Follow the Music is a BIG book on the history of the music biz

The 1960's was a heady time for the music biz and Follow the Music: The Life And High Times Of Elektra Records In The Great Years Of American Pop Culture is a huge 441-page book—and a fantastic history of industry pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jac Holzman. Sure, I loved the endless details on the famous artists on Elektra, like The Doors, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, and Jackson Browne, but just as interesting was the story of the business side of the early days record business.

Jac Holzman started recording folk music when he was just 19 and time and again his instincts served him well as a clever record producer and businessman. I was reminded of the many Elektra LPs I have owned, from less famous folk music to the recordings of stereo sound effects and environments, which as Holzman explains, was a thrifty way to make royalty-free records. He also came up with the concept of producing sampler LPs with an assortment of Elektra artists on one LP—great promotion and low cost!

Rather than a continuous narrative, the book is collection of interview snippets, edited and sequenced in chronological order to create a talking time line of various memories and points of view. I like how Jac Holzman's usually gets the last word.