Topic: United States/American music

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πŸ”— 1942–1944 Musicians' Strike

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Organized Labour πŸ”— Record Labels πŸ”— United States/American music

On August 1, 1942, the American Federation of Musicians, at the instigation of union president James C. Petrillo, began a strike against the major American record companies because of disagreements over royalty payments. Beginning at midnight, July 31, 1942, no union musician could make commercial recordings for any commercial record company. That meant that a union musician was allowed to participate on radio programs and other kinds of musical entertainment, but not in a recording session. The 1942–1944 musicians' strike remains the longest strike in entertainment history.

The strike did not affect musicians performing on live radio shows, in concerts, or, after October 27, 1943, on special recordings made by the record companies for V-Discs for distribution to the armed forces fighting World War II, because V-Discs were not available to the general public. However, the union did frequently threaten to withdraw musicians from the radio networks to punish individual network affiliates who were deemed "unfair" for violating the union's policy on recording network shows for repeat broadcasts.

The strike had a major impact on the American musical scene. At the time, union bands dominated popular music; after the strike, and partly as a result of it, the big bands began to decline and vocalists began to dominate popular music.

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πŸ”— Live in Cook County Jail

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Albums πŸ”— R&B and Soul Music πŸ”— United States/American music

Live in Cook County Jail is a 1971 live album by American blues musician B.B. King, recorded on September 10, 1970, in Cook County Jail in Chicago. Agreeing to a request by jail warden Winston Moore, King and his band performed for an audience of 2,117 prisoners, most of whom were young black men. King's set list consisted mostly of slow blues songs, which had been hits earlier in his career. When King told ABC Records about the upcoming performance, he was advised to bring along press and recording equipment.

Live in Cook County Jail spent thirty-three weeks on the Billboard Top LPs chart, where it peaked at number twenty-five. It also reached number one on the Top R&B chart, King's only album to do so. In addition to positive reviews from critics, much of the press surrounding Live in Cook County Jail focused on the harsh living conditions in the prison, which led to an eventual reform.

Although Live in Cook County Jail continues to receive praise as one of King's best albums, critics often overlook it in favor of 1965's Live at the Regal. Rolling Stone ranked Live in Cook County Jail at number 499 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and in 2002, it was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. The performance at Cook County Jail had a profound impact on King, who not only continued to perform free concerts at prisons throughout his life, but also co-established the Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation and Recreation.

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πŸ”— The Edison Disc Record

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Brands πŸ”— Record Labels πŸ”— United States/American music

The Edison Diamond Disc Record is a type of phonograph record marketed by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. on their Edison Record label from 1912 to 1929. They were named Diamond Discs because the matching Edison Disc Phonograph was fitted with a permanent conical diamond stylus for playing them. Diamond Discs were incompatible with lateral-groove disc record players, e.g. the Victor Victrola, the disposable steel needles of which would damage them while extracting hardly any sound. Uniquely, they are just under 1⁄4Β in (6.0Β mm; 0.235Β in) thick.

Edison had previously made only phonograph cylinders but decided to add a disc format to the product line because of the increasingly dominant market share of the shellac disc records (later called 78s because of their typical rotational speed in revolutions per minute) made by competitors such as the Victor Talking Machine Company. Victor and most other makers recorded and played sound by a lateral or side-to-side motion of the stylus in the record groove, while in the Edison system the motion was vertical or up-and-down, known as vertical recording, as used for cylinder records. An Edison Disc Phonograph is distinguished by the diaphragm of the reproducer being parallel to the surface of the record. The diaphragm of a reproducer used for playing lateral records is at a right angle to the surface.

In the late summer and early fall of 1929 Edison also briefly produced a high-quality series of thin electrically recorded lateral-cut "Needle Type" disc records for use on standard record players.

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