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 background of the recording on either side of the Atlantic.

From the discovery of the earliest recognized sound-recording gadget in 1850s Paris to the CD crash and electronic increase this day, writer and insider Gareth Murphy takes readers on an immensely unique and encyclopedic journey during the many cataclysmic musical, cultural, and technological alterations that formed a century and a half the industry.

This valuable 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, found approximately the entire Delta blues legends (Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son residence, 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 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 bargains a provocative examine the longer term during the ruminations of such forefront figures as Martin generators (4AD, XL Recordings, Matador, tough alternate) and genre-busting manufacturer Rick Rubin (Run-D.M.C., crimson sizzling Chili Peppers, Metallica, Johnny Cash).

Drawing from memoirs, files, and multiple 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 ebook finds the key background in the back of the hit-making craft. outstanding in scope and ambitious extensive, Cowboys and Indies chronicles the pioneers who set the stylus at the most vital labels and musical discoveries in history.



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Their heightened sense of judgment was firmly rooted in musical culture. Neither futurists nor fashion victims, they possessed an innate sense of history and timelessness. As the bigger picture illustrates beyond any doubt, the record business is inherently cyclical. Fallow periods tend to follow bumper harvests. Today’s predicament, in which an ever-dwindling generation of rock ’n’ roll impresarios finds itself tiptoeing into the terrifying crosscurrents of the digital age, can only make sense when viewed within a complete time frame.

To break into the rapidly growing disc market by the back door, through a complex string of companies, Columbia began distributing laterally cut discs, stamped with a Climax logo at a casino chip factory. As such, Columbia wasn’t directly producing discs, just distributing them. Thanks to Mauro’s legal prowess, the Joseph Jones patent was approved on December 10, 1901. Easton and Mauro celebrated. Their alliance with Jones meant Columbia could start legitimately pressing disc records embossed with its own logo.

I set out on a mission to write what I hoped would be the record business bible, the type of book I wish somebody had given me when I was seventeen years old. I imagined a living, wide-screen history book—written in the form of a road map through the decades, visiting all the important happenings and characters of the record industry’s life. , New York, London, Berlin, Memphis, Detroit, Los Angeles, Jamaica, South Africa, and various other locations where each record man’s destiny was forged. Along that winding storyboard, musical genres come and go in a never-ending process of cross-fertilization—vaudeville, opera, blues, jazz, hillbilly, R&B, rock ’n’ roll, folk, psychedelia, progressive rock, reggae, disco, New Wave, postpunk, synth-pop, hip-hop, electronica … Needless to say, this book was written at a time when the majority of media observers were confidently predicting the imminent death of the record-buying trade—the conventional wisdom being that nothing like the digital revolution has been experienced before.

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