Music Biz

This section is about the inner workings of the music industry and the people and institutions that are behind the stars.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the center of the American music business was Tin Pan Alley, a section of lower Manhattan around West 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, and the main business was selling sheet music. By time of The Golden Age of Rock, the music business was in the hands of the Record Industry, sheet music was a minor part of the business, and the money was in selling records.

As in all types of business, there were good business people and bad, crooks and heroes, and some people who became famous and left their mark in the industry.

Disc Jockeys had been in radio since it’s early years, but it was during the early rock years that their role expanded. Early radio stations were controlled by the big networks, but by the 50s, independent radio stations were popping up across the station. These stations didn’t have access to the programming and serialized shows of the majors, so they turned to playing records.

Often, the DJ was the only “voice” in the studio, and as they introduced the music, read commercials, and spoke to the listeners. Not surprisingly, some became memorable personalities on their own.

Here’s a list of some of the popular names, places, and events in the Rock industry.

DJs Scandal
Dick Clark Payola
Alan Freed
Arnie Ginsberg Important Places
Murray the K Brill Building
Don Steele Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Wolfman Jack