Paperback / softback
November 19, 2003
9780801877421
English
248
26
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.95 Pounds (US)
$30.00 USD, £22.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 3, 2020
9781421429168
9780801877421
English
248
26
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$30.00 USD, £22.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Stage to Studio

Musicians and the Sound Revolution, 1890-1950

Award for Best Research in the Field of Record Labels or Manufacturers from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections

Winner of the Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize from the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society, Hawaii Region

Between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth century, technology transformed the entertainment industry as much as it did such heavy industries as coal and steel. Among those most directly affected were musicians, who had to adapt to successive inventions and refinements in audio technology—from wax cylinders and gramophones to radio and sound films. In this groundbreaking study, James P. Kraft explores the intersection of sound technology, corporate power, and artistic labor during this disruptive period.

Kraft begins in the late nineteenth century's "golden age" of musicians, when demand for skilled instrumentalists often exceeded supply, analyzing the conflicts in concert halls, nightclubs, recording studios, radio stations, and Hollywood studios as musicians began to compete not only against their local counterparts but also against highly skilled workers in national "entertainment factories." Kraft offers an illuminating case study in the impact of technology on industry and society—and a provocative chapter in the cultural history of America.

About the Author

James P. Kraft is professor of history at the University of Hawai'i at Mânoa. He is also the author of Vegas at Odds: Labor Conflict in a Leisure Economy, 1960–1985 and Havoc and Reform: Workplace Disasters in Modern America, both published by Johns Hopkins.   

Reviews

"Historians might not have answers to the questions of technology displacing and deskilling workers, but they can lay out the facts and be sympathetic to the victims. This Kraft has done. He writes clearly and without bias, [and] has an understanding of his subjects that comes from his own background as a musician."

- André Millard - American Historical Review

"In Stage to Studio, James Kraft presents a concise, well-researched, and well-written historical account of the actions and reactions of unionized musicians as they faced new technologies and changing conditions of labor in early twentieth-century America... an important contribution to the literature on organized workers in America."

- Emily Thompson - Technology and Culture

"Combining techniques from social history, labor history, and the history of technology, Kraft weaves together archival material, oral history data, and secondary sources to produce an accessible narrative and a rich analysis."

- Harris M. Berger - Antenna

"Kraft has given us a superb history that shows the complexity of how "even the most celebrated accomplishments of the capitalist market system can be, and usually are, accompanied by social dislocation." I am not typically drawn to labor histories, but Kraft has shown the finer side of his craft, and in so doing has preserved for the broadest audience the experiences of an overlooked yet remarkable, indeed invaluable, group of people who have brought all of us much joy through their music. They deserve our collective remembrance."

- Craig H. Roell - H-Net Reviews

"Kraft treats popular culture on the highest academic level and fills a void heretofore ignored by labor historians."

- Ronald L. Davis - Reviews in American History
Johns Hopkins University Press
Studies in Industry and Society
From 17

9780801877421 : stage-to-studio-kraft
Paperback / softback
248 Pages
$30.00 USD
9781421429168 : stage-to-studio-kraft
Electronic book text
248 Pages
$30.00 USD

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Havoc and Reform

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