The 53rd annual ARSC Conference takes place in Portland this year, May 8-11, at the Benson Hotel at 309 SW Broadway. ARSC is the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, a nonprofit organization founded in 1966 and dedicated to the preservation and study of sound recordings, in all genres of music and speech, in all formats, from all time periods.

This year’s conference highlights features recordings from Early Sounds of Czech Settlers, The Waiers and the NW Rock and Roll Sound, Ernie Kovacs on Music: A 100th Anniversary Program, Rare 78s of Mahatma Gandhi and a tribute to Portland’s native son and cartoon voice artist treasure, Mel Blanc, presented by Carol Seymour of Chicago. The panel, called Wascally Wabbit Making Wecords (Thursday, May 9 at 2 pm.) Blanc was the voice of many Looney Tunes characters – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, The Flintstone’s Barney Rubble and so many others.

Seymour’s interest in Blanc goes back to when she lived in Portland from 1979-1996. On a Portland Parks & Recreation Lone Fir Cemetery tour, she wrote in her notebook “Mel Blanc’s epitaph: That’s all, folks!

After moving to Chicago, she began to explore the voice actor’s connection to the Rose City. “I just assumed Mel must be buried there, but didn’t recall actually seeing the grave. Turns out he’s actually buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in California. He did his living in Portland, not his dying.” The results of her research will be revealed in her presentation.

The program is well worth a look and online. Single day tickets are available too at arsc-audio.org/conference/2019.