Rockin' in Time: A Social History of Rock-and-Roll / Edition 6

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Overview

This well-organized, visually interesting book offers an in-depth examination of the social history of rock-and-roll. Rockin' in Time emphasizes several main themes, including the importance of African-American culture in the origins and development of rock music. Tracing rock from its inception–from American blues to the present–this book shows how rock-and-roll has reflected and sometimes changed American and British culture for the last fifty years.

Topics covered in this comprehensive history are: the blues and racism; Elvis Presley and rockabilly; Dick Clark and Don Kirshner; the California sound; Bob Dylan; the British invasion; Motown; acid rock; campus unrest and militant blues; the 1970s; punk rock; MTV; Generation X; the rave revolution; hip hop; and nu-metal.

An excellent reference work for rock fans, music industry employees, those employed by radio stations, and those in music and performer-related marketing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131887909
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/25/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

David P. Szatmary worked in the record industry and taught the history of rock 'n' roll at two universities after earning his Ph.D. in American history at Rutgers University. He contributed to the All Music Guides to Rock, Jazz and Blues, wrote Shays' Rebellion (University of Massachusetts Press, 1980) and reviews rock and jazz books regularly. Szatmary also has been featured in articles about record collecting. He currently is the Vice Provost of Educational Outreach at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 The Blues, Rock-and-Roll, and Racism 1
Ch. 2 Elvis and Rockabilly 29
Ch. 3 Dick Clark, Don Kirshner, and the Teen Market 54
Ch. 4 Surfboards and Hot Rods: California, Here We Come 70
Ch. 5 Bob Dylan and the New Frontier 81
Ch. 6 The British Invasion of America 101
Ch. 7 Motown: The Sound of Integration 131
Ch. 8 Acid Rock 141
Ch. 9 Fire from the Streets 165
Ch. 10 Militant Blues on Campus 177
Ch. 11 Soft Sounds of the Seventies 197
Ch. 12 The Era of Excess 214
Ch. 13 Punk Rock and the New Generation 230
Ch. 14 I Want My MTV 254
Ch. 15 The Promise of Rock-and-Roll 271
Ch. 16 The Generation X Blues 285
Ch. 17 The Rave Revolution 306
Ch. 18 The Many Faces of Hip-Hop 317
Ch. 19 Metal Gumbo: Rockin' in the 21st Century 339
Bibliography 351
Index 373
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Preface

Rock 'n' roll will be around for a long, long time. Rock 'n' roll is like hot molten lava that erupts when an angry volcano explodes. It's scorching hot, burns fast and completely, leaving an eternal scar. Even when the echoes of the explosion subside, the ecstatic flames burn with vehement continuity.
– Don Robey, owner of Peacock and Duke Records, in Billboard, March 1957

This book intends to be a social history of rock-and-roll. It will place an ever-changing rock music in the context of American and, to some extent, British history from roughly 1950 to 2002. Rockin' in Time tries to explain how rock-and-roll both reflected and influenced major social changes during the last fifty years. As Ice-T explained in 1997, "albums are meant to be put in a time capsule, sealed up, and sent into space so that when you look back you can say that's the total reflection of that time."

Rockin' in Time emphasizes several main themes, including the importance of African-American culture in the origins and development of rock music. The blues, originating in the work songs of American slaves, provided the foundation for rockand-roll. During the early 1950s, Southern African Americans who had migrated to Chicago created an urbanized, electric rhythm and blues that preceded rock-and-roll and served as the breeding ground for pioneer rock-and-rollers such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry. African Americans continued to create new styles such as the Motown sound, the soul explosion of the late 1960s, the disco beat in the next decade, and, most recently, hip-hop.

The new musical styles many times coincided with and reflected theAfrican-American struggle for equality. The electric blues of Muddy Waters became popular amid the stirrings of the civil rights movement during the 1950s. In the early 1960s, as the movement for civil rights gained momentum, folk protesters such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez sang paeans about the cause. In 1964 and 1965, as Congress passed the most sweeping civil rights legislation since the Civil War, Motown artists topped the pop charts. When disgruntled, frustrated African Americans took to the streets later in the decade, soul musicians such as Aretha Franklin shouted for respect. During the late 1980s and into the 1990s, hip-hoppers such as Public Enemy rapped about inequality and a renewed interest in an African-American identity.

As the civil rights struggle began to foster an awareness and acceptance of African-American culture, rock-and-roll became accessible to white teenagers. Teens such as Elvis Presley listened to late-night, rhythm-and-blues radio shows that started to challenge and break down racial barriers. During the 1960s, African-American performers such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, the Temptations, and the Supremes achieved mass popularity among both African Americans and whites. By the 1980s, African-American entertainers such as Michael Jackson achieved superstar status, and rap filtered into the suburbs. Throughout the last five decades, rock music has helped integrate white and black America.

A dramatic population growth during the postwar era, the second theme of this book, provided the audience for an African-American inspired rock-and-roll. After World War II, both the United States and Great Britain experienced a tremendous baby boom. By the mid-1950s, the baby boomers had become an army of youngsters who demanded their own music. Along with their older brothers and sisters who had been born during the war, they latched onto the new rock-and-roll, idolizing a young, virile Elvis Presley, who attracted hordes of postwar youth.

Rock music appealed to and reflected the interests of the baby-boom generation until the end of the 1970s. The music of the Dick Clark era, the Brill Building songwriters, the Beach Boys, the Motown artists, and the early Beatles showed a preoccupation with dating, cars, high school, and teen love. As this generation matured and entered college or the workforce, the music scene became more serious and was dominated by the protest music of Bob Dylan and psychedelic bands that questioned basic tenets of American society. The music became harsh and violent when college-age baby boomers were threatened by the Vietnam War-era military draft and the prospect of fighting in an unpopular war. During the 1970s, after the war ended and when many of the college rebels landed lucrative jobs, glitter rock and disco exemplified the excessive, self-centered behavior of the boomers. During the 1980s, artists such as Bruce Springsteen, who matured with his audience and celebrated his fortieth birthday by the end of the decade, reflected a yearning for a 1960s spirit of social change.

New generations began to carry the rock-and-roll banner. By the mid-1970s, disaffected youths created a stinging punk rock to vent their emotions. A decade later Generation X, confronted by sobering social conditions, turned to hardcore punk, thrash metal, grunge, and rap. In the late 1990s and into the new century, yet another generation of young teens embraced hip-hop pop and then nu-metal as their music.

The roller-coaster economic times during the post-World War II era serve as a third focus of this book. A favorable economic climate initially allowed rock to flourish among the baby-boom generation. Compared to the preceding generation, which had been raised during the most severe economic depression of the twentieth century, the baby boomers in the United States lived in relative affluence. In the 1950s and early 1960s, many youths, had allowances that enabled them to purchase the latest rock records and buy tickets to see their favorite heartthrobs. During the next fifteen years, unparalleled prosperity allowed youths to consider the alternatives of hippiedom and led to cultural excesses and booming record sales of the 1970s.

When the economic scene began to worsen during the late 1970s in Britain, a new generation of youths created the sneering protest of punk that reflected the harsh economic realities of the dole. A decade later, American youths who had few career prospects and little family stability played shattering hardcore punk, a pounding industrial sound, the bleak grunge of Nirvana and a confrontational rap. When the economy brightened on both sides of the Atlantic by the late 1990s, teens turned to a bouncy, danceable hip-hop pop and an optimistic nu-metal.

Advances in technology shaped the sound of rock-and-roll and provide another framework for Rockin' in Time. The electric guitar, developed by Leo Fender and popularized during the 1950s by Fender and Les Paul, gave rock its distinctive sound. Mass-produced electric guitars such as Fender's Telecaster, first appearing in 1951, and the Stratocaster, first marketed three years later, enabled bluesmen and later white teens to capture the electric sound of the city and the passion of youth. Later technologies such as the synthesizer, the sequencer, and the sampler allowed musicians to embellish and reshape rock-and-roll into different genres.

Several technological breakthroughs helped popularize rock-and-roll, making it easily and inexpensively accessible. Television brought and still brings rock to teens in their homes—Elvis Presley and the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show," Dick Clark's "American Bandstand," and currently, MTV In Britain, television programs such as "Thank Your Lucky Stars," "Ready Steady Go!" and "Juke Box Jury" played the same role. The portable transistor radio, and later the portable cassette tape player-recorder and the portable CD player, provided teens the opportunity to listen to their favorite songs in the privacy of their rooms, at school, or on the streets. The inexpensive 45-rpm record, introduced in 1949 by RCA, allowed youths to purchase the latest hits and dominated rock sales until the 1960s, when the experimental psychedelic sound fully utilized the more extended format of the long-play, 12-inch, 33 1/3rpm record. Advances in the quality of sound, such as high fidelity, stereo, component stereo systems, and, recently, the digital compact disc, brought the immediacy of the performance to the home and helped further disseminate rock-and-roll. By the late 1990s, the Internet enabled youths to listen, trade, download and burn their favorite music and learn about and contact their favorite bands from their personal computer.

The increasing popularity of rock music has been entwined with the development of the music industry, another focus of this book. Rock-and-roll has always been a business. At first, small, independent companies such as Chess, Sun, Modern, and King recorded and delivered to the public a commercially untested rock. As it became more popular among teens, rock-and-roll began to interest major record companies such as RCA, Decca, and Capitol, which in the 1960s dominated the field. By the 1970s, the major companies aggressively marketed their product and consolidated ranks to increase profits and successfully create an industry more profitable than network television and professional sports. In 1978, as the majors experienced a decline in sales, independent labels again arose to release new rock styles such as punk, rap, grunge, and techno. By the end of the 1980s and 1990s, the major companies reasserted their dominance of the record industry, buoyed by the signing of new acts that had been tested by the independents and by the introduction of the compact disc, which lured many record buyers to purchase their favorite music in a different, more expensive format. As the new century unfolded, the major record labels confronted and protested against the Internet, which allowed bands to release and distribute their own music.

Though a business, rock music has created and has been defined by rebellion, which manifested itself through a series of overlapping subcultures. Fueled by uncontrolled hormones, rockabilly greasers in the 1950s and early 1960s challenged their parents by wearing sideburns and long, greased-back hair and driving fast hot rods. Their girls sported tight sweaters, ratted hair and pedal-pusher slacks, and screamed to the hip-shaking gyrations of Elvis Presley. In the 1960s, college-aged folkniks directed their frustration and anger at racial and social injustice, taking freedom rides to the South and protesting against nuclear arms. A few years later, the hippies flaunted wild, vibrant clothing, the mind-expanding possibilities of LSD, sexual freedom and a disdain for an unforgiving, war-mongering capitalism, expressed in their swirling psychedelic poster art. In the next decade the rock lifestyle changed once again, as some baby boomers discoed to dee-jays and others crammed into stadium concerts to collectively snort cocaine and celebrate the sexual ambiguity of theatrical and extravagant superstars.

During the late 1970s, two angry rock subcultures emerged. Sneering British punks grew spiked hair, wore ripped, safety-pinned T-shirts and pogoed straight up and down, lashing out against economic, gender and racial inequities. About the same time, a hip-hop subculture started that unabashedly condemned racial prejudice and its effects on African Americans in the inner cities, highlighting the racial injustice that the Civil Rights movement of the Sixties had not erased. Within a decade and into the new century, the inner city b-boy subculture had spread to the white suburbs, where gun-toting teens looked for 'ho's and wore Adidas, saggy pants, baseball caps (preferably New York Yankees) turned backward, loose T-shirts and, depending upon the year, gold chains.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Generation X youth voiced a passionate frustration and despair through a series of music genres that included an aggressive, self-destructive hardcore punk, a crashing industrial music, a thrashing metal, and a desperate grunge. They called themselves "losers" and adapted the idealized look of the working man: longish, uncombed hair, faded blue jeans, boots, and T-shirts. Other Generation Xers faced their problems differently by refashioning the hippie lifestyle for the Nineties. Banding together at updated love-ins called raves, they favored Ecstasy over LSD, put on their smiley faces and hugged their fellow techno-travellers in a demonstration of peace in a war-filled, terrorist-riddled world. Though less confrontational than its grunge counterpart, the techno subculture directly challenged and shocked mainstream society as each rock subculture has done during the last fifty years before it has been subverted by fashion designers, Hollywood and big business. Though the clothes, music, poster and record-cover art, attitudes, dances, and hair styles differed in each era, all rock subcultures have been characterized by a youthful rebellion against the prevailing social norms.

History seldom separates into neat packages. Many of the different rock subcultures overlapped with one another. For example, from 1961 to the advent of the British invasion in 1964, the Brill Building songwriters, surf music, and Bob Dylan co-existed on the charts. Though sometimes intersecting and cross-pollinating, the different subcultures of rock and roll have been divided into distinct chapters to clearly distinguish the motivating factors behind each one.

This book places rock rebellion in larger social, racial, demographic, technological, and economic contexts. Rather than present an encyclopedic compilation of the thousands of well known and obscure bands that have played throughout the years, it deals with rock-and-rollers who have reflected and sometimes changed the social fabric. It does not focus on the many artists, some of my favorites, who never gained general popularity and remained outside the mainstream. Rockin' in Time concentrates on rock musicians who most fully reflected the world around them and helped define an era.

Rockin' in Time attempts to be as impartial as possible. Even though a book cannot be wrenched from the biases of its social setting, I have tried to present the music in a social rather than a personal context and to avoid any effusive praise or disparaging remarks about any type of rock. As Sting, lead singer of the Police, once said, "there is no bad music, only bad musicians:" These pages explore the social history of rock-and-roll. During the five decades that it has been an important part of American and British culture, rock-and-roll has reflected and sometimes changed the lives of several generations.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Rock 'n' roll will be around for a long, long time. Rock `n' roll is like hot molten lava that erupts when an angry volcano explodes. It's scorching hot, burns fast and completely, leaving an eternal scar. Even when the echoes of the explosion subside, the ecstatic flames burn with vehement continuity.
– Don Robey, owner of Peacock and Duke Records, in Billboard, March 1957

This book intends to be a social history of rock-and-roll. It will place an ever-changing rock music in the context of American and, to some extent, British history from roughly 1950 to 2002. Rockin' in Time tries to explain how rock-and-roll both reflected and influenced major social changes during the last fifty years. As Ice-T explained in 1997, "albums are meant to be put in a time capsule, sealed up, and sent into space so that when you look back you can say that's the total reflection of that time."

Rockin' in Time emphasizes several main themes, including the importance of African-American culture in the origins and development of rock music. The blues, originating in the work songs of American slaves, provided the foundation for rockand-roll. During the early 1950s, Southern African Americans who had migrated to Chicago created an urbanized, electric rhythm and blues that preceded rock-and-roll and served as the breeding ground for pioneer rock-and-rollers such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry. African Americans continued to create new styles such as the Motown sound, the soul explosion of the late 1960s, the disco beat in the next decade, and, most recently, hip-hop.

The new musical styles many times coincided with and reflected theAfrican-American struggle for equality. The electric blues of Muddy Waters became popular amid the stirrings of the civil rights movement during the 1950s. In the early 1960s, as the movement for civil rights gained momentum, folk protesters such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez sang paeans about the cause. In 1964 and 1965, as Congress passed the most sweeping civil rights legislation since the Civil War, Motown artists topped the pop charts. When disgruntled, frustrated African Americans took to the streets later in the decade, soul musicians such as Aretha Franklin shouted for respect. During the late 1980s and into the 1990s, hip-hoppers such as Public Enemy rapped about inequality and a renewed interest in an African-American identity.

As the civil rights struggle began to foster an awareness and acceptance of African-American culture, rock-and-roll became accessible to white teenagers. Teens such as Elvis Presley listened to late-night, rhythm-and-blues radio shows that started to challenge and break down racial barriers. During the 1960s, African-American performers such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, the Temptations, and the Supremes achieved mass popularity among both African Americans and whites. By the 1980s, African-American entertainers such as Michael Jackson achieved superstar status, and rap filtered into the suburbs. Throughout the last five decades, rock music has helped integrate white and black America.

A dramatic population growth during the postwar era, the second theme of this book, provided the audience for an African-American inspired rock-and-roll. After World War II, both the United States and Great Britain experienced a tremendous baby boom. By the mid-1950s, the baby boomers had become an army of youngsters who demanded their own music. Along with their older brothers and sisters who had been born during the war, they latched onto the new rock-and-roll, idolizing a young, virile Elvis Presley, who attracted hordes of postwar youth.

Rock music appealed to and reflected the interests of the baby-boom generation until the end of the 1970s. The music of the Dick Clark era, the Brill Building songwriters, the Beach Boys, the Motown artists, and the early Beatles showed a preoccupation with dating, cars, high school, and teen love. As this generation matured and entered college or the workforce, the music scene became more serious and was dominated by the protest music of Bob Dylan and psychedelic bands that questioned basic tenets of American society. The music became harsh and violent when college-age baby boomers were threatened by the Vietnam War-era military draft and the prospect of fighting in an unpopular war. During the 1970s, after the war ended and when many of the college rebels landed lucrative jobs, glitter rock and disco exemplified the excessive, self-centered behavior of the boomers. During the 1980s, artists such as Bruce Springsteen, who matured with his audience and celebrated his fortieth birthday by the end of the decade, reflected a yearning for a 1960s spirit of social change.

New generations began to carry the rock-and-roll banner. By the mid-1970s, disaffected youths created a stinging punk rock to vent their emotions. A decade later Generation X, confronted by sobering social conditions, turned to hardcore punk, thrash metal, grunge, and rap. In the late 1990s and into the new century, yet another generation of young teens embraced hip-hop pop and then nu-metal as their music.

The roller-coaster economic times during the post-World War II era serve as a third focus of this book. A favorable economic climate initially allowed rock to flourish among the baby-boom generation. Compared to the preceding generation, which had been raised during the most severe economic depression of the twentieth century, the baby boomers in the United States lived in relative affluence. In the 1950s and early 1960s, many youths, had allowances that enabled them to purchase the latest rock records and buy tickets to see their favorite heartthrobs. During the next fifteen years, unparalleled prosperity allowed youths to consider the alternatives of hippiedom and led to cultural excesses and booming record sales of the 1970s.

When the economic scene began to worsen during the late 1970s in Britain, a new generation of youths created the sneering protest of punk that reflected the harsh economic realities of the dole. A decade later, American youths who had few career prospects and little family stability played shattering hardcore punk, a pounding industrial sound, the bleak grunge of Nirvana and a confrontational rap. When the economy brightened on both sides of the Atlantic by the late 1990s, teens turned to a bouncy, danceable hip-hop pop and an optimistic nu-metal.

Advances in technology shaped the sound of rock-and-roll and provide another framework for Rockin' in Time. The electric guitar, developed by Leo Fender and popularized during the 1950s by Fender and Les Paul, gave rock its distinctive sound. Mass-produced electric guitars such as Fender's Telecaster, first appearing in 1951, and the Stratocaster, first marketed three years later, enabled bluesmen and later white teens to capture the electric sound of the city and the passion of youth. Later technologies such as the synthesizer, the sequencer, and the sampler allowed musicians to embellish and reshape rock-and-roll into different genres.

Several technological breakthroughs helped popularize rock-and-roll, making it easily and inexpensively accessible. Television brought and still brings rock to teens in their homes—Elvis Presley and the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show," Dick Clark's "American Bandstand," and currently, MTV In Britain, television programs such as "Thank Your Lucky Stars," "Ready Steady Go!" and "Juke Box Jury" played the same role. The portable transistor radio, and later the portable cassette tape player-recorder and the portable CD player, provided teens the opportunity to listen to their favorite songs in the privacy of their rooms, at school, or on the streets. The inexpensive 45-rpm record, introduced in 1949 by RCA, allowed youths to purchase the latest hits and dominated rock sales until the 1960s, when the experimental psychedelic sound fully utilized the more extended format of the long-play, 12-inch, 33 1/3rpm record. Advances in the quality of sound, such as high fidelity, stereo, component stereo systems, and, recently, the digital compact disc, brought the immediacy of the performance to the home and helped further disseminate rock-and-roll. By the late 1990s, the Internet enabled youths to listen, trade, download and burn their favorite music and learn about and contact their favorite bands from their personal computer.

The increasing popularity of rock music has been entwined with the development of the music industry, another focus of this book. Rock-and-roll has always been a business. At first, small, independent companies such as Chess, Sun, Modern, and King recorded and delivered to the public a commercially untested rock. As it became more popular among teens, rock-and-roll began to interest major record companies such as RCA, Decca, and Capitol, which in the 1960s dominated the field. By the 1970s, the major companies aggressively marketed their product and consolidated ranks to increase profits and successfully create an industry more profitable than network television and professional sports. In 1978, as the majors experienced a decline in sales, independent labels again arose to release new rock styles such as punk, rap, grunge, and techno. By the end of the 1980s and 1990s, the major companies reasserted their dominance of the record industry, buoyed by the signing of new acts that had been tested by the independents and by the introduction of the compact disc, which lured many record buyers to purchase their favorite music in a different, more expensive format. As the new century unfolded, the major record labels confronted and protested against the Internet, which allowed bands to release and distribute their own music.

Though a business, rock music has created and has been defined by rebellion, which manifested itself through a series of overlapping subcultures. Fueled by uncontrolled hormones, rockabilly greasers in the 1950s and early 1960s challenged their parents by wearing sideburns and long, greased-back hair and driving fast hot rods. Their girls sported tight sweaters, ratted hair and pedal-pusher slacks, and screamed to the hip-shaking gyrations of Elvis Presley. In the 1960s, college-aged folkniks directed their frustration and anger at racial and social injustice, taking freedom rides to the South and protesting against nuclear arms. A few years later, the hippies flaunted wild, vibrant clothing, the mind-expanding possibilities of LSD, sexual freedom and a disdain for an unforgiving, war-mongering capitalism, expressed in their swirling psychedelic poster art. In the next decade the rock lifestyle changed once again, as some baby boomers discoed to dee-jays and others crammed into stadium concerts to collectively snort cocaine and celebrate the sexual ambiguity of theatrical and extravagant superstars.

During the late 1970s, two angry rock subcultures emerged. Sneering British punks grew spiked hair, wore ripped, safety-pinned T-shirts and pogoed straight up and down, lashing out against economic, gender and racial inequities. About the same time, a hip-hop subculture started that unabashedly condemned racial prejudice and its effects on African Americans in the inner cities, highlighting the racial injustice that the Civil Rights movement of the Sixties had not erased. Within a decade and into the new century, the inner city b-boy subculture had spread to the white suburbs, where gun-toting teens looked for 'ho's and wore Adidas, saggy pants, baseball caps (preferably New York Yankees) turned backward, loose T-shirts and, depending upon the year, gold chains.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Generation X youth voiced a passionate frustration and despair through a series of music genres that included an aggressive, self-destructive hardcore punk, a crashing industrial music, a thrashing metal, and a desperate grunge. They called themselves "losers" and adapted the idealized look of the working man: longish, uncombed hair, faded blue jeans, boots, and T-shirts. Other Generation Xers faced their problems differently by refashioning the hippie lifestyle for the Nineties. Banding together at updated love-ins called raves, they favored Ecstasy over LSD, put on their smiley faces and hugged their fellow techno-travellers in a demonstration of peace in a war-filled, terrorist-riddled world. Though less confrontational than its grunge counterpart, the techno subculture directly challenged and shocked mainstream society as each rock subculture has done during the last fifty years before it has been subverted by fashion designers, Hollywood and big business. Though the clothes, music, poster and record-cover art, attitudes, dances, and hair styles differed in each era, all rock subcultures have been characterized by a youthful rebellion against the prevailing social norms.

History seldom separates into neat packages. Many of the different rock subcultures overlapped with one another. For example, from 1961 to the advent of the British invasion in 1964, the Brill Building songwriters, surf music, and Bob Dylan co-existed on the charts. Though sometimes intersecting and cross-pollinating, the different subcultures of rock and roll have been divided into distinct chapters to clearly distinguish the motivating factors behind each one.

This book places rock rebellion in larger social, racial, demographic, technological, and economic contexts. Rather than present an encyclopedic compilation of the thousands of well known and obscure bands that have played throughout the years, it deals with rock-and-rollers who have reflected and sometimes changed the social fabric. It does not focus on the many artists, some of my favorites, who never gained general popularity and remained outside the mainstream. Rockin' in Time concentrates on rock musicians who most fully reflected the world around them and helped define an era.

Rockin' in Time attempts to be as impartial as possible. Even though a book cannot be wrenched from the biases of its social setting, I have tried to present the music in a social rather than a personal context and to avoid any effusive praise or disparaging remarks about any type of rock. As Sting, lead singer of the Police, once said, "there is no bad music, only bad musicians:" These pages explore the social history of rock-and-roll. During the five decades that it has been an important part of American and British culture, rock-and-roll has reflected and sometimes changed the lives of several generations.

Read More Show Less

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