Record Makers and Breakers

Hardcover (March 2009), Paperback (February 2010). Published by University of Illinois Press.

 

Voices of the Independent Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneers

This engaging history of the independent rock ’n’ roll record industry from its raw regional beginnings in the 1940s with R & B and hillbilly music through its decline in the 1960s combines narrative history with extensive oral history material from numerous recording pioneers. This exceptional volume contains the author’s interviews with major players in the independent music scene, including Joe Bihari of Modern Records; Marshall Chess of Chess Records; Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, and Miriam Bienstock of Atlantic Records; Sam Phillips of Sun Records; Art Rupe of Specialty Records; and many more. Behind-the-scenes sources include London Records’ remarkable Mimi Trepel; music publishers Gene Goodman and Freddy Bienstock; The Cash Box trade magazine editors Ira Howard, Irv Lichtman, and Marty Ostrow; disc jockey Bill “Hoss” Allen of Radio WLAC, Nashville; recording studio/label owner and erstwhile teenage jukebox operator Cosimo Matassa; and many, many others.

Publisher: University of Illinois Press (15 Mar 2009) - Hardcover/Paperback: 584 pages


It is a fabulous book and you've done a marvelous job capturing the fun, exuberance and dog-eat-dog aspects of the music business. You interviewed the famous and the unjustly unknown, especially women, that comprise a unique and invaluable history of the music business. I don't think there is or could be such a well-documented and full explanation of the rise and demise of the independent music industry as yours because you captured so many unique voices and let them tell their stories while making it all a comprehensive and comprehensible whole.
Frank Lipsius, Jamie-Guyden Records, Philadelphia, PA (2020)