Beyond Bebop: Dial Records and the Library of Contemporary Classics

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Abstract

Renowned for its recordings of Charlie Parker and other bebop artists, Dial Records holds a prominent place in jazz history. But upon Parker’s departure from the label in 1948, Ross Russell, Dial’s owner, took the company in another direction by turning from jazz to modern classical music. At a time when few classical labels were presenting contemporary repertoire, Dial’s Library of Contemporary Classics, a series of eighteen long-playing albums issued from 1949 to 1951, featured works by Arnold Schoenberg and other twentieth-century composers, introducing listeners to an array of striking new sounds. While today Dial’s bebop recordings are prized by collectors and studied by musicians and scholars, the classical series is largely forgotten, though it constitutes another important part of Dial’s history and legacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-98
JournalARSC Journal (Association for Recorded Sound Collections)
Volume44
StatePublished - 2013

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