Old Slaves: Entertainers Who Signed Bad Record Deals

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(Highland)–Little Richard sits down to the piano for his first number at the San Manuel Indian Bing

Source: Mark Boster / Getty

Little Richard

Record labels giving black musicians bad record deals back in the day should come as no surprise to anyone – and according to Little Richard this was standard practice in the industry. In his biography, The Life and Times of Little Richard, the rock and roll front runner explained how it didn’t even matter how many records you sold if you were black. The record label owned all publishing rights before the record was even released; meaning successful artists were paid just as little as unsuccessful artists.

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