From the Land of Band Box Records

Old Time Rock and Roll Histories

This special section presents books dealing with the general history of old time Rock ‘n Roll. (Alpha Listed)

(Also see the broader category of Pop Publications)

All Shook Up: How Rock ‘n’ Roll Changed America – Glenn C. Altschuler – 2004

“This is a brilliant account of the birth of rock and roll and how it transformed America in the 1950’s.’


Always Magic in the Air – The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era by Ken Emerson: Published by the Penguin Group 2005 (336 pages)

One of my favorite books and topics the Brill Building writer teams – Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil – Burt Bacharach/Hal David – Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller – Carole King/Gerry Goffin – Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman – Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield  and more!


The Art of Rock and Roll – Charles T. Brown – 1992

“A non-technical exploration of the history and theory of Rock and Roll from its origins to the present. This book discusses the basic historical changes in each decade as related to music. The book analyzes compositions using an easy chart style and offers a representative selection of listening assignments.”


The Birth of Rock & Roll – Hal Leonard

“The first volume explores rock’s rhythm and blues roots and its earliest tunes – from ‘Rocket ’88’ and ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’ to the major hits of Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and more.”


Doo Wop – The Music, The Times, The Era by Cousin Brucie Morrow with Rich Maloof: Published by Sterling Publishing 2007 (351 pages)

This volume jumps around a little bit in a hap hazard fashion but that’s okay because of the credibility of “Cousin Brucie” and his travels.


Eight Miles High – Folk Rock’s Flight from Haight Ashbury to Woodstock by Richie Unterberger: Published by Backbeat Books 2003 (344 pages)


Girl Groups – Fabulous Females That Rocked The World by John Clemente: Published 2000 by Krause Publications (276 pages)

These are the old school girl groups primarily from the 1960’s including some you may not be familiar with such as The Rosebuds, Shirley Gunter  and The Queens, and The Joytones.


The Golden Age of the Blues – Richard Havers & Richard Evans

“Blues music originating from the African-American community in the Southern states of the U.S. went on to influence every popular musical form in Western music. This collection gives the reader/listener a superb introduction to the blues with artists from the legendary Robert Johnson to B.B. King. Includes a CD with a sampling of classic blues tracks.”


The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Richard Havers and Richard Evans – 2010

“This book comes with a CD and is a brilliant combination of music and a highly illustrated history of the early years of Rock ‘n’ Roll told through the stories behind the songs and the artists.”


The Golden Era of Jazz – Richard Havers & Richard Evans

“In the 1940s, a young generation of jazz musicians forged a new style out of the swing music of the 1930s. A new breed of players like Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and Thelonius Monk transformed the jazz scene with advanced harmonies, complex syncopation and chord substitutions. Illustrated with photographs from the William Gottlieb collection, this book and sampler CD is a perfect introduction to this important era of jazz.”


Great Pop Things: The Real History of Rock ‘n’ Roll from Elvis to Oasis – Colin B. Morton & Chuck Death – 1998

“The comic strips of Colin B. Morton and Chuck Death deliver an irreverent, heartfelt, and devastatingly funny history of rock and roll. Like Monty Python at its best, their version is surreal and ridiculous – yet somehow everything in it rings true. According to Morton and Death, the bass player in Led Zeppelin was Jean-Paul Sartre…


Hellfire – An Exploration of Consciousness – Nick Tosches

“The life of Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the most dramatic and tormented in rock ‘n’ roll history. “Hellfire” remains one of the most remarkable biographies ever written on Lewis . . . “nothing else comes close. . . . Sooner or later, “Hellfire” will be recognized as an American classic”


The History of Rock and Roll – Stuart A. Kallen – 2002

“Ever since the early 1950s, rock and roll music has continually transformed culture and society with its rebellious mix of rhythm, fashion, and musical passion. History of Rock and Roll examines the music and the musicians throughout the decades from its humble roots to the multi-billion dollar industry of today.”


The History of Rock and Roll Volume 1 1920 – 1965 – Ed Ward

“Ward covers the first half of the history of rock & roll in this … narrative–from the 1920s, when the music of rambling medicine shows mingled with the songs of vaudeville and minstrel acts to create the very early sounds of country and rhythm and blues, to the rise of the first independent record labels post-World War II, and concluding in December 1963, just as an immense change in the airwaves took hold and the Beatles prepared for their first American tour.”


The Illustrated Discography of Surf Music – 1961 thru 1965 – John Blair


The Illustrated Discography of Hot Rod – 1961 thru 1965 – John Blair


Mystery Train – Images of America in Rock n’ Roll Music – Greil Marcus – 1976

“This book traces the history of rock ‘n’ roll through six key, fundamental artists: Robert Johnson, Harmonica Frank, Randy Newman, the Band, Sly Stone, and Elvis Presley”


It’s Only Rock and Roll: An Anthology of Rock and Roll Short Stories – Janice Eidus and John Kastan – 1998

“This Is The First Anthology of fiction ever published that deals exclusively with the intoxicating urgency, iconic power, and even disturbing underside of rock music, arguably the most influential art form of the past fifty years.”


Rhythm & Blues In New Orleans – John Broven – 1978

“Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans is a comprehensive history documenting the rise and development of a unique musical form. Originally published in Great Britain under the title Walking to New Orleans, this 249-page volume examines the careers and music of the major R&B artists, as well as the important peripheral activity of the New Orleans music industry”


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – The First 25 Years by Holly George Warren: Published 2009 by Harper Design (256 pages)

The Hall is okay but leans toward the politically correct but that said a nice presentation of the acts who got lucky.  Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


Rock and Roll Legends of the 1950s Paper Dolls – Tom Tierney – 2005

“The King of the Paper Dolls takes on the King of Rock & Roll and 14 other superstars! Includes costumes for Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and more.”


Rock & Roll Year by Year – Luke Crampton – 2003

“From Abba to ZZ Top, from the birth of rock and roll in the 50Us to the unpredictable music of the present day, “Rock & Roll Year By Year” is the definitive guide to the music that influenced generations and helped shaped history.”


Rock A Billy – The Twang Heard ‘Round the World’ – Greil Marcus


Rockin’ in Time: A Social History of Rock-And-Roll – David P. Szatmary

“The only study of its kind, this well-organized, illustrated volume offers an in-depth examination of the social history of America and Britain through rock-and-roll. Tracing rock from its inception from American blues to the present, the book shows how rock-and-roll has reflected and sometimes changed American and British culture for several generations.”


Rolling Stone’s The History of Rock and Roll by Jim Miller (editor): First published 1976 (476 pages)

“Here is the ultimate illustrated history of rock & roll–the most important artists and their music, fully revised and updated for the 1990s. Here are eye-opening portraits and critical assessments of Elvis and Chuck Berry, the Beatles and the Stones, Michael Jackson and Madonna. Discographies on every important performer.”


Rolling Stone’s Special Collector’s Edition – The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: By Rolling Stone Magazine (122 pages) – 2010

Okay here’s a preview – the number 500 song is “Shop Around” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and number 1?  “Like a Rolling Stone” by Dylan – something fishy going on here.  In case you are wondering #2 “Satisfaction” (Stones), #3 “Imagine” (Lennon), #4 “What’s Going On?” (Marvin Gaye), #5 “Respect” (Aretha Franklin), #6 “Good Vibrations” (Beach Boys), #7 “Johnny B. Goode” (Chuck Berry), #8 “Hey Jude” (Beatles), #9 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana), and #10 “What’d I Say” (Ray Charles) – Gee isn’t Rolling Stone hip and cool…..far out…


Shake, Rattle and Roll – Lee Cotten & Thomas Schultheisis – 1989


Sh-Boom!: The Explosion of Rock ‘n’ Roll (1953-1968) – Clay Cole – 2008

“There was a time between Be-Bop and Hip-Hop, when a new generation of teenagers created rock ‘n’ roll. Cole was one of those teenagers and was host of his own Saturday night, pop music TV show. “Sh-Boom!”! is the pop-culture chronicle of that exciting time when teenagers created their own music.”


The Sound of the City The Rise of Rock & Roll by Charlie Gillett – 1972


Surf Beat – Rock and Roll’s Forgotten Revolution by Kent Crowley: Published by Backbeat Books 2011 (255 pages)

This is a surf purest presentation often scorning the “mainstream” acts (like the Beach Boys) – Dick Dale is a god – and the cast of characters ranges from “Jon and the Nightriders – “The Chantays” – “The Nocturnes” and many others.  Crowley pays tribute to the big guitar sounds of acts not normally associated with surf such as Ritchie Valens – The Bobby Fuller Four and others.


What’d I Say – The Atlantic Story – 50 Years of Music – Ahmet Ertgun

The official behind-the-scenes story of the meteroic rise of Rock and Roll by the people who made it history.


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