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Creative Labour, Race, and R&B Record Royalties: “I’ll Never Never Never Be Able to Retire, No Matter How Many Records I Sold?”

Creative Labour, Race, and R&B Record Royalties: “I’ll Never Never Never Be Able to Retire, No Matter How Many Records I Sold?”
170 St. George Street, JHB Room 100
Time: Apr 6th, 4:00 pm End: Apr 6th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Women & Gender Studies (FAS), United States Studies, Political Science, Music, Faculty of , Law, Faculty of , Information, Faculty of, Humanities, History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), Drama, Theatre, Performance Studies (FAS), Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (UTM), 2000-, 1950-2000, 1900-1950
Talk by Matt Stahl, University of Western Ontario

The Jackman Humanities Institute and the Centre for the Study of the Unites States present

Creative Labour, Race, and R&B Record Royalties: "I'll Never Never Never Be Able to Retire, No Matter How Many Records I Sold?"

Between the mid-1980s and the early 2000s, a number of aging R&B singers-and a handful of political, legal, and celebrity advocates-undertook a series of efforts referred to at the time by sympathetic journalists as "royalty reform." Royalty reform confirmed and detailed practices of fraud and exploitation at work in the 1950s and 60s R&B record industry and achieved several landmark victories. Nevertheless, royalty reform has gone unaddressed by scholars until now. This presentation examines one of these episodes, the nine-year class action lawsuit initiated by Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) against AFTRA's Health and Retirement Funds. A central conceit of the presentation (and the broader research project it represents) is that royalty reform not only gave voice and some measure of reparations to a racially and economically marginalized group, it also provides scholars with a new window on royalties as a core mechanism or apparatus of the racialized political economy of music- and culture-making.

Matt Stahl is an Associate Professor of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, where he is a member of the Digital Labour Research Group. His 2013 book, Unfree Masters: Recording Artists and the Politics of Work (Duke University Press), received the International Association for the Study of Popular Music's 2013 Book Award. Stahl has published widely in media studies, popular music, and labour-focused scholarly journals and edited volumes. Before undertaking an academic career, Matt Stahl composed and performed with numerous indie rock groups in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required. Please arrive early as seating is limited, and is on a first-come first-seated basis. For further information, please contact Stella Kyriakakis at 416-946-8972.

stahl


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