1940s Country Goes National
Changes in the Recording Industry
-In the 1930s there were basically three types of radio stations: the large networks, the network afilliates,and the idependent stations. -Agroup called the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) was in control of the song copyrights. -At the end of the National Broadcasters Company's contract, ASCAP wanted it renewed at the price of 9 million dollars. -NAB ofcourse said no way and developed their own network called Broadcasters Music Inc. (BMI) -Slowly people were signing with BMI, most important was Ralph Peer's Southern Music Publishing. -When the disputes were finally settled in 1941, popular music had changed drastically. -On the tail of the broadcasting ban, the musicians' union, American Federation of Musicians (AFM) went on strike. -In anticipation of the strike the large companies had been stockpiling records. -The American people were hungry for new music, so they accepted the independent stations of the majors. -Over the span of the next few years the American public would embrace this music known as "Western."
Country Music in the World War II Years
-The American presence in World War II redefined many American's commitment to their country. -By 1939, the Grand Ole Opry had become the most popular and important music show on the radio. -The four-and-a-half hour program was condensed into three hours. -The people on the Opry were not paid very well if at all.
-One of the first great "stars" of the Grand Ole Opry was a young musician from East Tennesee named Roy Acuff. -Acuff actually wanted to be a professional baseball player, he actually went to a summer camp with the Yankees. -His first famous son was "The Great Specked Bird."
-Songs about trains became popularized in the music of Jimmie Rodgers. -Since the late 1930s, it had been popular for country and hillbilly music acts. -Acuff's popularity grew...