Music industry executive. Born 1916. Died June 1986. Longtime executive with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), from BMI’s early years into the 1980s. Author of the four-volume work, American Popular Music and its Business: The First Four Hundred Years 3 Vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), a history of the American music industry.
1979 May 24
(1 hour, 4 minutes)
BMI executive Russell Sanjek recounts the history of the American music industry, focusing on issues facing the industry since the 1940s. Discussion includes examples of BMI’s programming; validating BMI’s existence; country music as an important element of popular music; the importance of “Tennessee Waltz” to the popularity of country music; an overview of past BMI presidents; BMI’s licensing and fee structures; BMI’s work with writers; comments about his current work on a book tracing the history of American popular music; the ASCAP and BMI relationship since the mid-1960s; the efforts for revision of U.S. copyright law; and comments on record companies’ increased costs and prices.