A tale of record men and the history of the industry

L. Kent Wolgamott interviews Gareth Murphy, author of the recently released Cowboys & Indies book:

In 1927, 104 million records were sold in the United States. In 1932, that number dropped to just 6 million. The number of phonographs sold in those five years plummeted from 987,000 to 40,000. In total, the industry shrank to just 5 percent of its former size.

“I remember that day in the library, when I realized the previous crash in the early 30s, it was really catastrophic,” Murphy said. “I remember thinking, ‘I’ve really discovered something. I think that kind of discovery gave me the confidence to pick up the phone and try to track down these big people. I’m an Irish guy in France, and I’m calling Rick Rubin, come on.

“When I got them on the phone, nobody knew about that first crash, not a single person. They were all very aware of the similarity between the radio and the Internet. But they don’t know about the crash.”

via Ground Zero.

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