inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #76 of 177: Scott Underwood (esau) Sat 21 Jan 17 12:04
    
Slip!
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #77 of 177: Ed Ward (captward) Sat 21 Jan 17 13:16
    
* <mcdee>: Well, that view overlooks those pesky colored people, for
one. A great deal of the innovation during the Elvis-in-the-Army to
Beatles years -- but not all of it -- came from black people.
Starting with Ray Charles and the Tanner brothers of the "5"
Royales, black popular muic began moving away from the blues and
into the church, and Sam Cooke made it explicit by quitting the Soul
Stirrers and being a dreamy smooth Nat King Cole for a new
generation of white teenage girls. By the end of the '50s, soul was
entering the picture and a whole new kind of melody was suddenly
possible, both as repurposed gospel music ("I got a savior/Way cross
Jordan..."/"I got a woman/Way cross town...") and as
purpose-composed songwriting ("You Send Me," "Dedicated To the One I
Love"). Even the blues was getting soul-ified ("Baby Please Don't
Go" -> "Please Please Please" and Buddy Guy's "Stone Crazy" (1961)).

And while that was happening, in California, a more
electric-guitar-oriented country music was being born in Bakersfield
and Eddie Cochran was learning how to build records a track at a
time, so that his hits "Summertime Blues" and "Shorty Cut Across,"
among others, had him playing every instrument. (Doris Day, true,
had pioneered this with vocals, as had Les Paul and Mary Ford on
their records). 

So the whole "the day the music died" thing is more than a little
racist. If I'd been hanging with Mike Bloomfield in Chicago in 1961
and you'd have pulled that one on me, I'd have to figure you didn't
own or have access to a radio. 
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #78 of 177: Ed Ward (captward) Sat 21 Jan 17 13:17
    
* <esau>, even better than that, as someone pointed out at the time,
Arthur Lee of Love was a black man imitating Mick Jagger, a white
man, imitating black men. 
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #79 of 177: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sat 21 Jan 17 22:36
    
Also, much of this music was coming "out" of the church...you can go
back to Sister Rosett and Aretha and a host of people who caught
'holy shit' for going secular.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #80 of 177: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sun 22 Jan 17 06:03
    
Thanks, Ed - I know that question was kind of a 70 mph fastball
right in the middle of strike zone, but I asked it because I think
the attitude that nothing much happened in those pre-Beatles years
is still pretty pervasive.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #81 of 177: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sun 22 Jan 17 06:04
    
ust a reminder to those of you following along on the WWW:

If you're not a member of the WELL, but you have a comment or
question to offer, send via email to inkwell at well.com.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #82 of 177: Darrell Jonsson (jonsson) Sun 22 Jan 17 06:21
    

Any chance this book and its sequel will be in audio book format
someday?
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #83 of 177: Ed Ward (captward) Sun 22 Jan 17 07:33
    
They already issued the audio book with someone else reading it.
There's an extent to which they really don't get it. 

The attitude that nothing happened before the Beatles is symptomatic
of the incredible racism promulgated by the hippies. I actually had
a guy say to me, back then, "Spades can't play rock. Oh, well,
Hendrix. But his band's English." I'll get into that in the next
book, theories of why it happened and the absolute segregation of FM
radio. Well, except Hendrix. 
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #84 of 177: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Sun 22 Jan 17 09:30
    
Your musical knowledge is quite extensive...did anything surprise
you or fall into place as you were writing the first volume? I'm
asking because your writing career begins during what will be the
second volume and more of a first hand knowledge of rock and roll as
it was coming into its ascendancy....and I guess I'm assuming you
learned a lot of the pre-history as you were writing for Crawdaddy,
et al, at the time..

Or is this book a combination of new research and putting it all
together? Still, what surprised you, if anything?
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #85 of 177: Ed Ward (captward) Sun 22 Jan 17 09:35
    
Not a surprise, but in the 30-something years since Rock of Ages,
there's been waaay more written about this era, and it's waaay more
accurate than before. 

And again, not a surprise, but I was gratified to see the
overarching narrative of consumers taking control of their popular
culture and overthrowing the old regime and pushing their music to
the top, which of course they subverted. But again, that's vol. 2. 

But please don't confuse my writing career with my listening career.
As I noted above, I started listening in 1957, so that's part of the
first-hand knowledge. 
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #86 of 177: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Sun 22 Jan 17 10:00
    
I'm not going to argue the case in the hippies' favor - although I'd
say if it was probably more ignorance than racism.

But there is sort of a counter-argument to be made that for a brief
period there, a number of major black acts were avidly listened to
by white fans - Hendrix most obviously, but also Otis Redding, Sly,
Aretha, James Brown.

But yeah, of those acts I just named, only Hendrix was unambiguously
rock (I'd throw in Sly too).

Ironically, plenty of white music fans who were focused strictly on
rock and didn't educate themselves had little idea that much of what
they were listening to was adapted from blues, gospel, and R&B. 
Only my habit of reading songwriting credits saved me from similar
ignorance.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #87 of 177: A separate musical reality. (jonsson) Sun 22 Jan 17 16:18
    

Musical history as an audible or directly experienced factor must of
been very regional. I remember my older west coast cousins (of
record buying age in the early-mid 60s) being as interested in Bo
Diddley, Martha and the Vandellas as they were in the Ventures and
the Everly Brothers. 
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #88 of 177: Ed Ward (captward) Sun 22 Jan 17 17:47
    
But those were all natinoal acts at that time. 
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #89 of 177: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Mon 23 Jan 17 04:33
    
<85> "my listening career" love that phrase, very inclusive, and one
we all have...going back to replay my tapes now :)
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #90 of 177: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Mon 23 Jan 17 04:59
    
Yes, there are some big challenges when approaching things that you
weren't around to hear personally when they were new.  For one, you
can read about but not really *feel* what was novel about truly
revolutionary artists. The more influential the artists (e.g. Louis
Armstrong) the harder it is to truly understand their breakthroughs,
because you've spent your life hearing music incorporating them.

And then there's the more mundane task of simply sorting it all out
in time. And space, for that matter.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #91 of 177: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Mon 23 Jan 17 07:38
    
Yup, big difference to listening to the Book's playlist now, tho it
does provoke a ton of fine memories, and the listening experience of
hearing it all for the first time within the context of your life at
the time.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #92 of 177: Ted Newcomb (tcn) Mon 23 Jan 17 08:32
    
Listening to Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Bruce at the moment and Jorma
mentions in passing that Good Shephard, which he learned from Roger
Perkins all the way back in 1962, was actually recorded by Jimmy
Strothers back in the late 30's and titled Blood-Stained Banders.

And that he only learned that in the past decade....funny how music
goes like that...takes guys like you Ed to make some sense of it
all.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #93 of 177: those Andropovian bongs (rik) Mon 23 Jan 17 09:02
    
"The more influential the artists (e.g. Louis Armstrong) the harder it is 
to truly understand their breakthroughs,because you've spent your life 
hearing music incorporating them."

Boy howdy.  I was an Armstrong fan before I wzs 10.  My uncle had a bunch 
of his recordings and I loved to scat along with them. And about that same 
time, he showed up in films like "High Society", and "The Five Pennies", 
so I loved him as a personality as well.  But to me, it was just music. I 
had no concept of the evolution of music over time.  We had Count Basie 
and Duke Ellington as well, and I loved that stuff too, but had no idea 
that one led to the others.

The first VIVID musica memory of my life was seeing Elvis on the Dorsey 
Show.  My uncle actually called me down from my room where I had been 
doing homework.  It was "Ricky, come down here!!!  You have to see 
this!!!" It was just astounding.  Not only was the music utterly 
compelling, but this guy was trying to stick his dick out of the TV set 
into our living room.  And I didn't even know what that meant. I had never 
seen or heard anything like it in my life, and I wanted to hear more.  I 
think I was 11. And living in New England, I had knew nothing of southern 
music or culture Elvis was so different than anything I'd ever heard that 
it was like listening to Chinese music and getting it on the first listen.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #94 of 177: Ed Ward (captward) Mon 23 Jan 17 09:28
    
But it is true that one gets used to second-hand translations of
what were, at the time, groundbreaking artistic statements. I heard
so many second-rate white female vocalists while waiting for a rock
and roll record to come on the radio that to this day I can't listen
with pleasure to Billie Holiday. I used to make people crazy by
saying the only reason I played her records was for Lester Young's
solos, but it's true. 

And people forget that we did have to sit through a lot of crap
waiting for something cool to come on. Why I don't like Frank
Sinatra, who the morning DJ used to mix in lots to balance things
out while I was getting ready for school. There was more rock and
roll at night, but unfortunately WLIB (The Voice of Harlem) didn't
come through at all well, so listening to it was sporadic. And they
didn't play Diono and the Belmonts, the racists!
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #95 of 177: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Mon 23 Jan 17 10:15
    
I caught the tail end of the era where different sorts of music were
actually mingled together on radio.  But for the most part, by the
time I came along, music stations had already decided to concentrate
on one genre.

Speaking of radio, one factor in the rise of rock & roll you mention
in the book was the collapse of what is now called "Old Time Radio."
Once the soap operas, dramas, and variety shows went to TV, people
had to do *something* with those radio stations.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #96 of 177: Darrell Jonsson (jonsson) Mon 23 Jan 17 11:06
    <scribbled by jonsson Fri 3 Feb 17 14:24>
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #97 of 177: Mark McDonough (mcdee) Mon 23 Jan 17 11:18
    
For the time covered by volume 1, I was too little to go to live
music (although my mom did take me to a swell Pete Seeger concert
once).  But I can think of plenty of coulda woulda shoulda
opportunities during the volume 2 era.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #98 of 177: Scott Underwood (esau) Mon 23 Jan 17 11:27
    
I was born in 1961, so perhaps I started listening to AM radio when I was
9 or 10? I remember radio being pretty diverse, because a lot of songs
had lodged in my memory that I rediscovered when I started buying records
in my later teens. Over the years I have picked up albums of those radio
years, with title like "AM Gold: The Late '60s," "Billboard Top Rock &
Roll Hits: 1971" and various other pop, R&B, and soul compilations,
and these were all songs I heard.  It seemed like the DJs threw on a
lot of stuff, black, white, novelty, serious, even country, doo-wop,
old Elvis, Chuck Berry.

For me, the segregation happened later, when I was in high school
(1976-79) and coincided with my discovery of the FM stations and album
tracks. My school seemed to divide into, essentially, people who liked
disco and rockers. I shamefully admit I was among the "disco sucks"
supporters, which had the racist effect of shutting me off from all the
other black music. (I got better, as I mention above.)

But this is all getting ahead of Part 1. I'm certainly glad I didn't
have any experiences that kept me from enjoying Billie Holiday and Frank
Sinatra. Not enjoying Sammy Hagar seems different.
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #99 of 177: Scott Underwood (esau) Mon 23 Jan 17 11:27
    
Slips!
  
inkwell.vue.496 : History of Rock and Roll - Volume 1
permalink #100 of 177: Scott Underwood (esau) Mon 23 Jan 17 12:10
    
That post made me look up something: the songs featured in AMERICAN
GRAFFITI, which came out in 1973. The movie was set on a single night
in 1962; Wolfman Jack famously howls throughout, as if we're listening
to his radio broadcast.

I wonder how accurate this playlist is for a night in Modesto, Calif,
in Sept of 1962:

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/41_Original_Hits_from_the_Soundtrack_of_American
_Graffiti>

I don't think in 1973 there would have been any revisionist history
here. I don't know all the bands well enough to make a count of the
balance of white acts to black.
  

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