Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Depression Years

The depression hit America, and affected every person, business and city on a level unprecedented. Many businesses closed, but some thrived like the local theater where one could take the little bit of change they saved for an afternoon matinee, and escape the woes of the world for a while.

This also included radio, and Rex Caliber realized that America was threatened to lose national treasures such as musicians of all genres. It was getting harder to get musicians for broadcasts, and that left him reading the newspaper to fill in the air time.

So he made the risky decision to spend a third of his equity on recording equipment and a 78 record press, so that when he got the opportunity to get musicians in the studio, he would record their performance for later rebroadcast, and for posterity. His first recording was of Tampa Red playing "It hurts me too". This was followed by Patsy Montana recording "I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart," the earliest country release by a female singer to sell a million copies. Caliber chose her over a new artist by the name of Bob Wills, thinking he would have a short career thereby wasting valuable record materials.

And so Rex Caliber's recording days had begun, giving him the advantage to pull artists at any time, and gleaning a few more sponsors to get more customers for their business in the dark days of the Great depression.

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