the Orioles; Gene Vincent; Sister Rosetta Tharpe; Clyde McPhatter; Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes; Neville Brothers; Tracy Nelson; Doo Wop; Eddie Fisher; Ink Spots; Brenda Lee; Tony Brown; Allen Toussaint; Jim Denny; the Dells]
  • Sanjek, D. (2011) African-American Music and the Recording Industry: An Introduction in Encyclopedia of African-American Music, Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press.
  • Sanjek, D. (2011) African-American Music and the Recording Industry: 1919-1942 in: Encyclopedia of African-American Music,' Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press.
  • Sanjek, D. (2011) African-American Music and the Recording Industry: 1942-68 in Encyclopedia of African-American Music. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press.
  • Sanjek, D. (2011) Jump Blues in Encyclopedia of African-American Music. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press.
  • Sanjek, D. (2011) What's Syd Got To Do With It?: King Records, Henry Glover and the Complex Achievement of Crossover in Hidden In The Mix: African American Country Music Traditions. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Sanjek, D. (2009) Bank Accounts and Black Narcissus: Jimmie Rodgers and the Professionalization of American Popular Music in Waiting For A Train: Jimmie Rodgers's America. Burlington, Mass.: Rounder Books, 65-81
  • Sanjek, D. (2008) Shock Jocks: Making Mayhem Over the Radio in Battleground: The Media Volume 2 (O-Z). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.
  • Sanjek, D. (2005) I Give it a 94. It’s Got a Beat and You can Dance to It. Valuing Popular Music in Michael Berube, The Aesthetics of Cultural Studies: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell, p. 117-139.
  • Sanjek, D. (2004) All the Memories Money Can Buy: Marketing Authenticity and Manufacturing Authorship in Eric Weisbard, ed.,This is Pop, Harvard University Press, 155–172.
  • Sanjek, D. (2004) In My Time of Dying: Johnny Cash, Johnny Paycheck, Gary Stewart and Cycles of Hipness Peper at American Studies Association Convention, November 13.
  • Sanjek, D. (2002) Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know in Norman Kelley, ed. Rhythm and Business: The Political Economy of Black Music. New York: Akashic Books.
  • Sanjek, D. (1999) Institutions in T. Swiss and B. Horner, eds. Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 46–56
  • Sanjek, D. (1998) Reeling in the Years: American Vernacular Music & Documentary Film, in Brophy, P. ed. Cinesonic: The World of Sound in Film. Sydney: AFTRS Publishing.
  • Sanjek, D. (1998) Blue Moon of Kentucky Rising over the Mystery Train, in Cecilia Tichi, ed. Reading Country Music: Steel Guitars, Opra Stars and Honkytonk Bars. Duke University Press, p. 22-44
  • Sanjek, D. (1998) Popular Music and the Synergy of Corporate Culture, in Thomas Swiss, J. Sloop and E. Herman, eds. Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Theory. Oxford: Blackwell,
  • Sanjek, D. (1997) Can a Fujiama Mama be the Female Elvis? The Wild, Wild Women of Rockabilly in Whiteley, S. ed. Sexing the Groove. London: Routledge, pp. 137–167
  • Sanjek, D. (1994) Don’t Have to DJ No More: Sampling and the Autonomous Creator in Martha Woodmansee and Peter Jansi, eds. The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature. Duke University Press.

Peer Reviewed Journals[edit]

Film Publications[edit]

Peer Reviewed Journals[edit]



  1. ^ McKeegan, Alison (October 23, 2010). "Sounds like a dream job for the professor of pop". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  2. ^ "In memory of Professor David Sanjek". Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  3. ^ Horowitz, Is. "American Popular Music and Its Business, Review". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  4. ^ Preston, Frances W. "American Popular Music and Its Business (Review)". Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  5. ^ Garofalo, Reebee (March 2012). "Memories of David Sanjek, 1952–2011". Popular Music and Society. 35 (5): 703–706. doi:10.1080/03007766.2012.666039. S2CID 191423436.
  6. ^ Wexler, Jerry. "American Popular Music and Its Business". Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Hall, Martin. "David Sanjek Archive". Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  8. ^ Farrugia, Rebekkah. "David Sanjek Memorial Graduate Student Paper Prize". IASPM-US. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  9. ^ "Rick Schulman Finney Passes Away At Nashville Home". Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "Songwriters in the Round". Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  11. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen (July 10, 1988). "In Queens, a Preview of Future Cities". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  12. ^ Sanjek, Roger (1994). Race. Barnes & Noble. ISBN 9780813521091. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  13. ^ Sanjek, Roger. "Gray Panthers". Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  14. ^ "The Future of Us All: Race and Neighborhood Politics in New York City". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  15. ^ "Fieldnotes: The Makings of Anthropology". Barnes&Noble. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  16. ^ Duffett, Mark. "David Sanjek: A Bibliography". Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  17. ^ Duffett, Mark. "David Sanjek: A Bibliography". Retrieved May 23, 2012.