Record Makers and Breakers - Voices of the Independent Rock 'N' Roll Pioneers For a magnificent 22 year period, from 1944 to 1966, the independent music labels in America were the place to hear jazz, swing, gospel, country, rockabilly, and of course rock n roll. Author John Broven, who bought his first 78rpm records in England, takes us behind the scenes of the music business showing us how and why such post Depression/ WW 2 businessmen like Leonard Chess, Sam Philips, Art Rupe, and Morris Levy among others were able to survive and prosper in the cut throat business of making a hit record. Find out how important the jukebox operators, distributors, promoters, pressing plants, and radio station announcers were in this whole crazy world. The emergence of BMI and ASCAP and the importance of music publishing is also dealt with in detail. Broven also describes the music trade paper industry, especially Cashbox and Billboard and their place in dealing with the fate of a potential hit record. Jerry Wexler, one of the architects of Atlantic Records, got his start at Billboard.
Simply put, 'Record Makers and Breakers' is the most essential book ever written on the independent music business. Broven was able to speak with hundreds of such heavies as Marshall Chess of Chess Records, Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, and Miriam Bienstock from Atlantic. The recollections of the great Nashville DJ Bill 'Hoss' Allen of WLAC give us true insight into the importance of the medium of radio to the emerging independent record industry. The seamier side of the business is also dealt with, including The Mob and the Payola Scandals that led to the downfall of Alan Freed and to the exoneration of Dick Clark. As Record Collector has said about the book, "'Record Makers and Breakers'… the depth of factual details is incredible... but it's presented in the style of a rich oral history so as not to lose any of the flavour of their anecdotes. It's a chronicle of the entrepreneurial American spirit, liberally punctuated by the creation of some of the most exciting and innovative music of all time"....'Record Makers and Breakers' is a must read and should be a part of any music lovers library. *****5 Stars
Record Makers and Breakers - Voices of the Independent Rock 'N' Roll Pioneers
By John Broven (University of Illinois Press)
Article by Scott Acton:
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