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Record Makers and Breakers: Voices of the Independent Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers (Music in American Life) Hardcover – 2 Mar 2009
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"Covering the convoluted history of the recording industry from the 1940s to the 1960s, [Broven] combines in-depth archival research with fascinating anecdotes about chart-toppers, shady characters and label owners. . . . The impact of conniving entrepreneurs on the musicians and the layering of rich details and digressive detours as Broven traces the transition from R&B to rock make this equal to Roger D. Kinkle’s massive, four-volume Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz.--Publishers Weekly
This engaging history of the independent rock 'n' roll record industry from its raw regional beginnings in the 1940s with R & B and hillbilly music through its decline in the 1960s combines narrative history with extensive oral history material from numerous recording pioneers. The rich oral histories provide abundant on-the-ground information about nurturing new artists such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and B. B. King and then losing them to the bigger labels; developing pressing plants, distribution centres, jukebox circuits, and disk jockey networks; financing these operations, often on shoestring budgets; and creating innovative approaches (including payola) to developing an audience.This exceptional volume contains the author's interviews with major players in the independent music scene, including Joe Bihari of Modern Records; Marshall Chess of Chess Records; Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, and Miriam Bienstock of Atlantic Records; Sam Phillips of Sun Records; Art Rupe of Specialty Records; and many more.Behind-the-scenes sources include London Records' remarkable Mimi Trepel; music publishers Gene Goodman and Freddy Bienstock; "The Cash Box" trade magazine editors Ira Howard, Irv Lichtman, and Marty Ostrow; disc jockey Bill "Hoss" Allen of Radio WLAC, Nashville; recording studio/label owner and erstwhile teenage jukebox operator Cosimo Matassa; and many, many others. See all Product description
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I was hoping for a few more studio secrets/ techniques, Rock 'n' Roll anecdotes and insight into the artist/ producer relationship.
A page was missing from the edition I bought but I contacted the American publisher and they emailed it through the next day.
They checked their stock and apparently it is not a recurring error.
Certainly an opus magnus which surely holds info that would otherwise become lost in time as the first hand accountants die off
I found the book very well-written, this is a scholarly text that is a rare comprehensive serious survey of an area of popular culture that is not usually treated with this degree of analysis and insight. I wasn't quite sure about the book's structure - which is divided into five sections: The independent revolution; Regional sounds; The hustle is on; Rock and roll is here to stay and finally Appendices. The appendices section in particular has some very interesting information (such as totals of U.S. record sales between 1921 and 1969) that will be very useful for reference and there are also some excellent photographs of the label owners and their acts. However, I found that the book did flag a bit toward the end as the stories of one after another of the record companies was told - many of them being very similar. In many ways there is just too much information here and maybe it would have been better to have dealt with each record company/industry segment in a separate chapter rather than in a continuing narrative. Nevertheless this book is an impressive achievement that is both an extensive evaluation of an emerging industry sector and also a tribute to the record men who made it.
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