Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music

Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music

by Barry Mazor
Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music

Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music

by Barry Mazor


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2015 Belmont Book Award Winner

This is the first biography of Ralph Peer, the revolutionary A&R man and music publisher who pioneered the recording, marketing, and publishing of blues, jazz, country, gospel, and Latin music, and this book book tracks his role in such breakthrough events as the recording of Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues,” the first country recording sessions with Fiddlin’ John Carson, his discovery of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, the popularizing of Latin American music during World War II, and the postwar transformation of music on the airwaves that set the stage for the dominance of R&B, country, and rock ’n’ roll. Ralph Peer changed our very notions of what pop music can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613736531
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Barry Mazor is a longtime music, media, and business journalist. He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and to the online music magazine medium/cuepoint, and is the author of Connie Smith: Just for What I Am and Meeting Jimmie Rodgers. He is the former senior editor and columnist for No Depression magazine and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including American Songwriter, the Nashville Scene, the Village Voice, and the Washington Post. He was awarded the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism in 2008. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Something New-Built Along the Same Lines" 1

1 Starting Out: Independence, 1892-1919 11

2 Getting the Music: Okeh, Records, and Roots, 1919-1926 31

3 To Victor, On to Bristol, and the Making of Giants, 1926-1927 71

4 Reaching Out from the Roots: Southern Music, 1927-1933 121

5 Breaking Loose, Branching Out, Starting Over, 1933-1940 155

6 Crossing Borders: The War, Latin Music, and the Media, 1940-1945 191

7 Going Global: Expansion, 1946-1951 223

8 Locking a Legacy, 1952-1960 247

9 The Roots and Pop Aftermath 279

Appendix: Key Recordings and Published Songs of Ralph Peer, 1920-1960 285

Acknowledgments 291

Notes and Sources 295

Index 310

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