Cover Art Decline (1920s - present)
With the onset of the radio in 1920 and the eventual blossoming of the record and movie industry, sheet music sales plummeted and the decline in artistic covers commenced. Cost pressures discouraged publishers from hiring artists to create covers. As radio and movies became prominent, many singers and movie stars became national idols. Their portraits were placed wherever they could to get the most exposure. By the 1930s it was not unusual to see a singer’s or movie star’s portrait such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, or Bob Hope on a sheet music cover.