Swing and the mass audiences

September 23rd, 2010

During the 1930’s popular music was done for the first time by interlocking the system by film making, record production, and radio broadcasting.  Each new recorded song had to have promotions on the radio and in movies to try and gain exposure toward the record buying public.  In the 1930’s the stars in entertainment were Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee, and Fred Astaire.  These entertainers were the first men to use there images in all three media and were able to use their film and radio to plug their songs.  These artists records and film sold internationally too.

 The technology system was extended first by the microphone. This helped when recording in the studio, dance halls, film stage What the microphone did was pick up the sounds in the performance and used the electric current to run through the empire of sound.  When the band played it was connected by the network by a radio wire.  This cable went through the microphone to  the bandstand all the way to your local radio station where the performance would be broadcast nationwide.  A transcript machine was created. This machine that was located in the broadcast studio created a permaneant record that was able to be played later.

     Radio exposure was the key in marketing a recording because these networks were able to bring music to all parts of the world.    The Cotton Club gave the Duke Ellington band national exposure. The success of radio exposure attracted all kinds of sponsors and promoters.  This was proved when a producer name John Hammond heard Basie’s Band on the radio while driving in his car.  When he heard that band on the radio he drove all the way to Kansas City to offer that band a contract.

        By 1931 Bing Crosby signed a contract  to host his own radio shows.  This was huge during the 1930’s because the success of these broadcasts brought in lucrative commercial sponsorships, bigger audiences, better time slots, and longer programs.   Bing Crosby Kraft Music Hall radio show featured a variety of talk, music, and comedy in a one hour scheduled program.  Crosby sooned moved on to motion pictures where he appeared in a series with Bob Hope.  Bing Crosby recorded I’m Dreaming of a white christmas which sold 30 million copies worldwide.

 Paul Whiteman during the 1930’s recorded his greatest hits by using acoustic recording.  He realized that these sensitive microphones  made it easier to produce better records if you were in a group of musicians.  Electrical amplification was responsible for creating sound for dance rhythm  and for playing a record at home .  It allowed the listener to feel the power of  the music  from the speakers.

  This proves that the empires of sound made music  a mass entertainment for years to come.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 Responses to “Swing and the mass audiences”

  1. Marya Tambawala on September 26, 2010 9:53 am

    I think it’s amazing that artists like Bing Crosby were talented enough master three different media. These days, it’s often painful to watch a recording artist try to act or an actor try to sing. But then again, our expectations and standards (especially for film) are very different today.

  2. medst330wpl on September 26, 2010 10:29 pm

    Personally, I feel that radio was one of the key influences to how the music industry shaped up to be today. Without radio, other countries wouldn’t know about the latest musicians. Promotion will probably have to take on a different role without radio. Fortunately, it’s safe to say radio will still remain with us and I don’t see it completely out of media in the coming years.

Comments are closed.