Are you a fan of blues, folk, R&B, country or rock music? Chances are, you’re more familiar with the work of Ralph Peer than you might have known. Barry Mazor’s new biography of the legendary music publisher and label A&R visionary takes a close look at just how influential and radically innovative Peer was, during a time in which music traditionally divided rather than united. Read a bit about Ralph Peer’s influence, and then enter for your chance to win your own copy of Mazor’s book, along with a $25 Gift Card, in the contest below! (Update: This contest has now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Jordana, Melissa and Joerg, and thank you so much to everyone who participated.)
When Ralph Peer first embarked on his musical career in 1910s and 20s, musical styles were deeply fractionalized based on geography, socioeconomics and even race. Prior to home record players, the preeminent music distribution method was sheet music. People would hear a song in concert, then purchase the sheet music from music publishers in order to enjoy the same tunes at home. However, with the dawning of home record players, Peer recognized, before anyone else did, that music could transcend the day’s class and color boundaries.
From the 1920s through the 1960s, Ralph Peer worked with such diverse artists as Mamie Smith (recording her ground-breaking, genre-making “Crazy Blues” in 1920), Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Hoagy Carmichael and Latin legends like Agustin Lara to make regionally popular ‘roots’ music available to the masses. He recognized the astonishing skill, soul and universally translatable emotion of their songs, not to mention their economic viability in the evolving music publishing industry. In fact, the music publishing firm Peer founded, peermusic, remains the world’s largest independent music publisher today!
Enter to win your FREE copy of Peer’s biography, and we’ll even throw in a $25 Musicnotes E-Gift Card (good toward ANY sheet music at Musicnotes.com), now.
To win, match these 5 popular songs published by Ralph Peer with their artists. (Peer published an astonishing catalogue of songs over his career, we just chose 5 for our contest.) Leave your answer in comments section below. Three random correct answers will be chosen to receive a copy of ‘Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music’ (shipped from Barnes and Noble), as well as a $25 Musicnotes E-Gift Card (emailed to you via Musicnotes.com).*
1. “You Are My Sunshine”
2. “Deep in the Heart of Texas”
3. “That’ll Be the Day”
4. “Bésame Mucho”
5. “Georgia On My Mind”
June Hershey & Don Swander
Buddy Holly, Norman Petty & Jerry Allison
*Submit your entry in the comments section below before 9 am CST on Friday, December 12, 2014. Three correct answers will be chosen at random to win, and notified via email in order to obtain shipping information. Thanks for playing, and happy reading!
Even if you choose not to participate in our contest to win a free copy of ‘Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music,’ we highly encourage you to check out the book. It’s a historically fascinating look into Peer’s life. You’ll come to realize just how revolutionary his ideas on what music could and should be popular were. It also makes an awesome gift for any music, history, or music history lover on your holiday list!