I've written before about ledgers. Today, as you can see above, we have a new one to look at, and it's a doozy. It comes our way from PermaRec reader Russell Ries Jr., who recently sent me the following note:
I was recently hanging out at my friend Rich's house when I saw something on his wall that I'd never noticed before. It was a gold record commemorative certificate that had been given to Rich's grandfather [for all the photos that follow, you can click to enlarge]:
Turns out Rich's grandfather, Byron Bach, had been a longtime cello player in Nashville and did a bunch of studio work around town. He worked a whole lot with Johnny Cash, whom he referred to as John.
Despite knowing Rich for years, I'd never heard anything about his grandfather. After we talked about him for a minute, Rich said, "Would you like to see his ledger that he kept?" Obviously, I said yes. The ledger showed all the studio sessions he worked on, and the names inside blew me away: Elvis, "John Cash," Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Price Loretta Lynn, Clint Eastwood, George Jones, June Carter Cash, etc.
For each entry it has the date; the names of the record company, studio, and artist; how much he was paid; how much he withheld for taxes; how much he made after taxes; and so on.
I took a bunch of photos. Rich said you're more than welcome to use them and write about them.
Man, what a trove of music history! Judging from Russell's photos, the ledger mostly covers the 1970s — not a bad time for Nashville. Here are the rest of the pics Russell sent me. The last one shows his friend Rich holding his grandfather's ledger. Enjoy!