Download PDF by William Ruhlmann: Breaking Records: 100 Years of Hits

By William Ruhlmann

IBreaking files provides a story heritage of yankee renowned track and the pop song undefined. Organised by way of decade, every one bankruptcy provides an outline of the main advancements, technologically, commercially, and musically, for every type of renowned track making. Technological advancements, from the beginning of radio and the phonograph to MP3 and burning CDs, are mentioned relating to how they affected musicians and the itself. Key performers and their significant hits are profiled by way of decade. this can be a compelling tale of ways company and artwork have interacted, and occasionally clashed, via a century of latest musical advancements.

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But a better date for the start of the Jazz Age would be the institution of the Prohibition Enforcement, or Volstead Act, sponsored by Minnesota Congressman Andrew John Volstead. Although intended to prevent Americans from drinking alcohol, the 18th Amendment probably led them to drink more. And while they were drinking they often were listening to music and dancing. The record industry grew gradually in the first two decades of the century, but by the start of the 1920s it was ready to take its place beside the music publishing industry as a major means of dissemination of popular music.

On January 17, 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, or ODJB as it came to be called, began playing at Reisenweber’s Restaurant in New York. They recorded for Columbia at the end of the month, then in February cut the instrumental “Livery Stable Blues” for Victor, which was their first release in the spring and gained them considerable recognition, with their version of “Darktown Strutter’s Ball” (as their version was called) on Columbia, released in September, becoming a real hit, followed by the success of “Tiger Rag” (recorded March 25, 1918).

Nothing magical happens at the stroke of midnight on a New Year’s Day marking the change of a decade, but setting off history in ten-year segments allows us to examine change from one point to another. In a sense, there was not much difference in the record business from the 1900s to the 1910s; several important characteristics carried over into the new decade. Although record sales had increased enormously during the 1900s, the record industry was still only a small part of the popular music business, which continued to be dominated by the music publishers of Tin Pan Alley.

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