Odds and Ends -
I received e-mail messages from three of the authors that have done so much in recent times to keep the history of this music alive : Robert Pruter writer of the fantastic history of the vocal group scene in Chicago titled "Doo Wop - The Chicago Scene" and published by the University of Illinois Press; from Dr. Anthony Gribin, a co-author of "Doo Wop - The Forgotten Third of Rock & Roll" published by Krauss Publications; and finally from Galen Gart the compiler and editor of the indispensable series called "First Pressings" from Big Nickel, which is a visual and written history of the entire spectrum of Rhythm & Blues music beginning in 1950. I remember Galen from the late 60s when he had a dynamite R & B radio show on Columbia University's WKCR called Sepia Showtime. Nice to see that these gents are still involved !
I read a piece recently as part of a project on the history and impact of rock & roll music. I will not dignify or give any credence to the author by naming him or the title of the book, BUT - Here he is, going on about Elvis making a big splash virtually overnight, never mentioning two years on the road with Scotty and Bill, and remarking about the splash he made with the white jump suits (which of course he didn't wear until the 1970s), and in passing, dismissing the vocal group scene as a short lived fad that started with Frankie Lymon and ending with Danny & The Juniors ! How did this drivel get published ? Then I read where the author was born in 1951 ! This is what I mean by the damage done by rock revisionists. (How about the "rock was invented by Led Zeppelin" school of thought?). The truth shall set you free : free of this type of mindless un-history of this music. We know better of course, but there are many out there that don't. Educate a rock know-nothing today; you'll be glad you did !
I am planning a companion e-zine to augment this one. The new one will consist of the rest of the story-that is R & B history other than the vocal groups : the male and female vocalists, blues artists, and certainly the instrumental performers that were so important in providing the foundation of the music that is still at the forefront the world over, more than 40 years from its initial explosion. Hopefully I will have the time and the expertise to make this e-zine interesting, informative, and entertaining. Watch for it in the near future.
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