Holy crap, look at the size of that . . . review! The Wall Street Journal spends some time reading Selling Sounds, David Suisman‘s first book. You might know him from his old radio show on WFMU, or, you might not know him! Selling Sounds is about to come out and David’s got a reading in NYC in a week or two (ok, details: Thursday, May 21, 6 PM, Barnes & Noble, 105 Fifth Ave. @ 18th Street) where you too can be wowed.
We’ll have a little something from David in a week or so. In the meantime, maestro!
From Tin Pan Alley to RCA Victor: shaping musical taste, profiting from it.
In 1888, the music publisher M. Witmark & Sons opened an office near Union Square in New York, not long after the fledgling company had enjoyed success selling sheet music for a song penned by one of the Witmark boys, “President Cleveland’s Wedding March.” Witmark would go on to play a major role in the commodification of music from the late 19th century to the Depression — the subject of David Suisman’s “Selling Sounds.” As the author notes in an epilogue, the Witmark building was just a few doors away from a contemporary bastion of what the commercialization of music wrought: a Virgin Megastore. Now, in an epilogue to his epilogue, Virgin’s music emporium will soon become a thing of the past: Like so many other retail music stores of late, it has announced that it is going out of business. The story of “Selling Sounds,” then, is especially timely.