text-to-speech "Planet Money Records: Song of Inflation"
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Earlier this year, a musician named Kinny Landrum planet money In an email, he made an unusual proposal.

Back in the 1970s, Kinny explained that he was the keyboardist for an instrumental funk band called Sugar Daddy and the Gumbo Roux. This was the height of the “stagflation” era, when sluggish growth and skyrocketing prices were wreaking havoc on the American economy. The band worked with a singer named Ernest Jackson who wrote songs with lyrics that captured the zeitgeist of the era. The song was called “Inflation”.

Sugar Daddy and Gumbo Lu recorded a demo of the song in 1975 at a famous New Orleans studio called Sea Sent Studios. However, the demo was never released. The band broke up. Then the song disappeared. So did high inflation after the US Federal Reserve threw it down in his early 1980s.

Fast forward to 2021. “Inflation” is making a violent comeback. Then Kinney receives a text message from his friend Arthur Rouse, who decades ago gave him a cassette of “Inflation.” The price hike caused Arthur to rekindle memories of the song. Suddenly, this dusty recording resonated again.

Then Kinney reached out planet money, and requested to do something with the song. of course, planet money We are not in the business of publishing records or promoting musicians. We are making a podcast. But we researched the story behind the song and started brainstorming what we could do with it.

A cassette tape placed on top of the case reads: "Sugar Daddy and Gumbo Lou."
A cassette tape is placed on the case and it says

Many of the members of Sugar Daddy and Gumbo Lu have gone on to have established careers in the music industry, playing in successful bands, writing jingles, and composing music for movies. Its most famous member, Randy Jackson, is a music executive, american idolBut sadly, despite his incredible talent, Earnest Jackson (no relation to Randy) didn’t make it. To make matters worse, he feels beaten, exploited and abandoned by the music industry.

but now planet money trying to change all that.

Ernest Jackson recorded his song "inflation" It was never released in 1975.he never heard "inflation" on the radio. That is about to change.
Ernest Jackson recorded his song

Creation of Planet Money Records

Because we love Ernest Jackson — and we love his incredible songs about the economic trends of our time — planet money I decided to help him (and the band) right the wrongs and aim for stardom.

To make this happen, we licensed our songs and became our own record label. planet money records with the sole purpose of releasing and promoting Jackson’s “Inflation” song. The journey leading up to this label has been a dizzying and threatening leap into the unknown for us, and a unique opportunity to explore the business and economics of the music industry from the inside.

The Planet Money Records logo, the letters
The Planet Money Records logo, the letters

When starting his own record label, planet money We wanted to avoid shady practices all too common in the music business. This is an industry where an artist regularly earns a penny for every dollar he makes for the songs he creates. As always, the death of physical record sales and the rise of digital streaming only made things worse for musicians.

We found that in a typical record deal, about 20% of the profits go to the artist and the remaining 80% to the label. We decided to do something radically different. You can learn about this in the series. You might think we made a terrible business decision, but to be fair we are not in the music business!

Of course, licensing Earnest Jackson’s songs wasn’t enough. We also want to create merch, organize music tours, and figure out ways to make this song popular. We will explore topics such as how payola works and how to create hit songs.

We hope you will join us in our series. Perhaps more importantly, check out the song!”Inflation” is a throwback his funk his tune that speaks to the current state of the global economy. You can find it on Spotify and Apple Music.

Greg Rosalsky, Sam Yellowhorse Kesler, and Arielle Retting contributed to this story.

Planet Money explains the economic forces that shape our lives.subscribe Spotify, Apple podcasts, Youtube Or get podcasts anywhere.you can also catch up with us tick tock When Instagramand our Newsletter!

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