Rock and Roll: An Unruly History Hardcover – 30 Jun 1998
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Bear in mind, however, that this book also served as a companion to a PBS special. That it's able to stand alone without the visuals attests to its worth. It badly deserves to be back in print.
With regard to the Elvis controversy below, I don't think Palmer ever suggests that Elvis invented rock & roll -- he painstakingly documents the contributions of dozens of black artists like Pinetop Smith, T-Bone Walker, Roy Brown, Goree Carter (to whom he credits the first rock & roll record), Ike Turner etc, well before the Elvis "invasion" of the mid-1950s.
I loved it.
Robert Palmer was one of the best rock 'n' roll writers and historians. This is the basis for the PBS TV series ROCK 'N' ROLL, which,unfortunately, did not have nearly the depth of this (it quickly dispensed with rock's roots and showed only Elvis and other latecomers in its first episode). Sadly, Palmer died before he could flesh out this work, which remains a blueprint for future writers to follow on researching rock 'n' roll's roots. Go for it!
I would like to see this book updated and re-issued - it is a very valuable book for music fans and especially those interested in Rock and Roll history.
Also, I would like to see the set of related VHS tapes updated to DVDs.
The VHS tapes are very hard to find, and not many have VHS players.
These tapes are much too valuable to simply let disappear.
I look forward to the book being updated and re-released, and having the VHS tapes converted to DVD.