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American Record Distribution 60`s

Look At Your Box HARRY CROSBY

 
Posted

I think his key advantage to getting paid by his distributors was that he always had more hot records coming month in month out, so it wasn't worth screwing him over because you'd lose out on the future releases.

Ian D

Remember being told similar stories many many years ago by several long time record dealers across America.

Berry's tactic to get heavy radio airplay for his new releases (and more importantly to keep getting it) was to simply say summat along the lines of

"Look you know my history of producing big hits - if you don't play our new product you won't get any more promos from me in the future".

No radio station worth its salt wanted to miss out on the exclusive promos Berry sent there way and the big hits that followed.

Berry knew that and played it to his advantage.

Berry possessed that rare air gift of consistantly - over time - producing exceedingly fine records which virtually walked themselves onto radio playlists.

His strong arm tactics wouldn't and couldn't have worked for any length of time if his output was decidedly average.

As we say in Yorkshire "You can't polish a turd".

derek x

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Posted (edited)

Paul (60ssoulboy) asked for my opinion as an artist on this subject and I have to say that I agree the comments so far. I found everyone to be so succinct! This is one area I knew about, but left to others to deal with, even with my own label. Back then it was all about getting the deal and getting paid.

As an artist, you don't think about the behind the scenes activity. You're looking for the next gig and hoping to get paid for that. This is why the Motown story is so fascinating to me. It truly was my frontier in life. Whatever they say about Gordy, the buck stopped with him and what he did was no easy task.

Promotion and distribution is another world but a major one and most artist don't get involved with it. All an artist wants to do is hear and make their music and management wants to keep it that way.

Lorraine Chandler

Edited by lorchand

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Posted

Paul (60ssoulboy) asked for my opinion as an artist on this subject and I have to say that I agree the comments so far. I found everyone to be so succinct! This is one area I knew about, but left to others to deal with, even with my own label. Back then it was all about getting the deal and getting paid.

As an artist, you don't think about the behind the scenes activity. You're looking for the next gig and hoping to get paid for that. This is why the Motown story is so fascinating to me. It truly was my frontier in life. Whatever they say about Gordy, the buck stopped with him and what he did was no easy task.

Promotion and distribution is another world but a major one and most artist don't get involved with it. All an artist wants to do is hear and make their music and management wants to keep it that way.

Lorraine Chandler

Thanks Lorraine, great to get an artist/label owners thought on the subject.

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Posted

Harry great thread and something that has always engrossed me, here's my penniesworth.

As we all kmow the U.S (and Canada for that matter) land area is Massive.

The UK would size wise be nominally the size of one of the small states i.e Wisconsin and be lost in Texas and such.

Accordingly lugging heavy vinyl around interstate posed a logistical headache.

Consequently in a time of the late 50's, 60's/70's and to mid 80's (advent of the CD) necessitated a system for Distribution that was functional.

Major conurbation states would have a network of major label distributors, Independant Distributors of new and "cutout" catalogue stock

and these would be supported by "one stops" where shops would be supplied by and Rackjobbers for the occasional punter supplied Drug store. There was also the Juke Box suppliers like seeburg of Pittsburgh.

As it was easier to send a "mother" stamper of a record to a pressing plant (as opposed to send a consighned lorry load) on the other side of the country it was common for pressing plants to act also as warehouses and drop shippers.

This is obviously a reason why different examples of pressings are found in records i.e East Coast pressed stock and Monarch West Coast presses.

Big players at the time were Schwartz Brothers and Hellicher Brothers with Strategic Branch;s across the states with many major, and small local labels represented. Many many others were involved in the business, some legit many others not.

As some of local label stock was circulated amongst Branch's for "Plugging" if a lucrative deal was made then this is how some records

ended up infar flung places i.e Jimmy Mack on Palmer turning up in Texas due to Hellicher representing Palmer in Detroit and the promotional ability of Joey Waltz

Stock sometimes was taken on a sale or return basis and hence the cutout system to prevent returns or if returned were either passed on cheap in quantity having been marked with a drillhole.

The Distribitors made their money by buying in bulk from the Record Corps and selling on with markup depending on the volumes taken. 100 and 500 boxfulls in 25 "count" boxes were the norm and for unopened cases a better deal was given.

I have some great advertising from the day and will post up of the big movers.

Merry Christmas to all,

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Posted

Harry great thread and something that has always engrossed me, here's my penniesworth.

As we all kmow the U.S (and Canada for that matter) land area is Massive.

The UK would size wise be nominally the size of one of the small states i.e Wisconsin and be lost in Texas and such.

Accordingly lugging heavy vinyl around interstate posed a logistical headache.

Consequently in a time of the late 50's, 60's/70's and to mid 80's (advent of the CD) necessitated a system for Distribution that was functional.

Major conurbation states would have a network of major label distributors, Independant Distributors of new and "cutout" catalogue stock

and these would be supported by "one stops" where shops would be supplied by and Rackjobbers for the occasional punter supplied Drug store. There was also the Juke Box suppliers like seeburg of Pittsburgh.

As it was easier to send a "mother" stamper of a record to a pressing plant (as opposed to send a consighned lorry load) on the other side of the country it was common for pressing plants to act also as warehouses and drop shippers.

This is obviously a reason why different examples of pressings are found in records i.e East Coast pressed stock and Monarch West Coast presses.

Big players at the time were Schwartz Brothers and Hellicher Brothers with Strategic Branch;s across the states with many major, and small local labels represented. Many many others were involved in the business, some legit many others not.

As some of local label stock was circulated amongst Branch's for "Plugging" if a lucrative deal was made then this is how some records

ended up infar flung places i.e Jimmy Mack on Palmer turning up in Texas due to Hellicher representing Palmer in Detroit and the promotional ability of Joey Waltz

Stock sometimes was taken on a sale or return basis and hence the cutout system to prevent returns or if returned were either passed on cheap in quantity having been marked with a drillhole.

The Distribitors made their money by buying in bulk from the Record Corps and selling on with markup depending on the volumes taken. 100 and 500 boxfulls in 25 "count" boxes were the norm and for unopened cases a better deal was given.

I have some great advertising from the day and will post up of the big movers.

Merry Christmas to all,

I have some great advertising from the day and will post up of the big movers. Really look forward to that Alan, great reply, many thanks for your input. And a Very Merry Xmas to you Alan

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