Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock 'n' Roll

By Larry Birnbaum

A vital paintings for rock enthusiasts and students, sooner 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. in contrast to different histories of rock, sooner than Elvis bargains a miles broader and deeper research of the impacts on rock song. Dispelling universal misconceptions, it examines rock's origins in hokum songs and big-band boogies in addition to Delta blues, detailing the embody through white artists of African-American kinds lengthy prior to rock 'n' roll seemed. This targeted learn levels in all places, highlighting not just the contributions of vague yet key precursors like Hardrock Gunter and Sam Theard but in addition the impact of star 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 by means of the tasteless pop track that instantly preceded it and created during the white appropriation of song until then performed in basic terms via and for black audiences. In ahead of Elvis, Birnbaum daringly argues a extra advanced background and rock's evolution from a heady mixture of ragtime, boogie-woogie, swing, nation song, mainstream pop, and rhythm-and-blues—a melange that stimulated each other alongside the best way, from the absorption of blues and boogies into jazz and pa to the mixing of kingdom and Caribbean track into rhythm-and-blues.

Written in a simple sort, sooner than Elvis offers a daring argument approximately rock's origins and required studying for fanatics and students of rock 'n' roll heritage.

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