This is the first biography of Ralph Peer, the adventurous-even revolutionary-A&R man and music publisher who saw the universal power locked in regional roots music and tapped it, changing the breadth and flavor of popular music around the world. It is the story of the life and fifty-year career, from the age of cylinder recordings to the stereo era, of the man who pioneered the recording, marketing, and publishing of blues, jazz, country, gospel, and Latin music.The book tracks Peer's role in such breakthrough events as the recording of Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues" (the record that sparked the blues craze), the first country recording sessions with Fiddlin' John Carson, his discovery of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family at the famed Bristol sessions, the popularizing of Latin American music during World War II, and the postwar transformation of music on the airwaves that set the stage for the dominance of R&B, country, and rock 'n' roll.But this is also the story of a man from humble Midwestern beginnings who went on to build the world's largest independent music publishing firm, fostering the global reach of music that had previously been specialized, localized, and marginalized. Ralph Peer redefined the ways promising songs and performers were identified, encouraged, and promoted; rethought how far regional music might travel; and changed our very notions of what pop music can be.
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by Rebecca Barry
by Barry Moser
by Barry Moltz
by Dave Barry
by Barry Schwartz, Kenneth Sharpe
by Barry Neil Kaufman
by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner
by Barry Reed
by Barry Lancet
"As Ralph Peer shifted from the phonograph business to the record business, he boosted the music industry, particularly blues, jazz, country, and Latin music. The music executive's own thoughts about his life are part of Mazor's meticulous account of Peer's life and legacy. There's also some personal history on Peer, whose hobby was camellia gardening. The narrative isn't dramatic--the production is more like an engaging college course. But Peer's life story includes some good moments. Listeners will likely enjoy stories about early sessions with Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family or his involvement in U.S. outreach in Latin America during WWII. At times, discussion of esoteric topics like royalties bogs down. Nonetheless, listeners who are curious will find this worth hearing. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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