Talk:1942–44 musicians' strike

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Back Catalogue Reissues during the Strike[edit]

I happen to know that many of the major labels (especially Columbia and Victor) reissued records from their back catalogues (as far back as the mid-1920s) during this strike, so I added that information to the article.

Garr1984 15:56, 13 March 2007 (UTC)§

title of article[edit]

Since the strike or ban lasted from 1942 to 1944, the title date of 1943 is incorrect. It should be changed.

Also, someone should figure out links to searches under recording ban and musician's strike. This article is hard to find.

And I'd like to see any examples from the 1920s that were reissued during this period. My example is only 1939. Wis2fan (talk) 16:03, 14 April 2008 (UTC)


I have assumed that this also increased the popularity of Folk music, which has no copyright. However, I cannot find any online documentation. (Meaning I'm too lazy to Google.) Am I correct? Pittsburgh Poet (talk) 15:14, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Josh White found his peak of fame during the recording ban, and "One Meatball" became a bit of a cultural touchstone. I've got a V-disc transcription of the Andrews Sisters performing "One Meatball" for the troops from around 1943, with only piano accompaniment, and in a very amateurish arrangement. AFAICT, though, Burl Ives, etc. were post-war. (talk) 07:27, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Non-union musicians[edit]

Surely there must have been musicians around (other than vocalists) who did not belong to this union? And the article should explain why (under what legal rule or precedent) this brand of extortion was permitted. 121a0012 (talk) 00:49, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

OK, I think I've figured it out now. Apparently the AFM had (now illegal) closed shop agreements with all of the radio networks, film studios, recording companies, and local radio network affiliates. The article should state this. 121a0012 (talk) 07:20, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
And I see from later sources that the electrical transcription companies (radio networks which distributed their shows on special records rather than over phone lines) brought the issue before the War Labor Board in 1943; at the first hearing, the AFM's lawyer claimed that the WLB had no jurisdiction because the musicians working for the transcribers were not on strike but had instead simply quit. (The union would still be able to enforce its boycott against the transcription companies because the musicians were freelancers and needed to be able to work in hotels ballrooms, theaters, dance halls, and radio stations, which were all subject to closed-shop agreements; Petrillo needed only to threaten the expulsion of a member of the union to bring them into line, lest the union cut off their livelihood.) 121a0012 (talk) 07:01, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

(outdent) Broadcasting has extensive coverage of the strike, its effect on radio, the Senate hearings, the WLB hearings, and the relationship between Petrillo and broadcasters generally (which, in the magazine's editorial opinion, was one of entitlement on the part of Petrillo and resentment on the part of everyone else). There are extensive quotations from newspaper editorials of the day (uniformly against Petrillo, as would be expected given Broadcasting's own editorial position) and coverage of the negotiations between Petrillo and the transcription companies. Notably, in the first Senate hearings, Petrillo refused to even state what the union's demands were. When the union board later met, they proposed that transcription and recording companies should pay a tax, directly to the union treasury, for "relief of unemployment" (this despite the existence of widespread labor shortages even for musicians). Broadcasting also covers Petrillo's antics immediately preceding the strike, including a threat to strike against NBC if it aired the "amateur musicians" of the National Youth Orchestra in Interlochen, and against other networks should they air performances of military bands. I don't really have time to go back through all the issues I've just been reading through for an unrelated research project, but there's a lot more material out there than is currently recorded here if someone is willing to do the work. 121a0012 (talk) 07:22, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Burns and Collier's assertions questionable.[edit]

Burns and Collier attribute the lack of early bebop recordings to the strike, which is understandable but IMO questionable. In 1942-43, bebop had no recognized commercial potential. It was strictly an "in" thing among dedicated musicians and a very small, adventuresome audience. It was not something major label executives were going to touch. It was in fact the small labels that grew into a niche provided by the strike and recorded right through the ban that distributed the first bebop, or ur-bebop recordings (e.g. Coleman Hawkins and Dizzy Gillespie, Woody'n You, Apollo 751, February 1944). (talk) 22:15, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

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