American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Empire – John Jackson
“In the first book to tell the complete story of Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand”, Jackson traces this landmark show’s rise from its humble beginnings in Philadelphia’s south side right up to its glory days as one of the most prized gigs in the music business. Jackson also offers a candid look at the backstage financial maneuvering that allowed Clark to launch a video…”
The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia – Matthew F. Felmont
“”American Bandstand”, one of the most popular television shows ever, broadcast from Philadelphia in the late fifties, a time when that city had become a battleground for civil rights. Counter to host Dick Clark’s claims that he integrated “American Bandstand”, this book reveals how the first national television program directed at teens discriminated against.”
What’d I Say The Atlantic Story 50 Years of Music by Ahmet Ertegun: Published 2001 by Julio Mario Santo Domingo & Charles Perry Richardson (568 pages) – Such a great and dynamic label with hundreds of acts both famous and unknown to many of us.
“Chuck Berry – The Autobiography”: First published 1987 by Isaleee Publishing (346 pages) – Chuck Berry worked on this volume for many years before finally wrapping it up and putting it out there – Written without a ghost writer – Very well done!
Johnny Cash: The Life – Robert Hilburn
“The definitive, intimate, no-holds-barred biography of Johnny Cash. People don’t just listen to Johnny Cash: they believe in him. But no one has told the Man in Black’s full story, until now. In Johnny Cash: The Life, Robert Hilburn conveys the unvarnished truth about a musical icon, whose colourful career stretched from his days at Sun Records with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to his remarkable, brave and deeply moving ‘Hurt’ video, aged sixty-nine. As music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn knew Cash well throughout his life:”
Blue Monday – Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Rick Coleman
Bill Haley & The Comets
“Sound and Glory – The Incredible Story of Bill Halley, the Father of Rock n’ Roll and the Music That Shook The World”: First Published by Dyne Publishing 1990 by John W. Haley and John von Hoelle (250 pages)
Bill’s story dispels any conception that he and the Comets weren’t the real deal. They pioneered where no one had ventured before against so many critics – some vicious – some dangerous – Bill Haley and the Comets were truly the world’s first rock and roll band!
The Howlin’ Wolf Story – The Secret History of Rock & Roll – Joe Lauro
Jan & Dean
Surf City the Jan and Dean Story” by Dean Torrence (2016)
Lieber & Stoller
Hound Dog The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography by David Ritz: First published 2009 by Simon & Schuster (322 pages) – The greatest rock composition team ever! From their very early compositions as teenagers (“Hound Dog”, “Kansas City” and “Young Blood” just to name some of the earliest) to hits reviving the career of Peggy Lee (“Is That All There Is”) – it is all here.
Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll – David Kirby
“This book is a concise, evocative, and thoroughly researched study of one of the great rock’n’roll pioneers. After “Tutti Frutti,” Little Richard began garnering fans from both sides of the civil rights divide. He brought black and white youngsters together on the dance floor and even helped to transform race relations.”
Rick Nelson, Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneer – Sheree Homer
“At eight years old, Rick Nelson began his career in show business. After a successful run on radio, his family’s situation comedy The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet enjoyed a 14 year television tenure. On the April 10, 1957, episode, “Ricky the Drummer,” Rick Nelson started his singing career by lip syncing to Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’.”
Dead Elvis – A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession – Greil Marcus
“Elvis Presley’s entry into public life came with such force that his story was soon engraved into the cultural cliches that seemed to match it. From his birth in desperate rural poverty, to unprecedented international acclaim and then a slow, seemingly irresistable decline, images of Elvis have suggested an anarchy of possiblities. In this book the author assesses what it means to the culture that produced Elvis, that he has become a force. Here is how the meanings have multiplied since his death; the author illustrates and analyzes how themes of freedom, youth, age, tradition, novelty, guilt and the escape from guilt have been expressed through a phenomenon of such magnitude that it can be seen only in fragments. Greil Marcus is the author of “Mystery Train” and “Lipstick Traces”.
The Elvis Encyclopedia – David Stanley, LaMar Fike
“Sixteen years after his sudden death, Elvis Presley is more popular than ever. This first complete and authenticated compendium contains everything there is to know about the King’s personal life, presented in riveting detail by David Stanley–Elvis’s stepbrother–who lived with Elvis for 17 years at Graceland”
Dewey and Elvis: The Life and Times of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Deejay – Louis Cantor
“Beginning in 1949, while Elvis Presley and Sun Records were still virtually unknown–and two full years before Alan Freed famously “discovered” rock ‘n’ roll–Dewey Phillips brought rock ‘n’ roll to the Memphis airwaves by playing Howlin’ Wolf, B. B. King, and Muddy Waters on his nightly radio show “Red, Hot and Blue.” The mid-South’s most popular white deejay,…”
Elvis: My Best Man: Radio Days, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nights, and My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley – George Klein and Chuck Crisafulli
“Through Elvis’s rise to fame and the wild swirl of his celebrity, Klein was a steady presence and a loyal friend until Presley’s untimely death in 1977. Includes never-before-published photos from Klein’s personal collection.”
Alfred Wertheimer. Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll – Robert Santelli
“Elvis who?” was photographer Alfred Wertheimer’s response when, in early 1956, an RCA Victor publicist asked him to photograph an up-and-coming crooner from Memphis. Little did Wertheimer know that this would be the job of his life: just 21 years old, Elvis Presley was-as we now know-about to become a legend.”
Good Rockin’ Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Colin Escott & Martin Hawkins
“he history, in words and pictures, of the Sun Record Company – the label which launched artists such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. This book contains many anecdotes and previously unpublished photographs”
Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll – Peter Guralnick
“Rock ‘n’ roll was born in rural Alabama, 1923, in the form of Sam Phillips, the youngest son of a large family living in a remote colony called the Lovelace Community. His father had a gift for farming, which was brought to an end by the Depression. His mother picked guitar and showed the kind of forbearance that allowed her to name her son after the doctor who delivered him drunk and then had to be put to bed himself.”
Gene Vincent & Eddie Cochran
Gene Vincent & Eddie Cochran Rock & Roll Revolutionaries – John Collis
“The UK tour by Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent early in 1960 marked a defining moment in British popular culture. It signalled the end of the monochrome 1950s and heralded the ‘Swinging Sixties’. It put rock’n’roll on the map, paving the way for the Beatles, Merseybeat and the ‘British invasion’ of America. Cochran and Vincent were unlikely friends”