Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry by Gareth Murphy

By Gareth Murphy

Cowboys and Indies is not anything below the 1st definitive heritage of the recording on either side of the Atlantic.

From the discovery of the earliest identified sound-recording machine in 1850s Paris to the CD crash and electronic growth this present day, writer and insider Gareth Murphy takes readers on an immensely enjoyable and encyclopedic experience in the course of the many cataclysmic musical, cultural, and technological adjustments that formed a century and a half the industry.

This worthwhile narrative focuses particularly at the video game changers---the label founders, expertise scouts, and mythical A&R males. Murphy highlights:

· Otto Heinemann's pioneer label Okeh, which unfold blues and jazz "race" files throughout America

· how one guy, Henry Speir, chanced on approximately the entire Delta blues legends (Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son condo, Tommy Johnson)

· Sam Phillips's seminal paintings with Chess and sunlight Records

· John Hammond's discoveries (Billie vacation, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen)

· the behind-the-scenes gamers of the British Invasion

· Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, and the company tune machine

· the Machiavellian strikes of punk impresario Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols)

· Chris Blackwell's triumphs for Island files (Bob Marley, U2)

· Sylvia Robinson and Tom Silverman, the hip-hop explorers in the back of the Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa

...and a lot, even more. Murphy additionally bargains a provocative examine the long run during the ruminations of such forefront figures as Martin turbines (4AD, XL Recordings, Matador, tough exchange) and genre-busting manufacturer Rick Rubin (Run-D.M.C., purple sizzling Chili Peppers, Metallica, Johnny Cash).

Drawing from memoirs, records, and a couple of hundred unique interviews with the legends of the list undefined, together with the founders and CEOs of Atlantic, Chrysalis, Virgin, A&M, Sub Pop, and Sire, this publication finds the key historical past in the back of the hit-making craft. amazing in scope and ambitious intensive, Cowboys and Indies chronicles the pioneers who set the stylus at the most vital labels and musical discoveries in history.

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Extra info for Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry

Example text

He realized that its laterally cut grooves were fundamentally different from Edison’s vertically cut cylinders, and further research led him to the designs of Charles Cros. Sensing there was real potential for a patent, Berliner developed the Gramophone, which played a flat disc. Berliner still had many improvements to figure out, but he was a violinist, pianist, and composer who accurately foretold the destiny of this curious science even before the first jukeboxes appeared in San Francisco. ” Dropping lofty names such as Italian soprano Adelina Patti, he asserted that “prominent singers, speakers, or performers may derive an income from royalties on the sale of their phonautograms, and valuable plates may be printed and registered to protect against unauthorized publication.

With Berliner barred from conducting business in America, Eldridge Johnson had no choice but to sell his stock or go bankrupt. Although he had no patents of his own, he did have one card up his sleeve; for three years he had been secretly examining Berliner’s discs under a microscope. Jagged defects in the groove, he felt, were causing a raspy, metallic timbre. By using waxy compounds instead, Johnson developed his own superior, smoother-sounding disc. His lawyers, however, advised him against applying for a patent, believing his compound infringed the Bell and Tainter wax cylinder.

Easton was the founding father of Columbia, the record company that would produce hits for over a hundred years. Sharp-eyed and ambitious, he was a former courtroom stenographer who sold his story of the trial of President James A. Garfield’s assassin for $25,000. Having gone back to college to study law, Easton, at the age of twenty-nine, was wealthy and seeking opportunity. His short-lived partner in the venture was the older Colonel James Payne, a Civil War veteran. In 1887, the Volta Laboratory transferred its patents to Easton and Payne’s new company, the American Graphophone Company.

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