Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Recording Industry

by Michael L. Wells, 2006

Record Production since the 1970s

With the exception of beach music, the 1970s saw a decline in regional hit records with the advent of FM radio and formatted radio programming and the decline of the jukebox as a promotional tool. Local recording studios, independent labels, and custom recording remained in high gear, with cassette releases replacing the once-popular 45 singles by the early 1980s. Later local studios were forced to update their equipment for compatibility with new digital formats. Portable and easily affordable home-recording units began to allow both amateur and professional musicians to make quality recordings at home, lessening the need for studio time except for professional projects. Independent studios and record labels continued to thrive in North Carolina, including Reflection studio in Charlotte, the Drive-In studio in Winston-Salem, TGF, Sound Wave studios and Merge Records in Chapel Hill, and Jag studio in Raleigh. Independent record labels such as Sugar Hill Records in Durham and the World Music label based in Hillsborough released recordings that were distributed internationally, while several hip-hop labels in Charlotte and elsewhere gained attention in the industry.

Keep reading >>Recording Industry - Part 5: References Keep reading