Jon Bendich History of Popular music industry readings
Thomas Edison, the great inventors self proclaimed best invention of all time the Phonograph, also known as “The Talking Machine” is invented 1877. It original intent was for office use, entertainment, business uses and the telephone. Edison decides to mass produce the product like guns and sewing machines in his own factory. The Edison Speaking Phonograph company is formed in 1878.
The original phonograph turns out to be extremely hard to use, expensive to acquire and maintain. 1890 the actors is on the verge of bankruptcy, followed by a great economical fail in 1893, also known as the great depression. Talking machines prove to become way more successful in entertainment. An automatic coin machine is invented, which by dropping a nickel in the machine, brings listeners one play of a cylinder record. Edison starts producing and placing these machines in many public areas, hotels, and arcades.
Early sass Edison invents the Connections, showing people movies through a peep hole. Edison places the new devices side by side in amusement arcades bringing the public sight and sound, exulting in a sudden spike of strong demand for prerecorded cylinders. Edison becomes one of the first to realize that the record recording industry could be very profitable. Edison goes on to 10 years of experimenting to try and find a way to mass produce prerecorded cylinders that are cheap and reliable.
Emilee Berliner realizes this around the same time for Gramophones, and makes a speech in 1888 predicting that talking machines would soon play standardized discs. He then anticipated a huge spike in sales of popular recordings and predicted that prominent artists would soon make steady income from record sales. Berliner embarks on parallel experiments and eventually creates metal disks, releasing them 1893 with his name printed on them. The metal disks prove to be of poor quality and sales suffer.
Berliner decides to contact Thomas to perfect disc sound, whom decides to fuse the two technologies together and create better discs. 1902 Thomas establishes his own plant, and Edison is only one year behind. Over 600,000 record players are sold between 1901-1910, with a huge spike in sales in 1911 selling 124,000 record players alone. Huge marketing campaigns are launched and advertising becomes a huge racket in the first decades of the 20th century. Talking machine companies were the first and enthusiastic users of advertising and The “Big three” dominate the talking machine industry.
To stay current and in competition all three do continues research on the products and continue development. Thomas Lambert eventually invents the celluloid records, one of the first plastics ever, and patens it. In the mean time with research and production developing in Europe, the idea to sign an Opera singer to record live is brought on by an associates visit to the Opera house in Madrid. Caruso, world ammos Opera singer is signed to do 10 songs for $400 after hard negotiations. The inventor, to actual artist to market the product. 914 the war begins to effect the imports of goods between Europe and Americas, but sales boom regardless. The record player finds itself at every troop camp and on front lines of the war. Additionally this opens up the market to African Americans, whom are now partaking in much higher paying Jobs and the great migration for better Jobs. Sass saturation of the industry begins but doesn’t last too long. 1921 the first African American record company is founded and business is booming, with Jazz and Blues loud on the talking machines.
The influence of Jazz becomes so profound in the Sass it was called the Jazz age. Lass stems from blues and rag with clear African, Cuban and Caribbean rhythms. New Orleans was a breading ground for culture and music at the time and diverse cultures came together and created the this beautiful music. Talking machines become world wide and so does Jazz, making a Lou Armstrong a world famous artist before he ever even steps foot in another country. Jazz came from an absorption of Caribbean culture after the Louisiana Purchase.