Little Labels - Big Sound: Small Record Companies and the Rise of American Music
Author: Rick Kennedy, Randy McNutt
Publication date: 1999
Indiana University Press
Little Labels - Big Sound celebrates 10 legendary record labels, their founders and the artists they developed, who created original and enduring music on the tide of social change. From the 1920s through the 1960s, scores of small, independent record companies nurtured distinctly American music: jazz, blues, gospel, country, rhythm and blues, and rock'n'roll. These companies, run on shoestring budgets, were on the fringe of mainstream culture. Louis Armstrong, Hank Williams, James Brown, Roy Orbison, and other musicians brought regional American styles to a world audience and won enduring fame for themselves. But often forgotten are the colorful owners of small record labels who first recorded these musicians and helped to popularize their sound before the dominant, more bureaucratic competitors knew what had happened.
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