John Marks' Bookshelf for Lovers of Recordings (a/k/a, my "Tracking Angle" Debut!)

1 Fabulous Phonograph.jpg

I got inspired to compile a list of books not about music per se, but rather on the subjects of:

1) The history of recording technology;

2) The history of the record business; and

3) The interactions between recording technology, the record business, and the art of music.

And example of what I mean by No. 3 is the fact that the change from carbon microphones to piezoelectric crystal microphones made "crooners" such as Rudy Vallee popular. Another example is how the short running times of 78 rpm discs influenced jazz.

The plan is for Michael Fremer's "Tracking Angle" to run a review of one recommended book per week for 12 weeks. That's more than 4,000 pages of reading.

The first installment does let all the cats out of the bag, btw--the whole list is there.

If I had to recommend one book for everybody to read, it would be Amanda Petrusich's "Do Not Sell at Any Price." But if that subject matter (original Blues 78 rpm discs) does not interest you, "Goodnight LA" is wonderful.

All the books are wonderful, in fact.

Thanks to Michael Fremer for hosting it.