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Why 1955? Explaining the Advent of Rock Music Author(s): Richard A. Peterson Source: Popular Music, Vol. 9, No.

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Music(1990)Volume 9/1 Popular

theadvent Why1955?Explaining ofrockmusic


RICHARD A. PETERSON
At thetime,1929,1939,1945and 1968all seemedimportant in the turning points of our civilisation. track as will alive at 1955 the time contrast, attest, By anyone seemedlikean unexceptional in the United at States least. in the middle of year Right the 'middle-of-the-road' of the Eisenhower 1955 seemed years presidency, hardly liketheyearfor a majoraesthetic revolution. Yetitwas in thebrief span between and 1956 that 1954 therock' aesthetic the inAmerican aesthetic displaced jazz-based Frank music. Nat King Sinatra, Como, popular Tommy Dorsey,Patty Page, Perry Les Eddie Frankie Cole, TonyBennett, Starr, Paul, Fisher, Stafford, Lane, Jo Kay and Doris on the music charts to Elvis Johnnie Ray Day gaveway popular Presley, ChuckBerry, ThePlatters, BillHaley,Buddy Little CarlPerkins and Richard, Holly, thegrowing of rockers.2 legion backat the mid-1950s, it is arguablethatrock,its aesthetic and its Looking associated culture didmore toshapethepolitical and socialevents ofthetimes than Ifrock didnotemerge out of the of the vice-versa.3 mid-1950s, spontaneously Zeitgeist then whatdidgiverisetorock andwhydiditemerge so abruptly inthis brief period? orincombination, three influences havemost often beencited. Theseinclude Singly the arrivalof creative in particular, Elvis Presley;changesin the individuals, of the the numbers ofyoungpeopleborn audience, composition particularly large after the Second WorldWar- the baby-boomers; and the transformation of the commercial cultureindustry, that elaboratearrayof elementsincludingthe record radioand television phonograph industry, broadcasting. the ofculture' 1976,1979),we (Peterson Employing 'production perspective willshowtheessential contributions oftheculture to the ofrock industry emergence musicand itsassociated and culture. aesthetic Before this central task, beginning we willbriefly therolesofcreators and audiencesintheprocess. however, explore It is easy to characterise eras in termsof the leaders of the time. The era is an obvious case in point.It is no less tempting to identify an 'Napoleonic' aesthetic revolution withits mostcelebrated exponents Vivaldi,Shakespeare, Picasso.In thisvein,it is possibleto pointto specific individuals like Beethoven, ChuckBerry, Little Elvis and Lee Lewis and that rock Richard, Presley Jerry say in thelate 1950sbecause,likeothercreative circles ofartists emerged (Kadushin

at this specificmoment. In bringinginto 1976), they began theircreativeefforts question this 'supply side' explanation, I do not, for a moment belittle their Rather,I suggestthatin any era thereis a much largernumberof accomplishments. creativeindividuals than ever reach notoriety, and if some specificperiods of time

routinisinginhibitionsto innovation do not operate as systematically, allowing opportunitiesforinnovatorsto emerge.4 If,as we are suggesting,Presleyand the restdid not cause therockrevolution, 97

see theemergence ofmorenotables, itis becausetheseare timeswhentheusual

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that becameavailable tothem, andif oftheopportunities butsimply tookadvantage outnumbers thedemand,it is creative the supplyof potentially people regularly intothelimelight as thecreative to ask who thenwould have emerged tempting at an earlier time.Whatiftheyearhad leadersofthenew musicifithad emerged of accomplished than1954?A number blackrhythm and blues been 1948rather who come to mind,mostnotably T-BoneWalkerand Louis Jordan. performers have comefrom jazz or (Shaw 1987;Dance 1988;George1988).Wouldthewhites eachofthesetraditions, somewouldhavecomefrom from music? Probably country HankWilliams, butmore butwhowouldhavebeentheElvisPresley? likely Perhaps handsome mama's boy of 1948 would never have become a this strikingly have droppedout ofschoolto he would probably musician. Rather, professional inKorea, andsavedenough tobuya a truck, then served with theArmy drive money beerjoint.5 Whatofthe 'demand-side' of theemergence ofrockmusic?As explanation itsaystheremarkably cohort ofnewly-affluent instance, appliedtothis large young ofthe'baby-boom' couldnotrelate tothejazz-basedsensuous people,thevanguard slowdancemusic for theageoffirst created twenty-year-olds approaching marriage. a male who abstractly songs in this vein featured promises Characteristically, ifthefemale is willing to sharehersexualfavours. marriage The baby-boomers demandedmusicthatspoketo their own condition. The a mixoftheexcruciating with themes included love,fights appropriate joysoffirst and frustrations withhigh school and the older generation parents, generally. it can be arguedthatthe uniquelylargebaby-boom cohort has been Although for a number ofchanges intheUS, itdidnotcausetheemergence ofrock responsible inthemid-1950s. In fact, itcouldnothavedoneso. After theoldest ofthe all,in1954 wereonlynineyearsold and halfhad notevenbeen bornyet! baby-boomers theemergence ofrock was notcausedbythebaby-boom, we arenot Although that audiencepreferences had nothing to do with theriseofrock. Quiteto arguing the contrary, the newlyaffluent teensand pre-teens the heartof the comprised market intheriseofrock Thepoint music. is that this market demand had exploited beengrowing for overa decadeand remained unsatiated because gradually largely thedecision-makers intheculture didnotrecognise that itwasthere industry simply and Berger (Peterson 1975). Itis,indeed,ironic that thecommercial culture which is consecrated industry, tomaking themassofpeoplewiththekinds ofentertainment money byproviding thattheywant,was systematically blindto the unsatiated demandforcultural that to thecondition ofyoungpeople.In unravelling products spokemoredirectly thisirony, we will arguethatit was the structure of arrangements, and habits, of the commercial culture itself thatcaused theblindness. assumptions industry we willargue that itwas thesystematic inthese factors that created Likewise, change theopportunity for rockto emerge. Workin the production-of-culture has identified six kinds of perspective
factors that shape the sorts of symbols that can emerge. These include law, technology,industrystructure,organisation structure,occupational career and market.These have been called 'constraints'in earlierwork, but this word will be avoided herebecause itsuse has unintentionally led to theidea thatthe six forcesso named onlylimit or hold back creative buttheycan also stimulate forces, change. For extensive examples of how they work in the production of popular cultureand see Peterson (1982; 1985). literature,

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that In theexposition we willdiscusseachofthesixinturn, follows, beginning lawandtechnology, with thetwothat seemtohavean effect over thegreatest length define thecontext in whichtheothers oftime, We will and, in largepart, operate. thenconcludeby seeingtheeffect ofthe sixoperating in concert. together Law and regulation of radio station law, patentlaw and FederalGovernment Copyright regulation licensesimportantly influenced the adventofrockmusicthough in broadcasting unintended and unanticipated as well. To beginto understand ways completely becamea masssuccessin 1955 we havetogo right backtothebeginning of whyrock thetwentieth century. Copyright The US Copyright Law of 1909forthefirst timegave protection to theownersof had musicalcompositions. American sheetmusicprinter-publishers Heretofore, subsistedprimarily standardfavourite by reprinting songs and appropriating worksby Europeancomposers who received no royalties fortheir contemporary of new songs had lobbiedaggressively use. Writer-publishers forthe copyright thenewlaw wouldprovide becauseitclearly madea songintoa pieceof protection that be sold and developedby itsowner.Withcopyright property could bought, theaggressive New Yorksheet-music couldafford to protection, writer-publishers a deal of a newsongbecauseother couldnot money spend great promoting printers thevaluable thuscreated. Their fostered a quick succession pirate properties activity in musicand populardancing, ofinnovations mostnotably and jazz. ragtime theEuropean laws ofthetime(Ploman Unlike and Hamilton Frith 1980; 1981, should be 1988), the new Americanlaw also mandated that song-owners fortheuse of their musicin all publicplaces such as concert halls, compensated dance halls, and restaurants. in its coverage,the law Though wide-sweeping no mechanism for theseroyalties from thethousands ofplaces collecting provided where music was publiclyperformed. In 1914 a numberof the new music banded together and formed ASCAP, a privatemembership writer-publishers to theroyalties collect for As Ryan(1985) and Sanjek company, public performance. ASCAP was notvery in itsearly successful butbythe (1988)showin detail, years, iteffectively 1930s controlled accesstoexposing newmusictothepublic.Itdid this thatonly ASCAP licencedmusic could be played in by, in effect, mandating on theradio,and incorporated intomovies. As late musicals, Broadway performed an oligopoly ofjusteighteen as 1950 determined which publishers songscouldreach thepublicear (Ryan1985,p. 104).
These oligopolists shared an aestheticwhich accented well-crafted, abstract love themes, strongmelodies and muted jazz rhythms and harmonies. 'Tea For Two', 'Stardust'and 'Always' come to mind as exemplarsof thisaesthetic.But the point forour storyis not whetherthey were good or bad, but that they and the innumerableless memorablesongs like them were the only songs thatAmericans could hear through the dominant media of dissemination. The work of black musiciansin the blues, jazz, r&b, and what latercame to be called soul genreswas excluded, as were the songs in the developing Latin and country systematically

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as Ryan(1985)showswith numerous music Theeffect traditions, specific examples. could notreacha wide audience. was thattheseforms In 1939 the radio networks, in a disputewithASCAP over the increased formed a rival BMI. BMI feesASCAP wantedtocharge, licencing agency, licencing toASCAP publishers offered and songwriters inducements todefect. Few did,and so BMI signednumerous and writers thathad been excludedfrom publishers in ASCAP. Manyoftheseworked in thejazz, Latin, r&band country membership Whenin 1940ASCAP failed to cometo terms withthenetworks musictraditions. tobe paidfor allASCAP-licenced overtheuse-fees from music, songswereexcluded andBMIsongs, andthegenres for thefirst radioairplay, time they they represented, ASCAP cameto terms (Ryan1985).Evenafter gainedwidespread publicexposure withtheradionetworks, still thelatter welcomed BMI-licenced the songs.Now for timeitbecamepossibleto makea living first as a songwriter or publisher in these in fusing alternative that formed thefoundations oftherock aesthetic. But genera6 withthenetworks, rockdid notbreakout in 1942.ASCAP cameto terms and all intheolderswing a vestedinterest and crooner thosewith worked hard pop music in the marketplace to keep thataesthetic ascendant (Ryan1985;Sanjek 1988).A belowneededtochangebefore number ofother factors described rock couldbreak out. Patent law Theapplication ofpatent lawis another ofthose factors that influenced thetiming of rock's From the of the before the turn of the twentieth emergence. inception industry the majorphonograph record battled overalternative music century, companies and in of the lion's ofthe share recording reproducing technologies hopes garnering consumer market. 1930 the 10-inch 78 shellac disc had become the standard, By rpm butCBS and RCA laboratories withthesize ofthedisc,thedistance experimented betweengrooves, and the speed of therecord in hopes of greatly the increasing amountof musicthatcouldbe put on a record. Whilenumerous advanceswere thelong-playing record was notintroduced in the made, and patents registered, 1930sbecause,it is said, the record was so due to the Great industry depressed that consumers would not have the for the new and Depression paid price players records (Metz1975;Sanjek1988). theSecondWorldWar,Columbia records Following beganintensive experimentation todevelopa long-playing A record. high-fidelity newly-developed vinyl material was used forthediscsbecauseitheld themusical better thanthe fidelity older shellac.In 1948Columbiawas readyto releaseits 12-inch, 331/3 rpmLP. its invention to arch-rival Columbia offered to share all RCA, Demonstrating information so an industry standard couldbe established. to Metz (1975), According GeneralSarnoff, head ofRCA was appalledthatthemuchsmaller firm long-time

had bested his researchdepartment. He refusedthe offer and orderedhis engineers to quicklybringto market an alternative systemforthe high fidelity play ofclassical music. Theirresponse was the 7-inchvinylrecordwiththe large hole in the middle that played at 45 rpm. The 'battleoftherecordspeeds' went on forseveralyears,by whichtimethere were millions of record players on the marketthat were capable of playing both resolvedwhen, through speeds, and 78s as well. The battleofthe speeds was finally mediation,the rivalsagreed to pool theirpatentsand produce records government

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inboth newformats. theLP hadbecome themedium classical for music and By1952, for the45 theformat records for radio and retail popularsingle airplay, jukeboxes sales (Sanjek1988), The45 was important totheadvent ofrock becauseitwas (virtually) primarily unbreakable. One ofthegreat carethat had tobe expensesof78swas theextreme takenin handling and shipping them,and each of the majorrecord companies developeda nationaldistribution systemthatwas geared to handlingits own delicate 78s. The smallrecord couldnotafford thecostsofthenational companies distribution of78s,and there itwas distribution beingno independent companies, for a smallcompany in 1948to have a national hitrecord. The virtually impossible indestructible 45smadeitmuchcheaper toshiprecords in smaller, lighter, virtually of independentnationaldistribution bulk, makingfeasiblethe development As importantly for thepromotion ofnewsongs,italso madeitpractical companies. forsmallrecord to to send promotional companies use themailservice copiesto radiostations. FCC regulation A numberof local, stateand federal government regulatory agenciesarguably influenced theadvent ofrock, buttheFederal Communications Commission (FCC) the numberand played a vital role. Among otherthings,the FCC regulates ofbroadcasting allocation stations theUS. During the1930s, whenthe throughout inradioswas growing interest and virtually American homehad a set, rapidly every theFCC restricted thenumber ofstations licenced to each market to three to five. This meantthateach of the established NBC (withits Red and Blue networks, CBS and Mutualhad an outlet, and there be one independent Networks), might station. A largenumber ofapplications for new stations weresubmitted, butthese were denied or deferred 'in the publicinterest' because the networks lobbied to maintain thissmallnumber of stations. Whenthe Warcame,all successfully weredeferred. Itwas reasoned that scarce electronic material couldnotbe requests thewar effort to buildtransmitters. sparedfrom Allthis in 1947 whentheFCC begantoapprove most ofthebacklog of changed of just fouryears,the number of radio stations and, in a matter applications, authorised tomostmarkets doubledin number and Haight 1978).Mostof (Sterling thenew licences wentto poorly stations. What did these capitalised independent stations use as programming? Mostreliedheavily on phonograph records. What kindsof records did theyplay?Ah, thatgetsus ahead of our story. Whatis the answer totheprior withdraw their tothe question, whydidthenetworks opposition ofnewbroadcast licenses? To answer thisquestion, itis useful tointroduce granting the secondmajorclass ofcontraints, technology.
Technology The development of the vinyl 45 rpm record, just discussed, was a major to the advent of rockmusic. Here we will note technologicalinnovationimportant the importanceof the advent of televisionand the development of the transistor radio receiver.

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Television
Television,more than any othertechnologicaldevelopment,shaped the advent of indirect.Televisionbegan to be rockmusic even thoughits influencewas primarily of all American households had a TV 1955 cent in 1949. 65 By per popular in the US that had been the staple and the network and set (Sterling programmes Haight 1978) to television. were transferred of network radio programming Many experts, reasoningthatno one would listento a box when theycould listento a box thatalso showed movingpictures,thoughtthatTV would completely replace radio. For this to the reason, the networksremoved theirobjection licencingof many additional affiliates were put on the market radio stations.For the same reason, radio network theirpricewas further in greatnumbers.A gluton themarket, depressed by thefact thata spate of newly licenced AM radio stationswere going on the air just at that on theadvent ofrockmusicin the did have some directeffect TV programming time.7 1954-56 period. This will be discussed in the section on Marketbelow.

Thetransistor
Until the mid-1950s, radio receivers used a set of large, power-consuming, vacuum tubes. Their use dictatedthatsets would be large, heavy heat-generating, WhilemostAmericanhomes had a radio,fewhad and expensivepieces offurniture. more than two. Auto radios were the exception, and portable radios were not common.These so-called'portables'were relatively and, because ofthe large,fragile large batteriesrequired, quite heavy. American radio manufacturersintended to introduce transistors,a Bell TV and phonoLaboratoriesinvention,as a prestigeitem in theirtop-of-the-line and radios only into them and consoles TVs, phonographs cheaper put graph to the this The in by strategy shipping Japanese upset gradually succeeding years. that radios transistor US hundreds of thousands of cheap, lightweight, compact to take Americans learned batteries. on small young Quickly flashlight operated these extremelyinexpensive sets to school, to the beach, to parties, to work everywheretheywent (Eisenberg 1986).

structure Industry
one must consider both words: industryand To understand industrystructure, structure.Defining the boundaries of the industryunder consideration sounds raises issues ofinclusionand exclusionthathelp reveal simplebut theprocesss often in the 1950s,but for the structure. Our concernhere is the popular music industry is not included. Live of instruments musical the manufacture present purposes vital to building halls and arenas while in dance concert halls, bars, performance new records,is also peripheralto our concern.The empirical careersand promoting focus here is the popular music conveyed via the electronic media and via phonograph records. This brings into focus two sets of corporations that are of phonoas quite distinct identified industries,the manufacturers conventionally on the other. The stations radio hand and commercial on the one records graph relationshipbetween phonograph recordmakers and commergrowingsymbiotic in the advent of rockmusic in the cial radio stationowners was centrally important mid-1950s.

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structure can varyin several important Industry ways: the degree ofoligopoly, verticalintegration and horizontalintegration. these threetend to go Empirically, but theycan varyindependently.Industry is oligopolistic when a structure together few firmseffectively controlthe style, amount and price of products produced. Perfectcompetitionis when the actions of no firmssignificantly influenceany of these factors.While an industrymay vary fromperfectcompetitionto perfect is possible as well. This is an industry oligopoly(thatis monopoly),anotherstructure fieldin whichthereare a fewfirms thatinteract likean oligoply,butin whichthereis also a large numberof small firms thatsurviveand prosperby servingsmall special segments of the total potentialmarketnot served by the oligopolists.Such a dual industrystructurebecame well established in the music industryin the years between 1948 and 1958 (Gillett1983). Second, industrystructure involves vertical the to all which from integration, degree production processes securing raw materialsto retailsales are performed firms. structure has Third, by single industry to do with the degree to which firms in an industry for that produce productsonly are conglomerateslinked financially and functionally to industry,or alternatively otherindustries,thatis, the degree ofhorizontalintegration Peterson 1972; (Hirsch 1985).

Radiobroadcasting, 1948
In thediscussion thatfollows,and formuch oftherestofthearticle, we will contrast the stateofaffairs in 1948,thatis the timeclearlybeforethe advent ofrock,withthe state of affairs in 1958 afterrock music had become well established. In 1948 the American radio industryconsisted of four national networksand theiraffiliated stationsin each of the radio marketsaround the country.In addition, therewas a number of newly licensed independent commercialstations. The networkscompeted with each other using what I call a 'slice strategy' which is characteristic in such conditions of oligopolisticcompetition. In such each network triedto increase the size of its slice of the totalAmerican conditions, radio audience. Programmeswhich drew large audiences to one of the networks stimulatedthe othernetworksto createsimilarprogrammes to captureback the lost 'marketshare'. In just a few seasons thisstrategy made fora dailyand weeklycycle of programmesthat was virtuallythe same fromnetworkto network.Thus, the weeklyradio schedule ofprogrammeson the air in 1948 looked not unlikethe cycle of televisionbroadcastinga decade or two later. There was, however, more popular music played on radio in 1948 than on network television in 1958. On weekend evenings, each of the radio networks featuredthe major dance bands of the era broadcastlivefrom one ofthe manylarge dance halls or elegant hotels around the country.The popular hitsof the day were also played on the air by studio orchestrasas part of the mix of the comedy and varietyshows hosted by the likes of Bop Hope and Jack Benny. There was a programmecalled 'Your Hit Parade', thatfeaturedthe top ten sellingrecordsofthe week. Buttherecords were notplayed! Rather,thestudioband and itsmale or female each of the songs in turn.Since the hit songs of singer,as appropriate,performed 1948were written, arrangedand recordedby professionalsto fit widelyunderstood swing era conventions,it was easy forthe studio band to faithfully reproduce the sound of the record. The earlymorningnetwork'wake-up' shows also had studio bands as did the homemakershows that played around lunch time.

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thereneverwas a national As faras I have been able to ascertain, network in the 1940sthatplayedphonograph records on theair.Therewere, programme musicprogrammes broadcast affiliates several that did however, locally bynetwork use phonograph records. Their form tells a great deal abouttheradio-programming aesthetic ofthetime.The mostfamous and mostoften Block's copiedwas Martin thatwas first 'Make BelieveBallroom' broadcast overNew York'sWNEW on 3 hisintroductions, ofsongs 1935(Sanjek1988, sequencing February p. 128).Through and even pseudo-interviews withband leaders,Blockgave theprogramnme the a hotelballroom. semblance ofbeingbroadcast livefrom Thenumerous radiostations that werebeinglicensed atthetime independent varied intheir Wewillfocus hereonly on their music content. widely programming. The better financed stations airedtranscriptions whichconsisted of studioband concerts recorded on 16-inch metal-backed disksrecorded and playedbackat 331/3 live musicperformance. musicbands rpm.Again,theysimulated Manycountry in all partsofthecountry radiostations and (Peterson playedliveon independent thiskindof received Gowan 1973,pp. 1-27). No blues or r&b bands, however, via live performance on the air. Therewere in 1948,however, several exposure innovative radioprogrammes thatplayedrecords forblackbuyers.At intended severalradio stationsin the South and Mid-West, small independent record and used ittoplayand ofairtime companies bought simply thirty-minute segments their ownrecords. Innovative record stores also bought airtime toplayand promote suchrecords on sale in their stores.8 promote Therecord 1948 industry, In 1948(and theyearfollowing) therecord was as concentrated as ithad industry everbeen and moreconcentrated thanithas been at anytimesince.Fourfirms Decca (MCA) - had released81 per RCA, Columbia(CBS), Capitoland American centofall therecords that reachedtheweekly hitlistanytimeduring the top-ten firms released 95 percentofall thehitsand onlythree year.The topeight together other firms had anyhitsat all! These figures, and thediscussion that are follows, drawn from and Berger Peterson which a detailed in of how, (1975) presents analysis the late 1940sand early1950sso fewfirms were able to control the market for recordedmusic so effectively, even thoughthe basic product,a phonograph was cheap to record and manufacture. record, Suffice it to say herethattheleadingfirms maintained their predominance bothvertical in therecord and horizontal through combining integration industry withthefilm, musical and film industries. The major radio,Broadway integration record wereabletomaintain a dominant three companies position bycontrolling key inthehit-making theservices ofcreative First, points process. they garnered people and performers underlong-term contracts a good including songwriters investing

deal of money promotingtheirname recognition.Second, theymonopolised the channelsofrecorddistribution. As we have alreadynoted,thiswas facilitated by the of the 78 rpm shellac records of the time. Third, the major record breakability radiowho decided what companiesmaintainedclose tieswiththepeople in network songs would be heard over the air. They were equally successfulin controlling the songs that reached the public ear via Broadway musicals and movies.

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Radio 1958 broadcasting, theadvent ofTVas thepessimists Radiodidnotdiewith had predicted. Intheyears was totally between1948 and 1958,however,the radio broadcasting industry In 1948theradioindustry transformed. had beena national medium a broadcasting small distributed number ofexpensively overfour nationally produced programmes thatvied witheach otherfora largerslice of the totalnational networks radio audience. there werea large number oflocally radiostations in By1958 programmed each city acrosstheUS. Thus,in effect, whathad been one single national market with four becameupwards ofonehundred autonomous local networks, contending markets eachwith toa dozenormore radiostations with eachother eight competing and Haight1978,p. 45). (Sterling Financedby national the old radionetworks had been able to advertisers, afford forms ofprogramming: dramatic showsand expensive programmes, comedy livemusic.Dependingprimarily on local advertisers in each city, radio however, stations couldnotafford suchexpensive and Haight 1978, programming (Sterling p. an inexpensive for form ofentertainment, and this 124).In thesearch yetappealing is crucial for inincreasing ourstory, stations numbers between 1950 and 1956 turned to playing records on theair. phonograph betweentheradioand Thus, in the span ofjust six years,therelationship record was transformed. industries The twoindustries had been,or at leastwere tobe,indirect Eversincethe1920s whenthetwotechnologies thought competition. itwas reasoned ifpeopleheardrecords that would emerged, playedon theair,they notpurchase them for themselves. As he reached theheight ofhis popularity, for Decca tostamp on eachofhisrecords, 'Notlicenced example, BingCrosby required forradioairplay'. Fortheir had disdainedplaying 'canned part,radioexecutives music'.Now, the two were inexorably bound together. Radio dependedon the musicindustry forprogramming and record-makers, thatradio material, finding increased thandepressed rather thedemandfor a record, cameto airplay quickly and promote advertise their new releases. dependon radioto,in effect, As thenumerous local stations witheach other for listeners, competed they themselves different kindsofrecords. Thus,the beganto differentiate by playing aesthetic ofrecords range playedon theairincreased dramatically bythemid-1950s. We willexamine thisprocessin greater detailbelow. Therecord 1958 industry, The greatly increased on the air profoundly play of records changedthe record in the 1950s. Statistics show the Record saleswhich had industry picture very clearly. beenin decline in 1948and 1949increased from 1950 1954. Then gradually through so thatthetotalvalue of every yearfortherestofthedecade sales grewrapidly

records sold in 1959 was well over double what it had been in 1954.9 The major recordcompanies, committedto the swing and crooneraesthetic, were slow to adapt to thechanges thatwere takingplace in radio and a largenumber of recentlyfounded small record companies like Sun Records, AtlanticRecords, Stax,King,Chess, Vee Jay, Dot, Coral, and Imperialprovidedthesortsofmusicthat proved more popular. Thus theywere able to successfully compete in the national show thisin stark popular music market(Gillett1983). Again, the statistical figures detail.

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Thefour firms that had 81 percentofthepopular musichitsin 1948gradually lostmarket itreached 74 percentin 1955.Thenthings shareuntil changed rapidly. sharewas downto 66 percentin 1956and sankrapidly Their market overthenext In 1948justfifty-seven fewyears just34 percentby1959! reaching songswerehits, wereproduced these andfive In 1949, firms hadjustonehit. ofthese byelevenfirms, there wereninety-two wereproduced hitsthat record and byforty-two companies, ofthese, ofthesefirms hadjustonehit.In a word, an industry that had twenty-nine beendominated offour inwhich firms becamean industry a byan oligopoly rapidly ofsmall firms wereabletocompete number oneventerms with themajors. The large reasonwas that, toattract crucial oflisteners, numbers radiostations larger sought out attention-catching records oftheir source. irrespective The two otherfactors thathad helped ensurethe hegemony of the major as well.Themajors nolonger hada corner on thecreative talent. changed companies itwas thesmall On thecontrary, that and therock developed companies performers whilethemajors resisted writers thechanging aesthetic or,as in thecase ofElvis of rock performers boughtthe contracts Presley, only aftertheyhad proven successful on oneofthenewsmall record labels(Gillett themajors 1983).Inaddition, nolonger thenational ofrecords. controlled distribution While a few ofthenew only own systems of distribution, had their severalnational companies independent distribution to distribute who were willing for records companieswere formed to pay thefee. anyonewilling

structure Organisation
structure has threedimensions. is thenumber The first of decision Organisation levelsthere levelsintheorganisation. Themore is thebureaucracy, are,thegreater and thelowertheability to adaptto changescoming from theenvironment. Large tendto have morelevelsbut not necessarily and Berger (Peterson organisations oforganisation is functional The seconddimension structure differentiation, 1971), the degreeto whichtasksare performed A record by specialiseddepartments. have separate forexample, forsongwriters, might departments company, perforstudio technicians and promotion. RCA and Columbiawere mers,producers, thisway in 1948.Alternatively, a firm have severalindependent organised might each withitsown groupsofsuchspecialists divisions on related working together musicalprojectsthatare released under a distinctive divisionallabel. Warner Brothers Recordsin the 1970s and 1980s exemplified this pattern. The third dimensionof organisation structure mirrors verticalintegration for industry At the firm structure. level, the questionis to what degree all stages in the and distribution 'in-house'by promotion process are performed production, divisions ofthecompany areperformed that or,alternatively, bya seriesoffirms in justone aspector stageoftheprocess.Suchspecialty firms are called specialise

witha numberof different clientson a job-to-job 'job-shops' because theycontract basis. In the 1950s another form of organisation emerged which I call 'solo production'. Here all the creative stages are performedin-house but they are performed by or under thedirectsupervisionofa singleindividual.A numberofthe mostinnovativeproducersoftheearlyrockera workedin thisway, but perhaps the best contemporaryexemplar of solo production is Prince and his Paisley Park production company. In 1948 all of the major record companies had theirown studiosand contractually artists to recordin-house.By 1980 recording requiredtheir

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the majorshad sold almostall oftheirown studios allowing theirartists to recordin independent job-shop studios or as solo producers.

Radio stations
In 1948therewere two quite different sortsofnetwork-affiliated stations.Therewere thethreeor fourstationsofeach networkwhere the dramatic, and comedy,variety, all the networkprogramming was soap opera programmeswere created. Virtually createdat these productionstationslocated in New York,Chicago, Los Angeles and had itsown staff Nashville. Each majorprogramme ofactors,singers,script writers, and other creative personnel. A staffband would play on several joke-writers, different programmes. Technicians were organised by function and jealously fromeach other.For example, by labour union contract it protectedtheirjob rights was illegal foranyone but a union engineer to touch the studio controlboard or phonograph recordturntables.Finance, sales and promotion,as well as transmission engineering,were separate departments. The total staffat each of these productionstationsnumberedwell over a hundred and in New Yorkapproached a thousand. The rest of the network-affiliated stations in 1948 were organised quite as the local transmitters of network-fed differently. They acted primarily programbut ming. Therewas some local news, agricultural reportsand sportsbroadcasting, to keep theirnetworkstatus,stationshad to air virtually all the programming that was supplied. The staff consisted of several engineers, several announcers and a small advertisingstaff thatworked to get local advertisersforthe locallygenerated programmesand for the local advertisingspots built into some of the network therewas little programming. Dependent as theywere on networkprogramming, stations. scope forcreativity by the local affiliate In 1958 radio stationstructure was totallydifferent. The networkproduction stationssimplydid not exist.Most oftheircreativeand technicalpersonnelhad not been fired;rather,they were transferred to the network's televisionaffiliate and continuedto do their work,muchas before.By 1948,radio stationshad fewlevels of and many fewer specialised departmentsand jobs. Typically,the staff authority consistedof several engineerswho kept the equipmentrunning,a small marketing staff thatworked to get local merchants to buy advertisements, and a group of djs. The djs (exceptat thebiggestand mosttraditional stations)cued and played records themselveswhile keeping up a banterthatincluded commentsabout community and school events,forthcoming rockconcerts, and brief advertisements segmentsof news and weather. Network affiliates and independent stationswere much alike the nationalnews was fed from New Yorkas were several exceptthatat the former programmes includingmajorsportsevents,and the New YorkMetropolitan Opera Programmeson Saturday afternoons(Routtet al. 1978). record Phonograph firms The oligopolisticrecord companies of 1948 were bureaucratically organised with both a large number of levels in the hierarchy of authorityand numerous and vertically differentiated functionally integrateddepartments.This is a formof organisation well suited to efficiently producing a large number of standard into the popular music market, the products.Given theircollectivecontrolof entry

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wereabletooperate thekindofmusic firms record that bycrafting profitably major a bureaucratic such machine. couldbe produced by on a mix of job-shopand By 1958 a large of small companiesoperating had entered the market. byusingevery Theysurvived solo-production successfully and to their records on means,legal getcopiesof played theairand then illegal, get to record stores and in sufficient numbers. Mostof therecords distributed quickly and moved morethantwoorthree that survived theindependents up in the years a sound thatcouldbe identified withthe firms did so by crafting ranksofrecord Stax and A&M are of that Motown, grewin good examples companies company. distinctive a time the for a sound. market share major bycreating companies rivalling lostthree-quarters ofthemarket The established share,as majorcompanies Rather notedabove,butdid notdisappear. adaptedtothenewconditions. By they the1970sthemajorshad regained muchoftheir market share,by,in effect, prior and distribution a seriesofdivisions for that were becoming financing companies allowedto operate smallfirms and Berger as independent 1971;Denisoff (Peterson thismajorstructural had notyetbegun. 1973).By 1958,however, reorganisation in the press,and in the rockand its creators Instead,the majorswere attacking that itwas an artificially inducedfadthat wouldsoon fadeawayif courts, believing couldjustgaincontrol, oncemore, ofthemusicplayedon theradio(Chapple they and Garofalo 1977).

careers Occupational
The occupational ofeachindividual is unique.Nonetheless, career-history general canbe discerned. itis adequatetobriefly Forourpresent describe patterns purposes, four career and bureaucratic craftsman, showman, general patterns: entrepreneur Therelative balanceofthesefour in the functionary. patterns changed dramatically theearly mid-1950s ofrock. Before to profoundly influencing development getting thisstory, each ofthefour career needs to be defined however, patterns briefly. The craftsman takesgreat the(sometimes secret) pridein having knowledge, andhaving tosolvetechnical Thecraftsman tools, justtheright problems. saystothe contractor ofhis/her services: butdon't 'you tellme whatyouwantaccomplished, tellme how to do it.I willdo thejob for and youcompetently, efficiently, without attention tomyself'. Thecraftsman is much more concerned aboutbuilding drawing a reputation for doing jobs in the way that will bring recognition among thanwith fellow-craftsmen theaesthetic orfinancial successofthefinal on product which he/she has worked and White are 1979, (Peterson pp. 411-39).Butcraftsmen not all just hacks.As Bennett (1980)has noted,manypractice long and hardto new ways of performing theircraft tasks and, in the process,make perfect incremental changesin theaesthetic.
Showmen contrast with craftsmen. dramatically Ignoringthe disdain of other theshowman is a salesman oftheselfwho willdo anything professional performers, thatis necessaryto please a paying audience. This sortof 'showiness' may involve manipulating sexuality, appealing to the baser sentiments,mocking aesthetic standards,wearingoutlandishclothes,etc. The successfulshowman is performance on theaudience ofeverymove, everyword, everygesture always aware oftheeffect and continuously audience and build to thebest changes the act to fitthe particular possible finalroar of approval. Many of those showmen who do not learn how to

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their their from life livespectacular and tumultuous, separate stagepersona off-stage short lives. in the culture are personswho, sensingan un-met Entrepreneurs industry audiencedemand,bring and distributing creative, together financing, marketing in unique ways. HenryFord, who developed the first factors mass-produced in the1920s, automobile is a good example ofan entrepreneur becausehe did not invent or marketing anyofthenumerous engineering, manufacturing, financing, that went into his famous Model T. He techniques producing exemplified in his ability to combine all theseelements in a uniqueway that entrepreneurship satisfied a market demandthat others at thetime werenotable to see. Whileithas been conventional of entrepreneurs as self-employed to think businesspeople, be in also found (Peterson entrepreneurs may 1981).The successof organisations is measured how successful entrepreneurs by financially theyare. Functionaries fill theranks ofbureaucratically structured organisations. They ofentrepreneurs becausethey arethesource of are,inimportant ways,theopposite in the cultureindustry while entrepreneurs are a primesource of continuity innovation. Although theyare virtually ignoredin most studiesof the culture functionaries make ofthedecisions that industry, many shapethecultural products thatare produced.A functionary is paid a specified with salaryand is rewarded forfollowing the rules of the employing and faithfully promotion organisation the tasksset by his/her This system of rewards, as Max performing supervisor. Weber leads functionaries toplayitsafeand avoidtaking risks. longago observed, and functionary have been described in Craftsman, showman, entrepreneur theoccupational careers ofmostpeople in themusic but,in practice, pureform, combine severalof thesepatterns.'0 industry Theymaybe moreof one in some situation and moreofanother in other situations. In addition, they maymovefrom moreofone to moreofanother in thecourseoftheir careers. Inmoving from a focus onthestructure ofthemusic tothestructure of industry and now to the organisation of occupational careers in themusic organisations, we aremoving from themacro leveltoan evermore micro focus within a industry, sectorof the commercial culture sincewe have already industry. Consequently, described thesalient inindustry and organisation thereader will structure, changes be abletopredict ofthedifferences between 1948 and 1958 career many occupational and thissection can be relatively brief. patterns, Careers in radio In 1948 the jobs in radio were a mix of craft and bureaucratic In functionary. combination thesetwooperated tocreate radioprogramming that was standardised and of highquality within a narrow aesthetic range.Careersin radiowerequite different in 1958. Most craft standards had been repudiated, and withsmaller

organisationshaving fewerorganisationallevels, therewere many fewerpositions for pure functionaries.In their place there were many more opportunitiesfor and showmanship. entrepreneurship Most conspicuous in this change was the transformation of the functionary position of radio announcer into the showman-entrepreneurdj. The radio announcerof 1948 took greatpride in being able to read news, advertisements and announcementsflawlessly in an even, accent-free 'radio voice'. Typically beginning workat a small marketstation,the successfulannouncer's careerinvolvedworking

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hard to get a job announcing at a major stationand then on the networkitself.In thedj of 1958stroveto develop a distinctive voice and persona. In the sharp contrast, this was called radio'. 'personality industry The personalityradio dj talked about local news and events of interestto teenagersin an excitedyet conversationaltone. He (never 'she' in the 1950s) took telephoned requests to play particularrecords and announced song dedications from one listener to another.Playinglove-songs,he was sympathetic to thetravails of young love and talked knowinglyof how it feltto find one's true love and to ScottShannon, forexample,had a regularsegmenthe called experienceheart-break. In Time'. about the records,the personality 'Crying introducing dj talkedexcitedly life and noted concerts in thearea. 'Wolfman Jack' performer's personal forthcoming with his distinctive growlingvoice and series of recordedwolfcalls was one of the bestearlyexponentsofpersonality radio. The reputation ofthebest-paidpersonality in their from to hit records of new artistsand play djs came, part, ability 'discover' them on the air beforetheirrivals. Their reputationswere diminished,of course, whenever their'discoveries' did not findfavourwiththe public. The personality dj was promotedand invitedto take a betterpayingjob in a largerradio marketifhe regularlygarnereda largershare of listenersthan djs on rival stations. To enhance his popularity,the personalitydj would become involved in the local community. He rancontestsand made numerouspersonalappearances at high school and local community functions. He also acted as the masterofceremoniesat rockconcerts.These concerts were mentionedoften on theair,and therecordsofthe artistsscheduled to appear were also played frequently in the weeks beforethe concert.In some instances djs had more than an aestheticinterestin the artists whose records they played. To get airplay,performers sometimeswere asked to make thedj their or him credit on theirpotential hitsongs. manager, give co-writing Alan Freed, one of the most entrepreneural and flamboyant of rock dj-promoters from1952 through1958,was eventuallyconvictedofillegally using his positionas a withwhom he was dj on a leading New Yorkstationto promotethecareersofartists connected.Forexample,althoughhe had had no partin writing thesong, financially for a time he received royalties for co-writing'Maybellene' with Chuck Berry (Chapple and Garofalo 1977). Though such practiceshave been condemned, they did mean thathundredsofartists on dozens ofsmallrecordlabels who in recording 1948would have had no chance ofradio airplaywere able to gettheir creative efforts before a large national audience in the mid-1950s throughthe efforts of a few entrepreneural djs.

Careers in the record business


In 1948,therecordbusiness had a mixofcraftsmen and functionaries. We will focus on an example of each and trace theirchanges to showman and entrepreneurial forms by themid-1950s, showing how these changes were vitalto theadventofrock music. In 1948 songwriter was one specialised job in the 'tune factory' thatregularly turned out new records at the major record companies. Most successful writers workedforone ofthemajorpublishinghouses centredin New Yorkand some were employed by the publishing divisions of the major record firms.They had a craftsman's orientation to theirwork. Ratherthanwriting from personal experience or from inspiration, theywrotewell-crafted songs much like those thatwere hitsat

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the timeor were tailoredto satisfy the demands of the person commissioning the As one of the most famous writers of the timeis reportedto have said when song. asked when he generallygot the inspirationfora song, 'When I get the check for the song'. Such writers have what has been called a 'productimage', thatis writing an idea ofjust the sortof song thatwill be accepted by the nextpersons in the long decision-chainthateventuallylinkssong writer withmusic fanvia the apparatus of the cultureindustry(Ryan and Peterson 1982). The showmen songwriters like Bob Dylan who crafted out of songs primarily their own experiencedid notbecome important in popular musicuntilthe 1960s,but in the mid-1950sa numberof singer-songwriters like Chuck Berrydid come to the fore. They had what Gans (1957) calls an 'audience image' and created songs that fortheiraudience. While most songs created in this they could sing convincingly did not win the ones thatdid became wildlysuccessfulbecause they way acceptance, to fans in that the conventional'tune factory' spoke directly ways song could not duplicate. In 1948one ofthekinds offunctionaries in each ofthe majorrecordcompanies was designed the 'A&R' man. These letters stand for'Artist and Repertoire'.It was the job of this functionary to select the appropriatesinger or band to perform the promising new songs being written by the company's songwriters. By the the designationA&R man was being replaced by 'producer'. As usually mid-1950s, when an occupation changes its name, this change of name to producer happens a signalled profoundchange in the nature of the job. the function of the new-styleproducerwas to seek out singersand Typically, that showed groups promise,to sift among theirsongs or to findappropriatesongs for their emerging image, to facilitatethe recording process by selecting the appropriateset ofstudiomusiciansto complementtheheadliner'ssound, and to see that the record, once marketed,got the appropriate promotion. Such producerfirst entrepreneurs appeared in the new independentrecordcompanies, but by the end of the 1950s they had displaced the older A&R man in the popular music divisions of the major record companies as well. For a detailed analysis of these changes and theimpacton themusicproduced, see Petersonand Berger (1971). Fora comparison with the role of the producer in France, see Hennion (1981, 1983). The shift fromcraftsmen and functionaries to a greaterrelianceon showmen and entrepreneurs mirrors thechanges takingplace in thestructure offirms and the natureofthe recordindustry as a whole. The structure ofthe industry, offirms and of careers that had for several decades managed the slow evolution of fads and styles,suddenly gave way to a systemof productiongeared to the revolutionary transformation of the music industrydescribed above.

Market
Since, in a market economylikethatoftheUS, theaudience finances popular culture its selectionsamong what is on offer, theaudience is everybitas important through in shaping popular cultureas is law, technologyand the other'constraints' already discussed. In focusing on consumers, however, I will not use the designation, 'audience'. Rather,theterm'market'willbe used fora veryimportant reason. What is mostimportant in shaping the decisions ofthose in thecultureindustry is not the preferencesof the population of actual or potential consumers, but rathertheir preferencesas theseare understood by decision-makersin the culture industry.

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Accordingly, we use the word 'market' to designate the audience as it is conceptualised by the culture industry. As we will see, there was a dramatic in the conception of the marketwith the advent of rock. transformation

Thehomogeneous market of1948


As noted above, in 1948 fourradio networkscompeted with each other. In effect, they saw the radio audience as one vast homogenous market. Collectivelythey worked together to maintainthe laws and government regulationsthatkeptothers fromentering the competition forthe market.They did thisby lobbyingagainstthe witheach licensingof moreradio stations.At the same time,theycompetedfiercely otherto increasetheirown 'slice' ofthe homogeneous market'pie'. While theysaid thattheysought programming thatwas attractive to more people, in practicewhat was to to on did successful formulaeand to createnew they try improve previously that would offend as few as This radio oligopolist'sstrategy programmes possible. conforms to the propositionproposed by Petersonand Berger(1975) thatthe fewer the number of competitorsin a market, the more homogeneous will be their productsand the lower will be the rate of innovation. The situationwas quite similarin therecordbusiness. As notedbefore,in 1948 the fourlargestfirms accounted for81 per centofall thehitrecords.As in the case of the radioindustry thebig fourrecordcompaniescompetedwitheach programming, other to increase theirown slice of what was seen as an homogeneous national market forpopular records.Again theoligopolists'marketing put an accent strategy on 'sameness'. The practiceof producing 'cover records' provides an excellentcase in point. When one of the companies had a significant hit on a song, the otheroligopolists would immediately it a out 'cover' by putting recordingof the same song by one of theirown singersor orchestras.The practiceof coveringhits also helped to keep independentcompanies fromsuccessfully competingin the market.When in 1947 Bullet records of Nashville released 'Near You' by the Francis Craig Orchestrait gained considerablerecord sales in the region because the Craig Orchestrawas a regular performeron WSM, a powerful radio station broadcasting live from Nashville. Within weeks ofthesuccess oftheBulletrecording, each ofthefourmajor recordcompanies released theirown version,and all of these reached hit statusin the weeks that followed, completely eclipsing the original version by the independent record company (Whitburn1973).

Theheterogeneous market of1958


As noted above, when radio networkprogrammes were transferred to televisionin thelate 1940s,an increasingamountofradio airtime was filled withrecordedmusic. Initiallyradio programmers played a wide range of records in the beliefthat the audience would become bored and turnto anotherstationiftheydid not presenta wide range of sounds. Then in 1954, the music directorat an independent radio stationin Omaha, Nebraska made a significant observation.Eatinglunch at a diner with one of his djs, he and his colleague became extremely annoyed with their waitresswho keptputting moneyintothejukebox to play the same two songs over and over again. But then he reasoned thatshe was voluntarily spending her own narrow range of music so this must be what she, and money forthis extremely

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perhaps thousands like her,wanted to hear. Since his stationwas not doing well in the ratings, he decided to experiment. He began a policyofplaying,throughout the entireday, nothingbut what the trade magazine chartsshowed were hit records, changing this mix of records weekly when the new hit charts were released. Instantaneouslyhis station became the most listened-tostation in Omaha, and within months this new formatting principle,which had come to be called 'Top chartedrecordswould be played, Forty'because only somethinglike the top forty had been copied by major radio stationsall over North America (Wright1986). One might assume that introductionof the Top Fortyformatreduced the aestheticrangeofmusicheard on theair. In mostcases, however,itdid nothave this in 1954.This is because virtually effect all ofthe songs thathad been heard on theair fitthe big-bandcrooneraestheticwhile, because the chartswere based not only on radio airplaybut also on jukebox play and recordsales, manyr&b recordsas well as some country music recordscharted.Thus, forthe first time,these sortsofrecords began to receive wide exposure via the radio (Gillett1983; Shaw 1987). Once theidea ofturning a radio stationintosomething likea jukeboxwithforty selectionshad been established,therewas rapid experimentation withthe idea. By 1958 industryexecutives had developed the view of the radio marketas a set of distinctsegments (teen-oriented Top Forty,soul music, countrymusic, classical music,jazz, religiousmusic, middle-of-the-road, radio etc.), each withjukebox-like stationscateringto its distinct music preferences (Petersonand Davis 1974; Wright 1986). Thus the view of a single homogeneous pie withfouroligopolisticnetworks fora largerslicewas passe. Now themarket was conceivedofas a mosaic contending ofdistinct each with its own aesthetic. Rather thanseekingthesound that segments, would offend no one, now theinnovativeprogrammers soughtout musicthatmight of the offend,shock or bore many people but would capturethe devoted attention of the audience. targetted segment These changes in the way the radio market was defined had immediate in late 1954,and increasing consequences fortherecordindustry. Beginning rapidly forthe nextseveralyears,therewas a demand foran ever-widening aestheticrange ofrecords.The majorcompanies were slow to react,and as we alreadynoted a large number of small companies filledthe new demand.

The timeswerenotchanging, but the constraints were:a summary


At the outset, we asked why rock broke into the mass marketin 1955, a year that seemed unpropitiousfora major aestheticrevolution.If I have done my job well enough, the reader can now give the answer. I will, therefore, forgoa complete review and just offer a briefsummary. In the early 1950s, the music industrywas blind to the large and growing unsatiateddemand forgreatervariety in music and deaf to the efforts ofmusicians thatmighthave satisfied thatdemand. The musicindustry was financially as well as committed to the big-band-crooner aesthetically styleof popular music of the time and, because of its oligopolistic control of the production, distributionand of new music, was able to thwartthe marketing of alternative marketing styles. Then with the transfer of networkradio programmingto television,radio turnedto playingrecordsas thecheapest effective form ofprogramming. The arrival of cheap transistor radios and the development of the Top Fortyradio-as-jukebox format meantthata much largernumberand farwider range ofmusic was exposed

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totheaudience. 45rpm and taking ofthe records, Usingthenewdurable advantage network of independent recorddistributors, numerous developing independent record with a widerange ofnewsoundsinan effort totap companies experimented theunsatiated market demand.In a matter oftwodozen months between late1954 and early1957rockwas forged in thiscauldron ofentrepreneurial creativity. Thisarticle has focused on a uniqueevent,theadventofrockat a particular historical moment. as I haveshownelsewhere Nonetheless, 1967;1972), (Peterson theadventofjazz following theFirst WorldWarwas sudden,and likethegreat musicin the1970s(Peterson and DiMaggio1975) 1978;Peterson changein country involved ofthesameprocesses found tobe important here.Thissuggests that many an analysis oftheroleofthesix'constraints' on theproduction ofculture together withtheinfluence ofcreators and audiencesmight be useful in understanding the ofother facets ofmusicand theculture more dynamics industry generally.

Endnotes
1 The word 'rock' or 'rock music' will be used to and otheradult symbolsof authority? On this refer to all forms ofthemusicincludingits1950s question see Frith (1981; 1984); Hibbard and Kaleialoha (1983). pre-Beatles forms that are often designated 4 For a systematicreview and refutation 'rock'n'roll'and 'rockabilly'. of the 2 There is disagreementamong the historiansof 'supply side' explanation for innovation, see rockover datingits nascence, but all agree that Peterson(1981);for a detailedstudyofthesocial it emerged as a major forceon the commercial structural condition that fosterinnovation in the music industry,see Peterson and Berger popular culturescene in 1954. See Gillett1983; Denisoff 1973; Chapple and Garofalo 1977; (1971). Marcus 1976; Hendler 1983; Curtis 1987; Shaw 5 For two quite different views of the music 'that 1987. might have been', see Marcus (1976); and 3 How much,forexample did theracialmixing in Guralnick(1979). the music ofthelate 1950saffect racialattitudes 6 Foran exquisitecase studyofhow theadventof and thus influencerace relationsand the civil BMI fosteredcountrymusic songwriting, see Rumble (1980). rightsmovement?On this question see Street 7 Large numbers of FM-band radios stations (1986). Rock, quite rightly,has been condemned for its male sexual chauvinism (Meade were also being licenced in this period further 1972; Chapple and Garofalo 1977), yet it first ofradio adding to theconfusionover thefuture voiced on mass level thefullrangeof questions broadcasting. FM did not influencethe deveof teen sexuality. Frith (1981) reviews the lopmentofrockmusic,however,untilthelatter various pointsofview on thetopic.Again, how partof the 1960swhen FM gave impetus to the muchdid thecounter-cultural thrust oftherock development of 'undergroundrock' (Denisoff cultureof the late 1960s feed Federal Govern1973; Chapple and Garofalo 1977). mentconcernwithinternal subversionthrough 8 Personalinterviews withRandy Wood, John R. the music and thus influence government and R. Murphy Nash. 9 These figures,and all the others cited in this policy in ways thathelped to galvanise public section, unless otherwise noted, are drawn feelings that the Vietnam war had to be fromPetersonand Berger(1975). stopped? On this question see Wiener (1984) and Street (1986). On a related issue, the 10 The readermay have noted thatone important rockfestivsuppression of the huge multi-day occupational type seems to be missing, the creative artist, the genius. Some performers als, see Peterson and Gowan (1973). Beyond these issue-oriented questions, there is the involved with the advent of rock including broader question of the creation of a teen Chuck Berry,LittleRichard,and Elvis Presley how centrala role did have recently been called geniuses. At thetime, Just generationforitself. rock music have in creating a self-conscious however, theywere not so designated,nor did teen identityin opposition to parents, school they act the part.

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