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Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals
     

Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals

4.0 1
by Steve Young, Sport Murphy
 

From the 1950s to the 1980s, American corporations commissioned a vast array of lavish, Broadway-style musical shows that were only for the eyes and ears of employees. These improbable productions were meant to educate and motivate the sales force to sell cars, appliances, tractors, soda, and a thousand other products. Though most of these shows were lost to the

Overview


From the 1950s to the 1980s, American corporations commissioned a vast array of lavish, Broadway-style musical shows that were only for the eyes and ears of employees. These improbable productions were meant to educate and motivate the sales force to sell cars, appliances, tractors, soda, and a thousand other products. Though most of these shows were lost to the universe, some were recorded and distributed to convention attendees via souvenir vinyl records. The little-known world of industrial shows is reconstructed through the record collection of author Steve Young, who has spent twenty years finding the extremely rare souvenir albums as well as tracking down and interviewing the writers and performers. Through the records themselves as well as behind-the-scenes stories, a new perspective on American history, culture, and business emerges. Eye-popping visuals, samples of confounding and hilarious lyrics, and witty commentary by Young and co-author Sport Murphy (who also contributes original artwork) bring the topic to vivid, astonishing life. A companion website will offer streaming audio of the songs which seem too crazy to be real—but not only are they real, they're often a revelation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A wildly entertaining, gorgeous tribute to a world we never knew existed. Anyone interested in American history, music, or culture should buy this book by the fistful." —Dave Letterman

"The world of industrial musicals is magical, weird, and funny. Mssrs. Young and Murphy escort you into that world with panache and not nearly enough guilt. Like Steve, I amassed a collection of these records—souvenirs of the days when corporations were rich enough to care about the morale of their employees—and like him, I thought I was ‘the only one.’ Now these idiots have spent serious time and energy producing a freaking book on the subject. Humor them. Buy this book and let it change your life." —Harry Shearer

"As a veteran of many an industrial, I can attest that Everything’s Coming Up Profits is accurate as well as fascinating and hysterical. If I had friends, I’d tell them about it." —Martin Short

"All Singing! All Dancing! All Selling! This delightful history reveals the corny glories of corporate America’s fling with motivational musicals, and its vintage graphics are like a peek at an alternate world where the hit songs were about Ford tractors." —James Lileks, author The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"Young and Murphy map us to a nether-universe Brill Building located at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Tin Pan Alley. The songcraft is stupefyingly absurd, but thanks to this book a lot of product music has outlived the products." —Irwin Chusid, WFMU Radio, author Songs in the Key of Z

Library Journal
★ 11/15/2013
It is seemingly the most bizarre and gauche juxtaposition of crass commercialism and kitsch Broadway-infused production numbers—industrial musical on vinyl, a heretofore obscure pop culture novelty genre that was produced by and celebrated various corporations. As lead writer of "Dave's Record Collection" on Late Night with David Letterman circa 1993, Young supplied Letterman with LP grist for the show's comedy mill. When Young found the album General Electric Presents Go Fly a Kite, an obsession culminating in the preeminent collection of industrial musicals on vinyl, this book was born. And what a book! A visual cornucopia of stunning album covers, photos of the singers (often famous), sidebars, and lyrics, this is a splashy and lush feast for all pop culture wonks. Coauthor Murphy, former member of the indie band the Skels, chimes in with commentary. The text is arranged by decades (the 1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s and beyond), creating one big show-stopping production number that would do Bob Fosse proud. The lyrics alone are worth the price of admission, including double entendre ditties from Phillips Petroleum and an ode to bathrooms from American Standard's The Bathrooms Are Coming! show. VERDICT A double high five with jazz hands! Lerner and Loewe, Kander and Ebb, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and now Young and Murphy!—Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780922233441
Publisher:
Blast Books
Publication date:
10/15/2013
Pages:
252
Sales rank:
628,777
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Steve Young is a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. He has also written for The Simpsons. Sport Murphy is a writer, artist, and musician who has released albums on the Kill Rock Stars label.

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Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is ausome. I was a theatre geek in school and never new this world existed. When I heard about this book on NPR's Fresh Air and heard some of the music. I just had to get it. If you love broadway you'll live "Everything's coming up profits"