After much trial and error I finally got it working. I did it by following the directions found here
I compiled the kernel with sound card support built in.
ALSA, Sequencer support, oss mixer, oss pcm were compiled as modules
and NO OSS
Some other things in the kernel that might have been important (or might not)
Generic driver options:
select only drivers that don't need compile time firmware N
prevent firmware from being built N
Code maturity options:
prompt for development and/or incomplete drivers Y
select only drivers expected to compile cleanly N
Then I removed the alsa-base and alsa-utils using aptitude,
downloaded alsa-drivers, alsa-utils, alsa-tools, alsa-oss, and alsa-lib,
installed these alsa packages following directions mentioned above.
I don't know how much of that was necessary, but like I said it works now.