[Dixielandjazz] Summer music

drjz drjz@bealenet.com
Fri, 02 Aug 2002 15:42:04 -0400

It is 60 years since an event that occurred on the first of this month
changed the whole pattern of music in America. On that day of August 1,
1942, James Caesar Petrillo, the choleric President of the American
Federation of Musicians, withdrew union members from the recording
studios. The ready availabity, and universal distribution, of recorded
music had deprived musicians of just compensation for their efforts. The
record companies refused to honor Petrillo's request for royalty
payments, and no instrumental music was made until Decca yielded after
about a year. Victor and Columbia remained aloof. It was more than two
years since the ban was imposed before they capitulated. Non-union
singers took over, making records with choruses instead of
instrumentalists, and the novel harmonies of bebop remained dormant."V
Discs" were made for the armed forces but,for others, all that remained
were reissues, and what the companies had stockpiled before the strike.
A similar crusade in 1948 was of less import."The Musicians and
Petrillo", by Robert D. Leiter, contains a comprehensive account of this
musical feud. All the best.
Fred Spencer