Power 101: The Harvard Report, Soul Music, and The American Dream
by Logan H. Westbrooks and Schuyler C. Traughber
Publication Date: Aug 26, 2022
List Price: $27.95
Format: Paperback, 274 pages
Imprint: Ascent Book Publishing
Publisher: Ascent Book Publishing
Parent Company: Ascent Book Publishing
In 1972 CBS Records commissioned Harvard Business School and CBS Black Music Marketing Director, Logan Westbrooks, to develop and for CBS to implement, a “Study of the Soul Music Environment.” It was intended to be a simple, productive “blueprint” for Soul music. The result was CBS Records receiving decades of praise for its contributions to an era of strong music, along with employment in positions previously denied to Blacks in the music industry…all the way to astonishing charges of corporate collusion, racism, payoffs, and greed for the enrichment of White corporate America at the expense of powerful, Black-owned, self-distributed record labels like Stax and Motown.
Dr. Westbrooks and next-generation Schuyler “Sky” Traughber, who worked at Stax, Motown and CBS Records, take us on an historical music business roller coaster ride of personal and public domain stories. It covers decades of controversial revelations of how “The Harvard Report” may or may not have lived up to its reputation of being both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-the Savior and the Demon-of what Black Music became during this tumultuous period culminating in the uncertain state of Black Music today. Questions…did CBS Records set the wheels in motion for the demise of smaller Black-owned record labels? Or was it an inevitability? Power 101 offers answers and food for thought.