Live music used to rule the airways... the bandstand and concert halls were where you heard what was hot... and then you could watch the radio for you fave performers to perform live on the air... the recording biz was embryonic...
Before Payola the recording business relied upon Publicity Stunts in order to promote their signed artists recordings. Glenn Miller in 1941, in a stunt that caught fire, was given a gold record by his label.
After the war, recordings would slowly begin to take over from live shows on the radio (costs) and concerts would take a back seat to the "Hit Parade". Gold records would continue until the Age of Indie Music would start to diversify the market. Large label conglomerates would begin to lose their grip on the artists, and musicians would start doing it themselves.
When did the Indie Labels really start taking over... and why?
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