Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, United States. It covers about 151 sq mi near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is around 380,000, making it the 9th-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation; the Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas around the city, such as East Bakersfield and Rosedale, has a population of over 520,000. Bakersfield is a charter city; the city is a significant hub for both oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county and the fourth-most productive agricultural county in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, mining, petroleum refining, distribution, food processing, corporate regional offices.
The city is the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound. Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years; the Yokuts lived in lodges along the branches of the Kern River delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, bear and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, the Yokuts remained isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley; the Bakersfield area, once a tule reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers, who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, experienced outbreaks of malaria.
In 1862, disastrous floods swept away the original settlement founded in 1860 by the German-born Christian Bohna. Among those attracted to the area by the California gold rush was Thomas Baker, a lawyer and former colonel in the militia of Ohio, his home state. Baker moved to the banks of the Kern River in 1863, at what became known as Baker's Field, which became a stopover for travelers. By 1870, with a population of 600, what is now known as Bakersfield was becoming the principal town in Kern County. In 1873, Bakersfield was incorporated as a city, by 1874, it replaced the dying town of Havilah as the county seat. Alexander Mills was hired as the city marshal, a man one historian would describe as "... an old man by the time he became Marshal of Bakersfield, he walked with a cane. But he was a Kentuckian, a handy man with a gun, not lacking in initiative and resource when the mood moved him." Businessmen and others began to resent Mills, cantankerous and high-handed in his treatment of them.
Wanting to fire him but fearing reprisals, they came up with a scheme to disincorporate leaving him without an employer. According to local historian Gilbert Gia the city was failing to collect the taxes it needed for services. In 1876, the city voted to disincorporate. For the next 22 years, a citizen's council managed the community. By 1880, the town had a population of 801, by 1890, it had a population of 2,626. Migration from Texas, Louisiana and Southern California brought new residents, who were employed by the oil industry; the city reincorporated on January 11, 1898. On July 21, 1952, an earthquake struck at 4:52 am Pacific Daylight Time; the earthquake, which measured 7.5 on the moment magnitude scale and was felt from San Francisco to the Mexican border, destroyed the nearby communities of Tehachapi and Arvin. The earthquake's destructive force bent cotton fields into U shapes, slid a shoulder of the Tehachapi Mountains across all four lanes of the Ridge Route, collapsed a water tower creating a flash flood, destroyed the railroad tunnels in the mountain chain.
Bakersfield was spared. A large aftershock occurred on July 29, did minor architectural damage, but raised fears that the flow of the Friant-Kern Canal could be dangerously altered flooding the city and surrounding areas. Aftershocks, for the next month, had become normal to Bakersfield residents until, on August 22 at 3:42 pm, a 5.8 earthquake struck directly under the town's center in the most densely populated area of the southern San Joaquin Valley. Four people died in the aftershock, some of the town's historic structures sustained heavy damage. Between 1970 and 2010, Bakersfield grew 400%, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in California. Bakersfield's close proximity to mountain passes the Tejon Pass on Interstate 5 between the Los Angeles metropolis and the central San Joaquin Valley, has made the city a regional transportation hub. In 1990, Bakersfield was one of 10 U. S. communities to receive the All-America City Award from the National Civic League. In 2010, the Bakersfield MSA had a gross metropolitan product of $29.466 billion, making it the 73rd-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Bakersfield lies near the southern "horseshoe" end of the San Joaquin Valley, with the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada just to the east. The city limits extend to the Sequoia National Forest, at the foot of the Greenhorn Mountain Range and at the en
Pedal steel guitar
The pedal steel guitar is a console-type of steel guitar with pedals and levers added to enable playing more varied and complex music which had not been possible with antecedent steel guitar designs. Like other steel guitars, it shares the ability to play unlimited glissandi and deep vibrati—characteristics in common with the human voice. Pedal steel is most associated with American country music. Pedals and knee levers were added to a steel guitar in the 1950s, allowing the performer to play scales without moving the bar and to push the pedals while striking a chord, making passing notes slur or bend up into harmony with existing notes; the latter creates a unique sound, embraced by country and western music—a sound not possible on a non-pedal steel guitar of any type. From its first use in Hawaii in the 19th century, the steel guitar sound became popular in the United States in the first half of the 20th century and spawned a family of instruments designed to be played with the guitar a horizontal position known as "Hawaiian-style".
The first instrument in this chronology was the Hawaiian guitar called a lap steel. The electric guitar pickup was invented in 1934, allowing steel guitars to be heard with other instruments. Electronic amplification enabled subsequent development of the electrified lap steel the console steel, the pedal steel guitar. Playing the pedal steel has unusual physical requirements in requiring simultaneous coordination of both hands, both feet and both knees. Pioneers in development of the instrument include Buddy Emmons, Bud Isaacs, Zane Beck, Paul Bigsby. In addition to American country music and Hawaiian music, the instrument is common in sacred music, Nigerian Music, Indian music; the instrument's ancestry is traced to the Hawaiian Islands in the late 19th century after the Spanish guitar was introduced there by European sailors and by Mexican vaqueros who came there to herd cattle. Hawaiians who did not want to take the time to learn how to play a Spanish guitar, re-tuned the instrument so it sounded a major chord when strummed thought to be an "unorthodox tuning".
This was known as "slack-key". To change chords, they used some smooth object a piece of pipe or metal, sliding it over the strings to the fourth or fifth position playing a three-chord song. To make playing easier, they played it while sitting; the problem with playing a traditional Spanish guitar this way was that the steel tone bar strikes against the frets making an unpleasant sound unless played lightly—this was corrected by raising the strings higher off the fretboard with a piece of metal or wood over the nut. This technique became popular throughout Hawaii. Joseph Kekuku was a Hawaiian from Oahu who became proficient in this style of playing around the turn of the century and popularized it—some sources say he invented the steel guitar, he moved to the United States mainland and became vaudeville performer and toured Europe performing Hawaiian music. The Hawaiian style of playing spread to the United States mainland and became popular during the first half of the 20th century, to the degree that it has been called the "Hawaiian craze", ignited by several events.
One such event was a 1912 Broadway musical show called Bird of Paradise, which featured Hawaiian music and elaborate costumes. The show became a hit and, to ride this wave of success, it was subsequently taken on the road in the U. S. and Europe spawning a motion picture of the same name. Joseph Kekuku was a member of the show's original cast and toured Europe with the Bird of Paradise show for eight years; the Washington Herald in 1918 stated, "So great is the popularity of Hawaiian music in this country that'The Bird of Paradise' will go on record as having created the greatest musical fad this country has known". Another event fueling the popularity of Hawaiian music was a radio broadcast called "Hawaii Calls" which began broadcasting from Hawaii to the US west coast, it prominently featured Hawaiian songs sung in English. Subsequently, the program was heard worldwide on over 750 stations. One of pedal steel guitar's foremost virtuosos, Buddy Emmons, at age 11 trained at the "Hawaiian Conservatory of Music" in South Bend, Indiana.
The Hawaiian style was adapted to blues music. Blues musicians played a conventional Spanish guitar as hybrid between the two types of guitars, using one finger inserted into a tubular slide or a bottleneck while using frets with the remaining fingers; this is known as "slide guitar". One of the first southern blues musicians to adapt the Hawaiian sound to the blues was "Tampa Red" whose playing, says historian Gérard Herzhaft, "created a style that has unquestionably influenced all modern blues."The acceptance of the sound of the steel guitar referred to as "Hawaiian guitars" or "lap steels", spurred instrument makers to produce them in quantity and create innovations in the design to accommodate this style of playing. Hawaiian lap steel guitars were not loud enough to compete with other instruments, a problem that many inventors were trying to remedy. In Los Angeles in the 1920s, a steel guitar player named George Beauchamp saw some inventions which added a horn, like a megaphone, to steel guitars to make them louder.
Beauchamp became interested, went to a shop near his home to learn more. The shop
The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers. It is played using a keyboard, a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings; the word piano is a shortened form of pianoforte, the Italian term for the early 1700s versions of the instrument, which in turn derives from gravicembalo col piano e forte and fortepiano. The Italian musical terms piano and forte indicate "soft" and "loud" in this context referring to the variations in volume produced in response to a pianist's touch or pressure on the keys: the greater the velocity of a key press, the greater the force of the hammer hitting the strings, the louder the sound of the note produced and the stronger the attack; the name was created as a contrast to harpsichord, a musical instrument that doesn't allow variation in volume. The first fortepianos in the 1700s had smaller dynamic range.
An acoustic piano has a protective wooden case surrounding the soundboard and metal strings, which are strung under great tension on a heavy metal frame. Pressing one or more keys on the piano's keyboard causes a padded hammer to strike the strings; the hammer rebounds from the strings, the strings continue to vibrate at their resonant frequency. These vibrations are transmitted through a bridge to a soundboard that amplifies by more efficiently coupling the acoustic energy to the air; when the key is released, a damper stops the strings' vibration, ending the sound. Notes can be sustained when the keys are released by the fingers and thumbs, by the use of pedals at the base of the instrument; the sustain pedal enables pianists to play musical passages that would otherwise be impossible, such as sounding a 10-note chord in the lower register and while this chord is being continued with the sustain pedal, shifting both hands to the treble range to play a melody and arpeggios over the top of this sustained chord.
Unlike the pipe organ and harpsichord, two major keyboard instruments used before the piano, the piano allows gradations of volume and tone according to how forcefully a performer presses or strikes the keys. Most modern pianos have a row of 88 black and white keys, 52 white keys for the notes of the C major scale and 36 shorter black keys, which are raised above the white keys, set further back on the keyboard; this means that the piano can play 88 different pitches, going from the deepest bass range to the highest treble. The black keys are for the "accidentals". More some pianos have additional keys. Most notes have three strings, except for the bass; the strings are sounded when keys are pressed or struck, silenced by dampers when the hands are lifted from the keyboard. Although an acoustic piano has strings, it is classified as a percussion instrument rather than as a stringed instrument, because the strings are struck rather than plucked. There are two main types of piano: the upright piano.
The grand piano is used for Classical solos, chamber music, art song, it is used in jazz and pop concerts. The upright piano, more compact, is the most popular type, as it is a better size for use in private homes for domestic music-making and practice. During the 1800s, influenced by the musical trends of the Romantic music era, innovations such as the cast iron frame and aliquot stringing gave grand pianos a more powerful sound, with a longer sustain and richer tone. In the nineteenth century, a family's piano played the same role that a radio or phonograph played in the twentieth century. During the nineteenth century, music publishers produced many musical works in arrangements for piano, so that music lovers could play and hear the popular pieces of the day in their home; the piano is employed in classical, jazz and popular music for solo and ensemble performances and for composing and rehearsals. Although the piano is heavy and thus not portable and is expensive, its musical versatility, the large number of musicians and amateurs trained in playing it, its wide availability in performance venues and rehearsal spaces have made it one of the Western world's most familiar musical instruments.
With technological advances, amplified electric pianos, electronic pianos, digital pianos have been developed. The electric piano became a popular instrument in the 1960s and 1970s genres of jazz fusion, funk music and rock music; the piano was founded on earlier technological innovations in keyboard instruments. Pipe organs have been used since Antiquity, as such, the development of pipe organs enabled instrument builders to learn about creating keyboard mechanisms for sounding pitches; the first string instruments with struck strings were the hammered dul
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, four to six strings or courses. The four-string bass is tuned the same as the double bass, which corresponds to pitches one octave lower than the four lowest-pitched strings of a guitar, it is played with the fingers or thumb, or striking with a pick. The electric bass guitar has pickups and must be connected to an amplifier and speaker to be loud enough to compete with other instruments. Since the 1960s, the bass guitar has replaced the double bass in popular music as the bass instrument in the rhythm section. While types of basslines vary from one style of music to another, the bassist plays a similar role: anchoring the harmonic framework and establishing the beat. Many styles of music include the bass guitar, it is a soloing instrument. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, an "Electric bass guitar a Guitar with four heavy strings tuned E1'-A1'-D2-G2."
It defines bass as "Bass. A contraction of Double bass or Electric bass guitar." According to some authors the proper term is "electric bass". Common names for the instrument are "bass guitar", "electric bass guitar", "electric bass" and some authors claim that they are accurate; the bass guitar is a transposing instrument, as it is notated in bass clef an octave higher than it sounds. In the 1930s, musician and inventor Paul Tutmarc of Seattle, developed the first electric bass guitar in its modern form, a fretted instrument designed to be played horizontally; the 1935 sales catalog for Tutmarc's electronic musical instrument company, featured his "Model 736 Bass Fiddle", a four-stringed, solid-bodied, fretted electric bass guitar with a 30 1⁄2-inch scale length, a single pick up. The adoption of a guitar's body shape made the instrument easier to hold and transport than any of the existing stringed bass instruments; the addition of frets enabled bassists to play in tune more than on fretless acoustic or electric upright basses.
Around 100 of these instruments were made during this period. Audiovox sold their “Model 236” bass amplifier. Around 1947, Tutmarc's son, began marketing a similar bass under the Serenader brand name, prominently advertised in the nationally distributed L. D. Heater Music Company wholesale jobber catalogue of 1948. However, the Tutmarc family inventions did not achieve market success. In the 1950s, Leo Fender and George Fullerton developed the first mass-produced electric bass guitar; the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company began producing the Precision Bass in October 1951. The "P-bass" evolved from a simple, un-contoured "slab" body design and a single coil pickup similar to that of a Telecaster, to something more like a Fender Stratocaster, with a contoured body design, edges beveled for comfort, a split single coil pickup; the "Fender Bass" was a revolutionary new instrument for gigging musicians. In comparison with the large, heavy upright bass, the main bass instrument in popular music from the early 1900s to the 1940s, the bass guitar could be transported to shows.
When amplified, the bass guitar was less prone than acoustic basses to unwanted audio feedback. In 1953 Monk Montgomery became the first bassist to tour with the Fender bass guitar, in Lionel Hampton's postwar big band. Montgomery was possibly the first to record with the bass guitar, on July 2, 1953 with The Art Farmer Septet. Roy Johnson, Shifty Henry, were other early Fender bass pioneers. Bill Black, playing with Elvis Presley, switched from upright bass to the Fender Precision Bass around 1957; the bass guitar was intended to appeal to guitarists as well as upright bass players, many early pioneers of the instrument, such as Carol Kaye, Joe Osborn, Paul McCartney were guitarists. In 1953, following Fender's lead, Gibson released the first short-scale violin-shaped electric bass, with an extendable end pin so a bassist could play it upright or horizontally. Gibson renamed the bass the EB-1 in 1958. In 1958, Gibson released the maple arched-top EB-2 described in the Gibson catalogue as a "hollow-body electric bass that features a Bass/Baritone pushbutton for two different tonal characteristics".
In 1959 these were followed by the more conventional-looking EB-0 Bass. The EB-0 was similar to a Gibson SG in appearance. Whereas Fender basses had pickups mounted in positions in between the base of the neck and the top of the bridge, many of Gibson's early basses featured one humbucking pickup mounted directly against the neck pocket; the EB-3, introduced in 1961 had a "mini-humbucker" at the bridge position. Gibson basses tended to be smaller, sleeker instruments with a shorter scale length than the Precision. A number of other companies began manufacturing bass guitars during the 1950s: Kay in 1952, Hofner and Danelectro in 1956, Rickenbacker in 1957 and Burns/Supersound in 1958. 1956 saw the appearance at the German trade fair "Musikmesse Frankfurt" of the distinctive Höfner 500/1 violin-shaped bass made using violin construction techniques by Walter Höfner, a second-generation violin luthier. The design was known popularly as the "Beat
A drum kit — called a drum set, trap set, or drums — is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands, the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums and idiophones – most cymbals, but can include the woodblock and cowbell. In the 2000s, some kits include electronic instruments. Both hybrid and electronic kits are used. A standard modern kit, as used in popular music and taught in music schools, contains: A snare drum, mounted on a stand, placed between the player's knees and played with drum sticks A bass drum, played by a pedal operated by the right foot, which moves a felt-covered beater One or more toms, played with sticks or brushes A hi-hat, played with the sticks and closed with left foot pedal One or more cymbals, mounted on stands, played with the sticksAll of these are classified as non-pitched percussion, allowing the music to be scored using percussion notation, for which a loose semi-standardized form exists for both the drum kit and electronic drums.
The drum kit is played while seated on a stool known as a throne. While many instruments like the guitar or piano are capable of performing melodies and chords, most drum kits are unable to achieve this as they produce sounds of indeterminate pitch; the drum kit is a part of the standard rhythm section, used in many types of popular and traditional music styles, ranging from rock and pop to blues and jazz. Other standard instruments used in the rhythm section include the piano, electric guitar, electric bass, keyboards. Many drummers extend their kits from this basic configuration, adding more drums, more cymbals, many other instruments including pitched percussion. In some styles of music, particular extensions are normal. For example, some rock and heavy metal drummers make use of double bass drums, which can be achieved with either a second bass drum or a remote double foot pedal; some progressive drummers may include orchestral percussion such as gongs and tubular bells in their rig. Some performers, such as some rockabilly drummers, play small kits that omit elements from the basic setup.
Before the development of the drum set and cymbals used in military and orchestral music settings were played separately by different percussionists. In the 1840s, percussionists began to experiment with foot pedals as a way to enable them to play more than one instrument, but these devices would not be mass-produced for another 75 years. By the 1860s, percussionists started combining multiple drums into a set; the bass drum, snare drum and other percussion instruments were all struck with hand-held drum sticks. Drummers in musical theater shows and stage shows, where the budget for pit orchestras was limited, contributed to the creation of the drum set by developing techniques and devices that would enable them to cover the roles of multiple percussionists. Double-drumming was developed to enable one person to play the bass and snare with sticks, while the cymbals could be played by tapping the foot on a "low-boy". With this approach, the bass drum was played on beats one and three. While the music was first designed to accompany marching soldiers, this simple and straightforward drumming approach led to the birth of ragtime music when the simplistic marching beats became more syncopated.
This resulted in dance feel. The drum set was referred to as a "trap set", from the late 1800s to the 1930s, drummers were referred to as "trap drummers". By the 1870s, drummers were using an "overhang pedal". Most drummers in the 1870s preferred to do double drumming without any pedal to play multiple drums, rather than use an overhang pedal. Companies patented their pedal systems such as Dee Dee Chandler of New Orleans 1904–05. Liberating the hands for the first time, this evolution saw the bass drum played with the foot of a standing percussionist; the bass drum became the central piece around which every other percussion instrument would revolve. William F. Ludwig, Sr. and his brother, Theobald Ludwig, founded the Ludwig & Ludwig Co. in 1909 and patented the first commercially successful bass drum pedal system, paving the way for the modern drum kit. Wire brushes for use with drums and cymbals were introduced in 1912; the need for brushes arose due to the problem of the drum sound overshadowing the other instruments on stage.
Drummers began using metal fly swatters to reduce the volume on stage next to the other acoustic instruments. Drummers could still play the rudimentary snare figures and grooves with brushes that they would play with drumsticks. By World War I, drum kits were marching band-style military bass drums with many percussion items suspended on and around them. Drum kits became a central part of jazz Dixieland; the modern drum kit was developed in the vaudeville era during the 1920s in New Orleans. In 1917, a New Orleans band called "The Original Dixieland Jazz Band " recorded jazz tunes that became hits all o
Capitol Records, Inc. is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first West Coast-based record label in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company a year making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both a part of UMG; the label's circular headquarter building in Hollywood is a recognized landmark of California. Capitol's roster includes Katy Perry, Sir Paul McCartney, Mary J. Blige, the Beach Boys, the Beastie Boys, Neil Diamond, Brian Wilson, Avenged Sevenfold, 5 Seconds of Summer, Don Henley, Sam Smith, Migos, NF, Emeli Sandé, Troye Sivan, Calum Scott, Tori Kelly, Jon Bellion, Niall Horan. Songwriter Johnny Mercer founded Capitol Records in 1942 with financial help from songwriter and film producer Buddy DeSylva and the business acumen of Glenn Wallichs, owner of Wallichs Music City.
Mercer raised the idea of starting a record company while golfing with Harold Arlen and Bobby Sherwood and with Wallichs at Wallichs's record store. On February 2, 1942, Mercer and Wallichs met DeSylva at a restaurant in Hollywood to talk about investment by Paramount Pictures. On March 27, 1942, the three men incorporated as Liberty Records. In May 1942, the application was amended to change the company's name to Capitol Records. On April 6, 1942, Mercer supervised Capitol's first recording session where Martha Tilton recorded the song "Moon Dreams". On May 5, Bobby Sherwood and his orchestra recorded two tracks in the studio. On May 21, Freddie Slack and his orchestra recorded three tracks in the studio. On June 4, 1942, Capitol opened its first office in a second-floor room south of Sunset Boulevard. On that same day, Wallichs presented the company's first free record to Los Angeles disc jockey Peter Potter. On June 5, 1942, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra recorded four songs at the studio. On June 12, the orchestra recorded five more songs in the studio, including "Trav'lin' Light" with Billie Holiday, On June 11, Tex Ritter recorded " Jingle Jangle Jingle" and "Goodbye My Little Cherokee" for his first Capitol recording session, the songs formed Capitol's 110th produced record.
The earliest recording artists included co-owner Mercer, Johnnie Johnston, Morse, Jo Stafford, the Pied Pipers, Tex Ritter, Paul Weston and Margaret Whiting Capitol's first gold single was Morse's "Cow Cow Boogie" in 1942. Capitol's first album was Capitol Presents Songs by Johnny Mercer, a three disc set with recordings by Mercer and the Pied Pipers, all with Weston's Orchestra; the label's other 1940s musicians included Les Baxter, Les Brown, Jimmy Bryant, Billy Butterfield, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr. Dinning Sisters, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Mary Ford, Benny Goodman, Skitch Henderson, Betty Hutton, Stan Kenton, Peggy Lee, Billy May, Les Paul, Alvino Rey, Andy Russell, Smilin' Jack Smith, Kay Starr, Speedy West, Cootie Williams. Musicians on the Capitol Americana label included Lead Belly, Cliffie Stone, Hank Thompson, Merle Travis, Wesley Tuttle, Jimmy Wakely, Tex Williams. Capitol was the first major west coast label to compete with labels on the east coast such as Columbia, RCA Victor.
In addition to its Los Angeles recording studio, Capitol owned a second studio in New York City and sent mobile recording equipment to New Orleans and other cities. In 1946, writer-producer Alan W. Livingston created Bozo the Clown for the company's children's record library. Examples of notable Capitol albums for children during that era are Sparky's Magic Piano and Rusty in Orchestraville. Capitol developed a noted jazz catalog that included the Capitol Jazz Men and issued the Miles Davis's album Birth of the Cool Capitol released a few classical albums in the 1940s, some of which contained a embossed, leather-like cover; these recordings appeared on 78 rpm format released on the 33 format in 1949. Among the recordings: Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos' Choros No. 10, with contributions from a Los Angeles choral group and the Janssen Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Werner Janssen. In 1949, Capitol opened a branch office in Canada and purchased KHJ Studios on Melrose Avenue adjacent to Paramount in Hollywood.
By the mid-1950s, Capitol had become a huge company. The label's roster included the Andrews Sisters, Ray Anthony, Shirley Bassey, June Christy, Tommy Duncan, Tennessee Ernie Ford, the Four Freshmen, the Four Knights, the Four Preps, Jane Froman, Judy Garland, Jackie Gleason, Andy Griffith, Dick Haymes, Harry James, the Kingston Trio, the Louvin Brothers, Dean Martin, Al Martino, Skeets McDonald, Louis Prima, Nelson Riddle, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Keely Smith. Capitol began recording roll acts such as the Jodimars and Gene Vincent. There were comedy records by Stan Freberg, Johnny Standley, Mickey Katz. Children listened to Capitol's Bozo the Clown albums. Although various people played Bozo the Clown on television, Capitol used the voice of Pinto Colvig, the voice of Goofy in Walt Disney cartoons. Don Wilson released children's records. In June 1952, Billboard magazine contained a chronicle of the label's first ten years in business. In 1955, the British record company EMI ended its 55-year mutual distribution