Arts Hey Fnarf, I Got That Rock and Roll Book
posted by March 20 at 21:35 PMon
I haven’t finished reading the James Madison book yet, but I already got another volume from that Oxford University Press American history series.
This book is called: All Shook Up. How Rock ‘N’ Roll Changed America.
When I posted about the series last week, and mentioned this title, Fnarf had this to say:
I’ll be interested to see where they peg “the birth of Rock and Roll”. Most of the established histories have it wrong, missing out on a whole world of R&B shouters who crossed the rock and roll line long before that. Ideally, such a book wouldn’t mention Elvis until the last chapter. Elvis was more of a Dean Martin impersonator, anyways.
Well, just glanced at the first chapter (Louis Jordan and “Jump Blues” kick off the discussion of the music itself), but Fnarf should dig this graph:
Before it was supplanted by by rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues provided a dress rehearsal on a smaller stage for the agitation that reached [mainstream America] in the second half of the decade. After WWII, the industry substituted rhythm and blues for the harsher-sounding ‘race records’ as the term for recordings by black artists that were not gospel or jazz. But R&B also emerged as a distinctive musical genre, drawing on the rich musical traditions of African Americans, including the blues’ narratives, turbulent emotions, and the jubilation, steady beat, hand clapping, and call and response of gospel. Its vocalsits shouted, growled, or falsettoed over guitars and pianos, bass drums stressing a 2-4 beat…
Although, Fnarf wont dig this. Elvis is on the cover.
And yeah, I agree that’s a drag. Back when I was a total depressed weirdo—around the same time those Elvis stamps came out—I’d write the word ‘racist’ over them when I used them to mail letters.