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

By Gareth Murphy

Cowboys and Indies is not anything lower than the 1st definitive historical past of the recording on each side of the Atlantic.

From the discovery of the earliest identified sound-recording equipment in 1850s Paris to the CD crash and electronic growth this day, writer and insider Gareth Murphy takes readers on an immensely interesting 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 specifically at the online 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” documents throughout America

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

·         Sam Phillips’s seminal paintings with Chess and solar Records

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

·         the behind-the-scenes avid 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 documents (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 deals a provocative examine the longer term during the ruminations of such leading edge figures as Martin generators (4AD, XL Recordings, Matador, tough exchange) and genre-busting manufacturer Rick Rubin (Run-D.M.C., crimson scorching Chili Peppers, Metallica, Johnny Cash).

Drawing from memoirs, files, and multiple hundred specific interviews with the legends of the checklist undefined, together with the founders and CEOs of Atlantic, Chrysalis, Virgin, A&M, Sub Pop, and Sire, this publication finds the key heritage in the back of the hit-making craft. extraordinary in scope and bold 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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Two elastic membranes would reproduce the work of the eardrum; a system of levers would replicate the three minute bones in the middle ear that transmit vibrations from the air to the liquid interior. A boar’s hair attached to the end of this mechanical ear would engrave the vibrations on a glass surface blackened with soot. On March 25, 1857, he deposited a design with the French Academy of Sciences. Later that year he was granted a patent for his phonautograph, or sound-writer, the earliest known sound-recording device.

The expanding money supply needed to support America’s economy had come from discoveries of gold reserves in Alaska, Colorado, and South Africa and gold transfers from European banks. Worried by their diminishing reserves, European banks increased their interest rates, and the gold began flowing back to Europe. Also, following the previous financial crash in 1893, regulation forcing banks to maintain cash reserves had failed to include trusts. As a result, the number of trusts holding only 2–3 percent cash reserves had quadrupled.

Easton and Mauro celebrated. Their alliance with Jones meant Columbia could start legitimately pressing disc records embossed with its own logo. Johnson and Douglass came up with a brilliant riposte. Hearing that the manufacturers of the bootleg discs were feeling used, Johnson bought them out and had their discs embossed with a Victor Talking Machine logo. When Easton was handed a copy of his new discs with a VTM logo, he hit the roof and called in Mauro—precisely what Johnson and Douglass were expecting.

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