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Recording the ’Twenties
The Evolution of the American
Recording Industry, 1920–29

By Allan Sutton
2013 ARSC Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

"Raises the bar for all future studies of the recording industry." — Vintage Jazz Mart

"Brilliantly original... a book worth reading and using"
ARSC Journal

Recording the 'Twenties: Evolution of the American Recording Industry, 1920-1929
6 x 9" quality softcover
360 pages, illustrated

ISBN No. 978-0-9772735-4-6

Browse the Subject Index
in Adobe Acrobat

Recording the 'Twenties chronicles the evolution of the American recording industry as it responded to changing musical tastes, increasingly diverse markets, competition from new labels, the introduction of new electrical recording technology, and the challenges posed by radio, "talkies," corporate mergers, and foreign ownership.

Based on extensive research of primary-source materials, Recording the 'Twenties dispels the commonly accepted myths and misinformation to provide the first thoroughly documented survey of this pivotal period in the history of the American entertainment and sound-recording industries.

Other Volumes in the EAR Series:

A Phonograph in Every Home
The Evolution of the American Recording Industry,

Recording the ’Thirties
The Evolution of the American Recording Industry,

Table of Contents

Part I: The Acoustic Era

1 •   The State of the Industry (1920)
2 •   The Studio-Artist System (1920)
3 •   The Phonograph Boom (1920–1921)
4 •   Recession and the Recording Industry (1921–1922)
5 •   The Dime-Store Labels (1921–1924)
6 •   The Vaudeville Blues Craze (1920–1921)
7 •   The First Black Record Producers (1920–1924)
8 •   Segregating the Markets (1921–1925)
9 •   Developing the Country Music Market (1922–1925)
10 • Going Afield (1921–1924)
11 • Recording on the West Coast (1921–1929)
12 • "Democratizing" the Classics (1920–1924)
13 • Classical Recording Comes of Age (1923–1925)
14 • The Radio Challenge (1920–1925)

Part II: The Electric Era

15 • Dawn of the Electrical Era (1920–1925)
16 • Victor, Columbia, and the Western Electric System  (1922–1926)
17 • Brunswick, General Electric, and the "Light-Ray" System (1925–1926)
18 • Completing the Electrical Conversion (1925–1928)
19 • Crooners, Salon Groups, and the End of the Studio-Artist System (1925–1929)
20 • The Talent Scouts (1923–1929)
21 • The Second Race Record Boom (1926–1929)
22 • Birth of the Country Music Industry (1926–1929)
23 • Classical Recordings and the Music Appreciation Movement (1925–1929)
24 • Consolidation and Foreign Ownership (1926–1927)
25 • The Radio–Phonograph Alliances (1926–1929)
26 • Motion Pictures and the Recording Industry (1926–1929)
27 • Building Entertainment Empires (1926–1929)
28 • The Year of the Crash (1929)

Epilogue (1930–1942)

Appendix I: Record Sales in the 1920s
Appendix II: A Directory of 1920s Record Companies

Subject Index • Music Title Index

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