Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock 'n' Roll

Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock 'n' Roll

Larry Birnbaum

a vital paintings for rock fanatics and students, earlier than Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock 'n' Roll surveys the origins of rock 'n' roll from the minstrel period to the emergence of invoice Haley and Elvis Presley. not like different histories of rock, sooner than Elvis deals a much broader and deeper research of the affects on rock tune. Dispelling universal misconceptions, it examines rock's origins in hokum songs and big-band boogies in addition to Delta blues, detailing the include via white artists of African-American types lengthy earlier than rock 'n' roll seemed. This targeted learn levels all over the place, highlighting not just the contributions of imprecise yet key precursors like Hardrock Gunter and Sam Theard but in addition the impact of big name performers like Gene Autry and Ella Fitzgerald.

Too usually, rock historians deal with the genesis of rock 'n' roll as a bolt from the blue, an in a single day revolution provoked via the tasteless pop song that instantly preceded it and created during the white appropriation of song until eventually then performed in simple terms by means of and for black audiences. In earlier than Elvis, Birnbaum daringly argues a extra complex heritage and rock's evolution from a heady mixture of ragtime, boogie-woogie, swing, state track, mainstream pop, and rhythm-and-blues—a melange that motivated each other alongside the way in which, from the absorption of blues and boogies into jazz and pa to the mixing of state and Caribbean tune into rhythm-and-blues.

Written in a simple sort, earlier than Elvis provides a daring argument approximately rock's origins and required examining for enthusiasts and students of rock 'n' roll background.

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