Cowboys and indies

The Epic History of the record industry

Gareth Murphy

Serpant’s Tail

Starting with the onset of the gramophone this book brings us through the different successful ventures of a corporate industry where profit was key. As an Irishman reading this I found it interesting noting the influence Irish people or diaspora had. Mentions of John McCormack, Clancy brothers and their record label Tradition Records as well as people like Ronan O’Rahilly running Radio Caroline or Chris Blackwell forming Island Records and more show this small country did have some influence in the history of record industry. That influence includes Ted Carroll who started Chiswick records and Dave Robinson the founder of Stiff Records. 

For every success there’s a number of failures but these don’t get mentioned here. Obviously you have to pick and choose when editing a book but history isn’t always about winners.  Still it’s an interesting story of how record labels look to make the most profit they could from music and musicians


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