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Before Elvis : the prehistory of rock 'n' roll

Author: Larry Birnbaum
Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2013.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This work surveys the origins of rock 'n' roll from the minstrel era to the emergence of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. Unlike other histories of rock, it offers a far broader and deeper analysis of the influences on rock music. Dispelling common misconceptions, it examines rock's origins in hokum songs and big-band boogies as well as Delta blues, detailing the embrace by white artists of African-American styles long  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Larry Birnbaum
ISBN: 9780810886384 0810886383 9780810886285 0810886286 9780810886292 0810886294
OCLC Number: 806456332
Description: x, 463 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: That's all right : A white man sounds black ; Rock 'n' roll arrives ; The meaning of rock ; The revolution that wasn't --
The train kept a-rollin' : Stroll on ; Cow-cow boogie ; Johnny B. Goode ; Rolling on --
One o' them things! : Big Bill ; Handy vs. Morton ; Birth of the blues ; Recording the blues ; Roots of the blues ; Africa, Britain, and vaudeville --
The rocks : The walking bass ; A dash of hokum ; Big band boogie ; Boogie-woogie fever ; Coda --
The jumpin' jive : Jump jazz ; The backbeat and the Jitterbug ; Jug bands and hokum ; Scat, jive, and harmony singing ; Big bands and shuffle rhythms ; The blues-jazz nexus ; From hokum to rhythm-and-blues ; Jive ; Big band jump ; Jump, jive, an' wail --
Get with it : Country origins ; Early country recordings ; Blues and hokum ; Western swing ; Hillbilly boogie ; Country and R & B --
Good rockin' tonight : R & B is born ; The door opens ; Horn honkers ; String slingers ; Shouters ; Rhythm-and-blues women ; Doo-wop ; The crescent city --
Rock love : Blue-eyed R & B ; Rock stars ; Mystery women ; Vocal groups ; Caribbean rhythms.
Responsibility: Larry Birnbaum.

Abstract:

This work surveys the origins of rock 'n' roll from the minstrel era to the emergence of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. Unlike other histories of rock, it offers a far broader and deeper analysis of the influences on rock music. Dispelling common misconceptions, it examines rock's origins in hokum songs and big-band boogies as well as Delta blues, detailing the embrace by white artists of African-American styles long before rock 'n' roll appeared. This study ranges far and wide, highlighting not only the contributions of obscure but key precursors like Hardrock Gunter and Sam Theard but also the influence of celebrity performers like Gene Autry and Ella Fitzgerald. Too often, rock historians treat the genesis of rock 'n' roll as a bolt from the blue, an overnight revolution provoked by the bland pop music that immediately preceded it and created through the white appropriation of music till then played only by and for black audiences. Here the author argues a more complicated history and rock's evolution from a heady mix of ragtime, boogie-woogie, swing, country music, mainstream pop, and rhythm-and-blues, a melange that influenced one another along the way, from the absorption of blues and boogies into jazz and pop to the integration of country and Caribbean music into rhythm-and-blues. This work presents a bold argument about rock's origins.
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As the subtitle implies, music journalist Birnbaum approaches the history of rock and roll like an archaeologist. Instead of cave paintings or crudely made tools, Birnbaum has records-lots and lots Read more...

 
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