By Jason Toynbee
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Extra info for Making Popular Music: Musicians, Creativity and Institutions
Then, in considerably more salubrious circumstances, it gigged its way back (Schoenberg 1991). In this context the big bands' mediated performances were always an adjunct to their live work. Local radio play and early record sales played a large part in Goodman's initial success on the West Coast. But the relationship was precisely that way round: broadcasting and record sales boosted live performance (Collier 1989, Simon 1981: 58). For black bands like Jimmie Lunceford's, which were generally excluded from broadcasting, promotional channels remained limited.
Clearly the independent record companies which pioneer rock'n'roll are entrepreneurial too (1990/1975), but we have little idea of who the entrepreneurs are or how 12 Making Popular Music they operate. This matters because the social relations of entrepreneurship have important implications for the extent and quality of institutional autonomy, in other words how much room for manoeuvre musicians have and what form it takes. I want briefly now to fill in some of these gaps and characterize entrepreneurship in the same rock'n'roll moment privileged by Peterson and Berger.
One is that the vigorous and rapidly growing film industry assumed a key role in directing popular music through the vehicle of the screen musical. During the 1930s the film companies commissioned songs from song writers, set up their own music publishing divisions and contracted their own orchestras and arrangers. They also introduced the practice of 'song dubbing' whereby a leading actor would mime on camera to a prerecorded musical soundtrack on which the vocal had been laid down by a professional, but anonymous, singer (Siefert 1995).
Making Popular Music: Musicians, Creativity and Institutions by Jason Toynbee