Follow the history of musicians and you’ll find a time when the minstrel played and was paid, but not always in the currency of the day.
Go back a few decades. You’ll find a time when musicians were led by record labels who would pick up the promotional tab and pay artists in cash. Far more groups were on the major circuits of shows. Merchandising became a major revenue source (for a few), and song sales succeeded because of thousands of record stores. As an artist, it was far easier to dream of striking it big.
|“I went to see a local band last Saturday night. Great music. Enjoyed myself. Yet, at the end of the evening the wife and I got up from our table and left. The only revenue generated went to the bar.”|
Look around at what you have to work with today; fewer artists are getting broadcast radio play, song sales have crashed because music is everywhere, and merchandising is weak (except for those few major acts receiving major label support).