- File Size: 2326 KB
- Print Length: 282 pages
- Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (January 20, 2011)
- Publication Date: January 20, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004ZWKEOG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,195 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$50.00|
|Print List Price:||$30.00|
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The Starday Story: The House That Country Music Built (American Made Music Series) Kindle Edition
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It is interesting to note the efforts that Starday and its subsiderary labels, went to in order to provide a chance for the undiscovered talent out there. More often than not Starday had an open door policy - a policy that paid off. The label was also instrumental in keeping Bluegrass music alive and healthy and giving us some of its leading champions. Rockabilly, Bluegrass, String music, truck driving music and, of course, their flagship line - Honky-Tonk - are all discussed in the vein of Starday's contribution to their success's as genres.
So too are the people involved, not the least of which was George Jones. Much has been written about 'the Possum', but precious little of it ever covers his landmark early years. Here we get a strong glimpse of that young man as he started out. So to do we get pictures of other success stories - and their hits. (Remember 'Satisfied Mind', by Porter Wagoner? He didn't do it first! You get the song behind the story here!)
All in all I give a hearty thumbs up to the book. The writing is clear and concise and to the point, without personal opinion or fluff. It does jump around a bit in the beginning, but smooths out quickly. You can tell Gibson is excited and passionate about his subject and left no stone unturned in the telling.
You won't be disappointed with this book, and I can't see any book collection that deals with early country music not having this included in its ranks. If it doesn't, then it is far from complete and sadly lacking.
Robert J. Laplander
Lead singer for TEXAS '55 and THE JONES JUNKIES
So when I saw the positive review of "Starday Story" in that excellent UK mag, NOW DIG THIS, I couldn't wait to read it. Gibson, who fell completely under the Starday spell, has done his homework thoroughly and produced a well-researched labor of love that reads (at least to me) like a mystery novel..I devoured it in one late night session.
As the better music histories tend to do, "Starday Story" should inspire those unfamiliar with certain aspects of the rich musical history of this enterprise to seek out the musical legacy which Don Pierce has left us. Many of Starday's best sessions are readily available on CD and Gibson's appendix gives an excellent overview of those. I'm not a fan of country gospel but that chapter inspired me to check out Starday's important output in that genre.
More casual c&w fans (please don't be put off by the necessary high cost of this book...kudos for Univ. of Miss Press for producing it..it's well worth the cost) will enjoy back stories of George Jones, Red Sovine, Cowboy Copas, Frankie Miller and other top artists who contributed to Pierce's long run.
Anyone interested in the mechanics and foibles of the record business in the 50s and 60s will welcome this book. Pierce's contribution to the "indie label" saga with Starday and his R&B Hollywood label (also detailed here) was both unique and typical of the era...Gibsons' book stands alongside John Broven's recent magisterial "Record Breakers.." as an essential contribution to our understanding of an important phase in American roots music history which was generally ignored by the academy (and most critics) until fairly recently.
Maybe you'll even want to collect original Starday pressings after you read this book...Gibson's comprehensive discography is drawn from both company archives and research pioneered by serious record collectors. It's a heady addiction (Gibson's obsessive affinity for Starday recordings underlines his narrative) but fortunately the best of all this is available on CD (or MP3 and YouTube if that's your preference).
Let's see...future projects for this very able researcher and writer?? Tough, because many of the principals in the 50s/60s record business who deserve accurately documented histories are no longer with us...how 'bout Morty Craft..a colorful figure if there ever was one...started in '53 with the Harptones on Bruce, recorded Neil Sedaka on Melba in '56, ran Warwick Records with a host of national hits, stints at Mercury, MGM with Connie Francis, produced countless one-offs..knew every record distributor and important deejay back then...I add this only to emphasize the importance of doing this research NOW...sadly Tommy Hill, Pierce's right-hand man in Starday, had died before Gibson could interview him.
Finally, not to be jingoistic, I applaud Gibson, an American music fan, undertaking this task which has been often left to able writers from the U.K. and Europe. Colin Escott may be a national treasure but I'm glad that Mr. Gibson, an enthusiastic musician in his own right, decided to write this definitive "Starday Story."
Top international reviews
In this extremely well researched book, author Nathan Gibson relates the label’s history that began in Houston, Texas in 1952, founded by Jack Starnes and Harold “Pappy” Dailey, then gaining national attention with the discovery of George Jones, the promotional knowledge of Don Pierce and a short-lived association with Mercury Records. By the end of the decade Pierce was the label’s sole owner and, after establishing Starday in Nashville, was recording country, rockabilly, gospel and bluegrass, developing album sales alongside singles, operating several subsidiary labels and securing both nationwide and international distribution deals. In addition to finding new artists, he was signing several who had been dropped by the majors including Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, George Morgan, Johnny Bond and Red Sovine.
With Pierce’s interviews throughout providing a first-hand insight into Starday’s history and operation, alongside other important contributors like musician/producer Tommy Hill, the book is truly essential for collectors as it concluded with a complete discography stretching over 70 pages.
The extensive discographies are a must-have for serious collectors
of Starday originals.