In 1991 the Working Group on Popular Music Sources, under the
aegis of the Music Library Association Bibliographic Control Committee,
was given the charge of preparing an annotated guide to sources for
authority work in cataloging popular music. The need for such a tool was
made clear to this working group during an MLA open meeting in
Indianapolis. Catalogers expressed dissatisfaction both with the Library
of Congress Name-Authority File for finding personal names and group
names for "non-classical" music artists and with subject terms to
describe the different popular music genres. They were expected to
catalog different types of pop music, some very unfamiliar, and needed
to know what reference sources would aid them in establishing personal
and group names as well as subject access terms.
        The Working Group on Popular Music Sources has produced this
annotated guide with chapters devoted to jazz, country and folk music,
theater music,  blues, and a chapter listing sources for miscellaneous
popular music. Our group disbanded after the 1993 annual meeting in San
Francisco, so we are making these chapters available to the MLA
membership through the MLA Clearinghouse.

Each member was responsible for a particular area (or areas) of popular music. Vincent Pelote, Chair (Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University) was responsible for the chapter on jazz sources. Virginia S. Gifford (Library of Congress) was responsible for the chapter on miscellaneous popular music sources. Linda P. Gross (Country Music Foundation) was responsible for the chapter on country and folk music sources. Vincel Jenkins (Northern Arizona University) was responsible for the chapter on theater music sources. Two non-members of the working group also contributed. Marty Rosen (Bowling Green State University) assisted Gifford with the miscellaneous popular music chapter. Suzanne Flandreau (Center For Black Music Research, Columbia College) contributed the chapter on blues sources. The compilers used their expertise to list and annotate the best sources available; they did not seek to produce an exhaustive list of sources in any area. Most citations are English-language, but foreign-language items are included if considered essential. The Working Group on Popular Music Sources hope that these chapters will serve as a guide to aid catalogers who have nowhere to turn when confronted with cataloging a recording of unfamiliar music. We also extend an invitation to any individuals or groups who might want to add chaapters that our group didn't cover.