Music in American Culture
Follow the Technology
Music in American Culture 8:00-9:15 am. C199.
Basic idea is that music ALWAYS follows technology.
1945, just more than $100 million worth of records on discs made of shellac were sold. 1958, with 45 rpm singles and some albums, reached $500 million. 1965 sales had rocketed to more than $1 billion. Music industry changes, multi-billion dollar cash cow.
Before recorded music, the only way to hear music was live.
Here’s where technology begins to change music.
1) Cylinders and 78s, then 45s
2) Vinyl albums, introduced in 1947, gone as major music storage source by 1985.
3) CD: 1985-gone by 2000.
33 1/3 vinyl album=The real breakthrough.
From a business point of view, it was simple mathematics: Albums generated a lot more money than singles. It upped the financial ante considerably.
Everybody bought into albums as albums. For record companies, it was a godsend, meant selling something for $2.99 instead of 79 cents. Artists could make music that lasted longer and told stories. Consumers bought into them because they were cool.
It was part of a new form of communication.
Changed the way artists approached music. It was an era when musicians toured to sell albums, completely opposite of today.
Advent of instrument and live music technology: electric guitars an synthesizers, speakers and equipment.
The Rock Era, roughly 1965-1995, as the exception, not the rule.
©Leland Rucker 2016
Coming on 420: Debut issue of Sensi magazine.