Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Computerized Tracking of Sales Started In' 60s ; MR. MUSIC

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Computerized Tracking of Sales Started In' 60s ; MR. MUSIC

Article excerpt

DEAR JERRY: When did record stores start using point-of-sales computers to more accurately track what was selling and where? My assertion is that it was the 1970s, but a co-worker believes it was much later.

If you tell me I am wrong, there will be crow on my menu.

- Ernie Judd, Washington

DEAR ERNIE: The current system, computerized of course, for tabulating sales has been in use since March 1, 1991.

Called Nielsen Sound-Scan, after founder Arthur Nielsen, this is the same company that began tracking and measuring television audiences in 1950, which it still does.

You're right about stores using computers in the 1970s, but this fashion-forward tool for inventory control really began a decade earlier.

In October 1965, E. J. Korvette, a chain of membership discount stores, began using computers in its record departments. These mammoth machines generated a weekly report indicating which records, including genres, formats and location demographics, were selling in each of its 39 stores.

If a certain genre or format, (singles, albums, mono, stereo, etc.) didn't sell well at one store, it simply moved to a more appropriate location.

Just as with SoundScan, Korvette's computers operated from the point of sale, gathering the data entered at the cash registers.

DEAR JERRY: Who sang "My Father's Voice"? I believe it came out in the 1950s or' 60s. Where can I buy it?

- Laura Lea, Sandy, Utah

DEAR LAURA: Though she doesn't actually sing on it, Judy Lynn's touching narrative of "My Father's Voice" became a Top 20 C& W hit in 1963.

Judy, who was 27 at the time, speaks as a girl who just turned 16. Part of her birthday is spent in a canyon near a waterfall, where she recalls some advice passed on by her late father.

Think of this as the country version of the 1958 hit "The Ten Commandments" (Paul Anka, George Hamilton IV and Johnny Nash), with several of the same warnings: don't smoke, don't drink, obey your mother, get an education, don't make whoopee before marriage, etc., etc.

The original single (United Artists 571) frequently is available for less than $5 on Amazon and eBay. …

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