The music business (like any business) finds its origins at that muddied intersection of organized crime, hedonism and desperation.
P. Lauterbach’s “The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll” looks like a particularly interesting read. An excerpt:
“Though Ferguson accrued capital breaking the law, he was basically a businessman, and a responsible one: “He collected black dollars in underworld trade and gave back to the community at large, carving economic independence out for himself and employing black locals.””
Read more here.