New Title Announcement: RECORDING THE ’THIRTIES

The third installment in Mainspring’s Evolution of American Recording series has arrived. You can browse the index online in Acrobat.

Recording the ‘Thirties covers an often overlooked and misunderstood decade in American recording history — The recording industry didn’t go into a decade-long hibernation, as is so often written. There were some casualties at first, but new labels were launched even during the darkest days of 1930–31, and the mid-1930s saw a blossoming of new independent labels, large and small.

This was also the decade in which the record industry lost its innocence, with the introduction of adult “party record” labels and the use of records to spread political propaganda. There were questionable dealings between record companies and jukebox operators, revelations of dangerous working conditions in the pressing plants, and increasingly strident demands by union leaders that the record companies share their newfound wealth.

Like other volumes in the EAR Series, Recording the ’Thirties draws on primary-source material to offer a fresh perspective on the American recording industry’s history. Chapters include:

The State of the Industry (1930)
The Hit of the Week (1930–1932)
Longer-Playing Records (1931–1939)
Jukeboxes and the Record Revival (1930–1939)
Recording for the Radio (1930–1939)
Brunswick and Columbia Under New Ownership (1931–1934)
The Budget Labels (1930–1939)
Jack Kapp and Decca Records (1934–1939)
The Changing Face of Country Music (1930–1939)
Rebuilding the Race Record Market (1930–1939)
Records for the Mexican-American Market (1930–1939)
The Swing Craze (1934–1939)
The Independent Jazz Labels (1936–1939)
Mining the Vaults: The Reissue Labels (1931–1939)
Red Seal Supremacy (1930–1939)
The Independent Classical Labels (1934–1939)
Cut Rate Classics (1938–1939)
Rumblings from the Left (1935–1939)
For Adults Only: The Party Labels (1933–1939)
“Mr. Big”: Eli Oberstein and the Varsity Label (1939)
CBS and the Columbia Revival (1938–1939)
Subject Index
Title Index

The book is a 240-page 6×9″ quality paperback with 65 illustrations, and is available for $35 (US/Canada) or $45 (other countries) from Mainspring Press.