Two more book recommendations about the history of music recording and the record business, etc.

Installments 4 and 5 of my Tracking Angle series called "A Bookshelf for Lovers of Recordings" are now up.

4 The B Side copy.jpg

#4 is: The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song

by Ben Yagoda

Ben Yagoda tries to figure out why the period from the climax of the Great American Songbook era (circa 1945) to the advent of Rock and Roll (1955) was such a Musical Hazardous-Waste Dump (my words not his). The prime example being the fact that “[How Much Is That] Doggie in the Window” spent eight weeks at the top of the Billboard pop chart.


#5 is: Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation

by Marc Fisher

This is a history of pop music from the standpoint of the radio business.

For a while, it looked like broadcast television would put many radio stations out of business, especially because much early network programming consisted of "variety" shows that featured live music. Quoting myself:

"What saved radio was the rise of rock music (indeed, the relationship between local, independent AM radio and rock music was symbiotic); the advent of the Top 40 format; the rise of the Disk Jockey as a star personality; and the opening of the airwaves to previously marginated African-American and Country (Hillbilly) music."

Another very well-researched and enjoyable read.