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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Little Labels--Big Sound: Small Record Companies and The Rise of American Music

Little Labels--Big Sound: Small Record Companies and The Rise of American Music

1 rating: 3.0
2001 non-fiction book

From Publishers Weekly  Beginning with Henry Gennett, whose modest Midwestern record company, a piano dealership spinoff, helped launch the careers of jazz immortals King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, Kennedy (Jelly Roll, Bix, and Hoagy) and … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Nonfiction
Author: Rick Kennedy and Randy McNutt
Genre: Music History
Date Published: March 1, 2001
1 review about Little Labels--Big Sound: Small Record Companies...

Little labels played a huge role in the evolution of American popular music.

  • Nov 16, 2009
Rating:
+3
O how the landscape has changed!  Fifty years ago there were literally hundreds of independent record labels operating in cities and towns all across the USA.   Many of these companies were fly by night operations that lasted for only a short period of time.  Some managed to stick around long enough to have a hit record or two before disappearing from the scene forever.  But, a fair number of these independent labels were quite successful and would leave an indelible mark on American popular music.  This is what "Little Labels-Big Sound: Small Record Companies and The Rise of American Music" is all about.

Whether you are a fan of the blues, rock and roll, R & B, group harmony or jazz, there is little doubt that these "little labels" made a significant contribution to the development of your kind of music.  Authors Rick Kennedy and Randy McNutt have focused on 10 of these important independent labels.  It is a very readable and highly entertaining book that both record collectors and history buffs are sure to enjoy.

Hoagy Carmicheal and Louis Armstrong spent their formative years in the 1920's at Gennett Records, a small indie based in Richmond, In.  When a young and dynamic James Brown audtioned for King Records in the mid 1950's, label owner Syd Nathan remarked "Nobody wants to hear that noise."  History would indeed prove him wrong.  Most critics agree that jazz legend Charlie Parker made his finest recordings at Ross Russell's Dial records.  "Little Labels-Big Sound" tells the story of how Charlie Parker wound up at Dial.  There are also chapters devoted to seven other notable indies including Sun, Riverside, Monument and Duke-Peacock.  I enjoyed reading about them all.

These days a few major conglomerates dominate the music business. There is little for most of us to get excited about. " Little Labels-Big Sound:  Small Record Companies and The Rise of American Music" fondly recalls that time in America when small record labels flourished and creativity thrived.  It is worth remembering.      Recommended.
Little labels played a huge role in the evolution of American popular music. Little labels played a huge role in the evolution of American popular music.

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