American Popular Music Business in the 20th Century

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9780195058284: American Popular Music Business in the 20th Century
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When the late Russell Sanjek's monumental three volume history, American Popular Music and Its Business, first appeared, it was acclaimed as an unprecedented contribution to the study of American popular culture. Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records called it a "colossal work of research and writing," and Nat Hentoff lauded this history as "an astonishing work of discovery" and "a lucid, continuously absorbing narrative. There is nothing else like it in the literature.
Now, David Sanjek, the author's son, and a scholar of American culture in his own right, has condensed and updated the last volume of this classic, providing a richly detailed history of the music business in the 20th century. Sanjek traces the incredible technological and economic revolution which has accompanied popular music in the last ninety years, starting with Thomas Edison's important turn of the century inventions and following through all the way to the rise of the compact disc and Digital Audio Tape. The business side of popular music figures largely in this illuminating study--from the rise and fall of vaudeville to the huge entertainment conglomerates like Time-Warner Brothers and Thorn-EMI; from the sale of sheet music (at one time the major source for the dissemination of songs) to the marketing of music videos on MTV; and from early wheeler-dealers like E.F. Albee and Marcus Loew to modern day mega-stars like Michael Jackson (who bought the rights to many Lennon/McCartney songs for $40 million in 1984). There are numerous insights into the long-term relationship between movies and music, from the earliest silent films, when live music was used to cover up the sound of the projector, to the blockbusters of the '70s and '80s like Saturday Night Fever, the soundtrack for which sold 15 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Incorporating anecdotes and filled with information not previously found in any single volume, The American Popular Music Business in the Twentieth Century is an important resource for anyone interested in how music is produced and marketed. As a longtime industry insider, Russell Sanjek had a unique and unprecedented knowledge of the music business--now his knowledge is available to the non-specialist, as well as the scholar of popular culture.

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About the Author:


About the Authors:
Russell Sanjek (1916-1986) was one of the original employees of Broadcast Music Incorporated, and retired as the Vice President in charge of public relations. Among many works on American music and its industry, he wrote the three-volume American Popular Music and its Business. David Sanjek has taught in the NYU Music Business and Technology Program, presently teaches in the Department of English at Fordham University, and is Archive Director at Broadcast Music Incorporated. He has published articles in LITERATURE/FILM Quarterly, American Quarterly, and in a forthcoming volume entitled Sights on the Sixties.

From Library Journal:

This is a reworked and updated edition of Volume 3 of the acclaimed three-volume set by the late Russell Sanjek, American Popular Music and It's Business (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1988). While the earlier volume covered the years 1900-84, the new volume, revised by his son David, completes the decade and looks toward the 1990s. This is in-depth American music business history, and it is complex, particularly concerning the rivalry between publishing giants ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) and BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated). The issues of licensing, fees, "payola," MTV (Music Television), new recording technology, and much more are handled in a scholarly manner. Bibliography and index, essential for a book of this type, were not available for review, but it is expected they will follow the same high standards of the original set. Because of its definitiveness as a source, this single volume would prove a worthwhile addition for budget-strapped public and academic libraries unable to purchase the complete set, as well as for those with comprehensive collections wishing to update the original.
- David M. Turkalo, Social Law Lib., Boston
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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