Imagine if all your favorite songs were banned from the radio. Well, that actually happened during the Great Radio Boycott of 1941. The United State’s most famous songwriters collectively decided to pull their catalogues from the public airwaves. This was their response to the radio stations refusing to pay a fair price for the music they broadcast. The boycott lasted for only ten months, but the consequences were far reaching, especially for one entertainer named Sharkey. Sharkey was forced to watch as his radio career became collateral damage in this historic battle.
In 1981, no one thought MTV was a good idea. Cable companies had little interest in a network that broadcast music videos 24-hours a day. Record labels scoffed at the idea of giving music videos away for free. As a last resort, the fledgling cable channel decided to risk the ire of the cable companies and air the now iconic “I Want My MTV” advertising campaign. The campaign implored teenagers to call their local cable company and demand their MTV. Call they did and the rest, as they say, is history. Exclusively on BetweenTheLinerNotes.com
Back in the day, all the A-list philosophers and scientists argued over the best method for tuning a musical instrument. The battles they fought were some of the fiercest intellectual scuffles the western world has ever seen. In 2003, Stuart Isacoff published a book about those scuffles. The book focused on the history of one particular tuning system called Equal Temperament and how it emerged from the tuning-wars more popular than ever. In a weird twist of historical irony, when Stuart Isacoff published his book about Equal Temperament he found himself caught in the middle of a tuning scuffle of his own.
In the aftermath of World War II, the United States Military assigned a tech savvy GI named Jack Mullin the mission of investigating secret inventions left behind by the Nazis. Mullin’s journeys around Germany led him to a makeshift radio studio that had a device called the Magnetophon, the first reel-to-reel tape recorder that realistically recorded sound. After overcoming numerous obstacles, Jack Mullin managed to ship two machines back home to San Francisco. When he was released from military service, he demonstrated the Magnetophons for all the movie studios in Hollywood, but faced rejection from each one. Eventually, a famous crooner gave him a shot and invited Mullin to a trial by fire audition that would change recorded sound forever.