About Patrick Cather

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Patrick Cather, 1961

The Southern Music Research Center is proud to spotlight in our collections a number of previously unissued recordings and early music writings by Birmingham, Alabama's Patrick Cather. 

As a young white teenager coming of age in 1960s Birmingham, Cather was an unlikely champion for local Black music and musicians. But even as his hometown emerged as a central battleground in the stuggle for civil rights, Cather and a circle of older Black musicians were making their own quieter history, forging unique friendships and fertile creative collaborations.

By the age of fourteen, Cather had established himself not only as an avid record collector but as a blues and jazz researcher and writer; a magazine publisher; the owner and distributor of his own record label; and a devoted chronicler of Alabama’s rich musical legacies. For more of the story, please explore this exhibit's look at a few of Cather's notable contributions.

About Patrick Cather