The main competitors on the world record market, The Gramophone Company and the Columbia Graphophone Company, originally hesitated to enter the Australian market and it took several years before they etablished record pressing plants in Australia. Whereas the Columbia Graphophone also ran a recording studio from the beginning, the Gramophone Company could not bring itself to operate recording facilities in Australia in order to produce local acts. The Great Depression forced the rivals to amalgamate to EMI also in Australia in 1931.
Posts Tagged ‘Ross Laird
Not only efforts to establish a genuine Australian music industry failed, but also foreign record companies were faced by severe financial problems after initial economic success. Especially “medium-majors” such as the Brunswick-Balke-Collender and Vocalion did not have sufficient financial resources to establish themselves on the Australian music market in the long run. They became also victims of the great depression like their Australian counterparts. Their story will be told in the following.
Before Ross Laird further highlights the efforts to lay the ground for an Australian music industry, he outlines the general atmosphere, in which music was produced and distributed in the first half of the 1920s. On the basis of extended citations of newspaper articles and internal company’s reports the author highlights the negative attitude of public opinion leader’s and music critics on so-called ‘machine music’ in general and especially‘inferior jazz noise’ despite the fact that jazz records accounted for the vast majority of all sales.
„Sound Beginnings. The early record industry in Australia” by Ross Laird seems to be the first and only book on the early Australian music industry. Laird did not only tell the story of technological progress in phonographic industry, but highlights the history of the main players of the Australian music business in great detail from 1877 until 1935. “Sound Beginnings” is therefore a seminal work on this topic. In the following I would like to start a series of 6 blog contributions based on this book in order to retell the early history of the Australian music industry.