In 1877 Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. He had hundreds of patents for inventions, although I am sticking to recorded music, instead of the many other uses that Edison dreamed about. It was actually the first ‘talking machine’ that was designed original as a dictation machine.
We know that the turntables us older cats used in the 50’s, 60’s and up were instrumental in our ability to learn how to make our own guitar lessons. Surprising to hear that Epiphone was one of the small companies who started making phonographs after the turn of the century.
At first the sound quality was no so good, and was not good for dictation, if fact you had to scream into the recording horn for the machine to make a hard to understand recording. As the machines improved one of the areas of usage that of first use was to record classical operas singers and the blues on the machines and reproduce recordings. Some of the most famous singers of that era were signed to contracts by The Edison, The Victor and Columbia phonograph and recording companies.
The companies knew the value of locking up performers to long term contracts as long ago as the 1900’s. The factories turning out thousands of units a day employed as many as 10,000 workers. Contrary to our knowledge that Henry Ford invented the mass production assembly line, it was Tom Edison who figured that vibe out. He was a great business man as well as inventor.
As more and more people made this appliance a home product a new demand for different types of music was pushing the recording companies to include a different venue of music. The smaller companies actually had the most success at marketing new and different types of music first. As there was not rock and roll that far back.
But, the blues was live and well and Jass (as it was called back then) was starting to develop and become very popular. So the small companies were signing blues singers to their small label companies. As that started to grow, the big three followed suit.
It was first called the ”Crazy Blues” in 1917. First introduced commercially by W.C. Handy. Some of the names that recorded the Crazy blues in the 1920’s were, Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, recognizable names today.
The rest is history, and now a turntable and vinyl record is a thing of the past for most homeowners. One thing that records had and will always have over any other music is exact reproduction. The compressed forms of music nowadays, like mp3’s don’t provide the same pure sound to the audiophiles ears, like mine.
Music compression is a way of getting more music on a disc, DVD or whatever. However the process of compression loses lots of the high pitch tones and sounds that are hard to hear normally, and don’t deliver the sound quality of vinyl.
So in essence, recorded sound made it possible to bring the concert into your home, instead of having to attend a performance, which was the only was to hear a concert back then, you can only imagine the excitement of having the ability to hear thousands of recordings in your home at that time. We take it for granted.
Ref: America on Record by Andre Millard..I’m reading this book, I have not copied anything out of the book, I’m probably missing a lot, but these are my own words entirely. Danny
Technology runs wild nowadays, as you know I speak on guitar lessons for beginners a lot. DVD’s, I pods, and the technology today allows for more versatility than ever in teaching guitar. Why go to a guitar teacher once a week when you can take some top level self study guitar lessons for beginners at home, and learn faster. As for me, I live in Florida, I am not driving 100 plus miles for a concert and pay over 100 bucks, when I can ”adjust my attitude”, crank up the stereo and be there anyway! Enjoy. GuitarPlayersCenter.com