6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A classic book for lovers of American blues, soul & rocknroll,
This review is from: The Chitlin' Circuit: and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll (Hardcover)
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.