The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:22 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
There is a song from the 1980's "Video killed the radio star", Who would agree that Radio killed the Phonograph in the 1930's?

Not only the depression, but the fact that people used radios to get music on the cheap. Considering the many dime store labels, it seemed records from the 30's are rather scarce.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:51 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 pm
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that is why scroll 23000 and low numbered 24 are so uncommon......as a side note radios from 1932 thru 34 are less common the cathedral or mantel radio was 9 to 70. dollars an average console radio in that time would have been 100 to 199 .... a Scott radio with cabinet mid two hundreds to low threes dependng on cabinet


I do not think talking pixtures helped the situation ether money spent too quickly with less comeing in


Last edited by Vinrage_mania on Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:20 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:17 am
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I believe radio helped then and still today helps record sales. Even when compact cassettes were introduced in the 60's. The industry thought pirating music would hurt the industry. It actually did the opposite. Even when I was recording my favourite shows on the radio, I still went out and bought my favourite music on vinyl. In fact that is when vinyl sales were at a peak.
Nowadays, with software, music and video pirating at such a peak. It still promotes sales of the authentic product. As always the industry attacks copyright pirating when they really ought to see it as promotion and to combat it, offer high quality products at an affordable price.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:37 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 pm
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Well now there is no product ....not that you own anyway, and even younger people understand this that is why a Paramont blues 78 can be worth 37 grand where are all the cassettes ??.... in the landfill


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:42 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:25 pm
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Location: North Central Iowa
Sarnoff really hated the phonograph and thought it was old fashioned. He did everything he could to get rid of that as soon as he got control of Victor, and certainly let Columbia get a lot of talent. Radio probably did do a lot to make record sales go down a lot early on. Not that there is much existing of 20's radio broadcasts, but the one's I've heard (Edison recorded some on long play records) were really awful in a lot of ways. Radio probably gave the player piano more grief. When jukeboxes got really popular in the mid 30's then people really started buying records again. That's kind of how I understand that period.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:53 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 pm
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Earl makes a good point Sarnoff did not like anything that stood in the way of radio I have a fair number of early transcripttions in the 1930-33 period and you can listen the medium improving during that time ...but we are listening thru modern ears too


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:39 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:17 am
Posts: 343
Radio is still a very important medium in my life. As a kid it was radio in bed, under the covers, headphones on a tiny transistor radio, listening to John Peel until midnight. Then it was all day commercial radio at work; gives me a headache just thinking about it. Now, I only listen to the radio in the car. All the new music I buy nowadays is from what I hear DJ's playing on my local community radio station.
I still have never bought any downloaded music, unless it is a free download card with vinyl. Kids have now figured out that mp3's are simply awful quality. FLAC is better but there is nothing quite like the quality of vinyl. Vinyl is coming back, for how long, who knows. Blu-ray is the best but has not caught on with the public, probably because music is just not that important to young people anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:40 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1277
The impact of radio on the talking machine/recording industry is well-chronicled in several histories including "The Fabulous Phonograph" by Roland Gelatt ( https://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Phonogr ... 0020326807 ) and "From Tinfoil to Stereo" by Welch and Read ( https://www.amazon.com/Tin-Foil-Stereo- ... 0672212064 )

Radio's impact actually began to be felt in the early to mid-1920s, when sales of phonographs and records began to decline. It was the perfection of electrical recording, combined with the improved talking machines--acoustic as well as all-electric--that brought the industry back to near where it was in the teens. But then, the bottom completely fell out shortly after the stock market crash in 1929. (75-cents spent for one record could feed a family of four for a day--or so my late grandmother told me.)

By the height of the depression -- 1932/1933 -- record sales were only a small fraction of what they were in the mid-to-late 1920s. (The histories I cited above provide some interesting sales statistics.) Even RCA Victor was seriously considering pulling out of the home record sales market, with plans to concentrate on transcriptions and recordings manufactured for radio broadcast only.

What helped to bring the industry back was the growing popularity of jukeboxes installed in virtually every bar and saloon following the repeal of Prohibition, the gradual improvements to the economy brought about by the New Deal, and--just as important--the formation of the American branch of Decca Records, in 1934, which sold quality hit recordings performed by first rate artists--for under half the price (35-cents) of the 75-cent name brand records sold in the 1920s. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decca_Records )

OrthoFan


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:07 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 pm
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OrthoFan wrote:
The impact of radio on the talking machine/recording industry is well-chronicled in several histories including "The Fabulous Phonograph" by Roland Gelatt ( https://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Phonogr ... 0020326807 ) and "From Tinfoil to Stereo" by Welch and Read ( https://www.amazon.com/Tin-Foil-Stereo- ... 0672212064 )

Radio's impact actually began to be felt in the early to mid-1920s, when sales of phonographs and records began to decline. It was the perfection of electrical recording, combined with the improved talking machines--acoustic as well as all-electric--that brought the industry back to near where it was in the teens. But then, the bottom completely fell out shortly after the stock market crash in 1929. (75-cents spent for one record could feed a family of four for a day--or so my late grandmother told me.)

By the height of the depression -- 1932/1933 -- record sales were only a small fraction of what they were in the mid-to-late 1920s. (The histories I cited above provide some interesting sales statistics.) Even RCA Victor was seriously considering pulling out of the home record sales market, with plans to concentrate on transcriptions and recordings manufactured for radio broadcast only.

What helped to bring the industry back was the growing popularity of jukeboxes installed in virtually every bar and saloon



following the repeal of Prohibition, the gradual improvements to the economy brought about by the New Deal, and--just as important--the formation of the American branch of Decca Records, in 1934, which sold quality hit recordings performed by first rate artists--for under half the price (35-cents) of the 75-cent name brand records sold in the 1920s. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decca_Records )




OrthoFan



All this is in FTFTS ....but back to records ....what % of “deco” Decca records circa 1935-6 vs other labels do we see?
Ortho fan you are SF Bay area like me (I think) seems like more later 40s stuff to me


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 Post subject: Re: Radio killed the Talking Machine!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:48 am 
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Victor V
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Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
Radio had less impact on record sales in the UK as it was under the dead hand of the BBC, whose head John (later Lord) Reith decreed that it should broadcast programmes which he thought the public ought to hear, rather than those which they actually wanted to hear. His autocratic management style became the stuff of BBC legend.

With a wide choice of commercial stations in the USA it was not surprising that radio took sales away from records. Once a radio had been purchased there was no further outlay.


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