RALPH PEER AND THE MAKING OF POPULAR ROOTS MUSIC by Barry Mazor BOOK: PEER
(Chicago Review Press, 2015), 316 pages, Hard bound. Those who have had the occasion to read Mazor's earlier book MEETING JIMMIE RODGERS, will not be surprised at the thoroughness and detail that the author has put in to this important new publication about one of the key figures in promoting the popularity and importance of "roots music". Ralph Peer had a major hand in helping to open the door for country, Jazz, and blues musicians as far back as the early 1920s, first for the Okeh label, then for Victor. He is best known for "discovering" Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, but he dealt with countless musicians, proving that there was a significant market for authentic rural music on phonograph records. He had a fascinating career in the music business, and this is well documented by Mazor, who provides all sorts of interesting facts about recording and publishing. The book includes 16 pages of photographs and a good index. For anyone interested in the workings of the music business , this is an amazing , thoroughly researched book.