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The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll [Kindle Edition]

Preston Lauterbach
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.99
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Book Description

“Lauterbach’s tribute . . . is welcome and overdue.” —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

For generations, "chitlin' circuit" has meant second tier—brash performers in raucous nightspots far from the big-city limelight. Now, music journalist Preston Lauterbach combines terrific firsthand reportage with deep historical research to offer a groundbreaking account of the birth of rock 'n' roll in black America.

Product Description


...crucial to our understanding of late-20th-century pop music and all the more impressive for its exhaustive research. Preston Lauterbach s book spirited, studious, surprising, occasionally hilarious is absolutely persuasive on its subject. --Stephen M. Deusner

About the Author

Preston Lauterbach is a music journalist. This is his first book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1493 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393076520
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (18 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0054LXX54
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #598,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I write about vice, underworldly activity, and music in black America. I gravitated to this material through the influences of my two male role models. My father was a rough and tumble soldierly type, and my grandfather was a charter CIA agent. My son is named after one of the characters in my book, The Chitlin' Circuit.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
First off, The Chitlin' Circuit And The Road To Rock `N' Roll is the best music book I read in 2011. Superbly researched and beautifully written, its subject is how the Chitlin' Circuit - the unofficial collection of blue collar black American clubs that almost every soul singer of note cut their teeth on - came to be. Rather than approach this as a sociological study, Lauterbach chooses to focus on a handful of club owners, promoters and musicians from the early-1930s to the mid-1960s (when US local governments began tearing the heart out of black urban communities). What fascinating tales they have to tell, often running the clubs as brothels and illegal drinking and gambling dens at the same time as booking the hottest bands going. I never thought I could learn a lot more about Little Richard and James Brown but Preston digs up fresh material. A long essay on Roy "Good Rockin' Tonight" Brown brings this unfairly marginalised artist to life and made me see him as a great pioneer rather than a one hit wonder. Understandably, a lot of the men - and it is almost all men documented here - are unsavoury, brutal types. Yet through their desire to make money and give the people what they wanted they helped create this sound we know as R&B and R&R. What characters. What stories. What a book. Highly recommended to anyone who loves good writing on American music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chillin' on the Chitlin' 9 Nov. 2012
By Geffers
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all let me explain that this is no lightweight read. Hours of research and what appears to be meticulously recorded facts go to make this a very good run up from the 1930s into the sixties giving the reader the down and often dirty history of African American music from jazz to rock n roll. Some of the characters like Don Robey of Duke -Peacock records fame were well known to me and would be to any other student of fifties black music but others such as Sax Kari ,Denver Ferguson,Walter Barnes were new names that as described in this book helped to fill in the missing parts of the jigsaw of the black artists and promoters and club owners who through their sheer will to overcome prejudice ,corrupt police and city officials gave via the chitlin cicuit black patrons the entertainment that they craved. Lauterbach is a white writer but he evokes the feeling and mood of places like Beale Street,and the black owned clubs[most a huge jump up from the country juke joints] with an authenticity that you almost think he was a frequent visitor to them. Plenty of stories about Louis Jordan ,Big Mama Thornton ,Little Richard,Johnny Ace,Roy Brown and others, illustrated with well reproduced photos plus an index this book is probably not a casual read but a historical often funny ,often shocking account of a time that is fast fading from memory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential History 30 Dec. 2012
This book provides all the background to the pub rows about ' what was the first rock n roll record' or where did 'rock n roll come from'. It also tells the start of rock n soul or soul and r 'n' b call it what you will.....without the pioneers that often laid their lives on the line as described in this book there would be no pub row ! I thought it a rocking good read and I wished I had it when I went to the southern states a few years ago. An essential precursor to Graceland tours and Sun Studio visits this book is as much social history as music history, if you can split them anyway. I would have gone 5 stars but didn't as personally I would have liked a map of the area and the odd town in there but that is a very personal and possibly unfair ask.
Buy it if at interested in this topic.well recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars some new aspects 7 Dec. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read substantial amounts of bios and record label history this book reveals some new angles from which to look at the development of structures substantial for spreading r & b and r & r. The book also details the perspectives of Afro-American biz during the fifties and early sixties with hints at further urban development such as eradication of grown structures by means of city planning. Quite a read!
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