The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll (英語) ハードカバー – 2011/7/18
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Chosen by The Boston Globe as one of Top Non-Fiction books of 201 An NPR Best Music Book of 201 An Onion AV Club Best Book of 201 The first history of the network of black juke joints that spawned rock 'n' roll through an unholy alliance between vice and entertainment.
Lauterbach's first book is a rocking read and a deserving tribute to the people and places who were the foundations of rock and roll.
A great read, well-written, and insightful. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the seedy history of American popular music.
Lauterbach has written the definitive history of the musical back roads and back rooms of the southern United States.... a great read, well written and insightful. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the seedy history of American popular music.
Mr. Lauterbach uncovers a story as sensational as any day-glo circuit-show poster...The era's hepcat lingo ("ork" for orchestra, "ofay" for "white") and hard-boiled, noir ambience give Mr. Lauterbach a tune he can carry....the book is at heart a well-researched valentine to a lost world of seedy con men, promoters and club owners, the power brokers and hustlers who made the "circuitry spark.--Eddie Dean
Highly recommended....relishes the criminal origins of the mostly southern black club scene from the early '30s to the late '60s....a coherent, musically savvy history of a performance culture that until now was known only piecemeal.--Robert Christgau
In this terrific popular history, music journalist and first time author Lauterbach uncovers a secret world that involves not only music but also racketeering and bribery, bootlegging, and various scandals. Lauterbach focuses on how the chitlin' circuit developed from the late 1930s to the early 1940s, with a particular emphasis on how it nurtured early rock 'n' roll. A major achievement and an important contribution to American music history.
Starred Review. Lauterbach has written the definitive history of the musical back roads and back rooms of the southern United States.... a great read, well written and insightful. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the seedy history of American popular music.
Lauterbach s tribute to [the chitlin' circuit] is welcome and overdue.--Jonathan Yardley"
Lauterbach's writing is as energetic as a Little Richard song (a performer who started on the chitlin' circuit and crossed over to national fame).... a rocking read and a deserving tribute to the people and places who were the foundations of rock and roll.
Remarkable Lauterbach has resurrected the names and careers of men and women and, yes, some of the toughest of these people were women who ran bars, booking agencies and clubs, where traveling musicians could come into a black community, play, make money and go to the next town It s a complex, multi-layered story The Chitlin Circuit illuminates a period of American musical history that s long needed it Go[es] a long way toward illuminating the life black performers lived off-stage and the conditions they endured while they worked.--Ed Ward, NPR"
This sprawling, fascinating history drops readers into a chaotic, dangerous, utterly vanished world. It turns out to be more vibrant than the standard rock 'n' roll mythology. The true dawn of rock lit a landscape in which timeless music got made thanks to every vice and virtue imaginable. Now that's America.--John Repp
An intensely researched, engaging revelation This captivating account slips the reader smack into the middle of rock s own hothouse.--Barry Mazor"
Lauterbach's tribute to [the chitlin' circuit] is welcome and overdue.--Jonathan Yardley
Remarkable... Lauterbach has resurrected the names and careers of men and women--and, yes, some of the toughest of these people were women--who ran bars, booking agencies and clubs, where traveling musicians could come into a black community, play, make money and go to the next town... It's a complex, multi-layered story... The Chitlin' Circuit illuminates a period of American musical history that's long needed it... Go[es] a long way toward illuminating the life black performers lived off-stage and the conditions they endured while they worked.--Ed Ward, NPR
An intensely researched, engaging revelation... This captivating account slips the reader smack into the middle of rock's own hothouse.--Barry Mazor
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The Chitlin Circuit referred to the grand tour of ever changing southern bars, taverns, holes in the wall, barbeque joints, and makeshift venues for dancing or simply those to showcase new black artists, while turning a substantial buck on the booze sold. The era described extended from about 1930 to the mid 1980s. At the beginning of that era, the featured performers had larger orchestras and preferred to play SWING, while the crowds would rather hear smaller bands that played R&B. The promoters agreed with the crowds as the guarantees were much smaller for bands than orchestras.
One of the added bonuses of this book were the numerous B/W photos of the many people who made this musical form popular. The author's telling of this story is done in a rapid fire staccato pacing. An example being "He modified what Mother Nature gave him to compensate for what Father Time took away." How can you not love a line like that. It was just so easy to see the scenes depicted through the author's voice. Even the chapter titles as "The Loser Goes to the Hospital, the Winner Goes to Jail!" has a certain panache and verve that sets the tone of the place and period. There were numerous vignettes of the many important personalities of the era that enabled you to get to know them on a more personal level. We get to know the history of how Riley King morphed into B. B. King, Richard Pennington into "Little Richard", John Alexander Jr. into Johnny Ace, Willa Mae Thornton into Big Mama Thornton and all the intrigue and events of the daily life on the circuit. This is a must read for anyone interested in that period of our history and it background and certainly for all interested in the roots of R&B. A great read!
For work of this kind I am always on the lookout for errors that will tell me the real depth of a writer's research and commitment. I'm not an expert but I can pick a faker, all I found were a couple of very minor factual errors; Mr Lauterbach is the real deal in music history and I hope that he continues his commitment.
Aspects of the book that I really liked were finally Roy Brown getting due credit for his achievements. I also liked that we weren't spoon-fed the R&B + C&W = Rock and Roll myth again. Elvis Presley while a significant artist and cultural influence had nothing to do with `creating' Rock and Roll, that work was done. Presley's significant achievement was the brief popularising of rockabilly; music which he quickly abandoned (as the public did) in favour of the already existent Rock and Roll. I love Elvis, but I also love those who came before and who Mr Lauterbach pays tribute to in this book.
After all this praise of the book I have to say that the Lauterbach's writing style needs some work. At times I found the book a little difficult to get through and I am ready to admit that it may just be me, or maybe that there is so much new that you need to take it a little slowly. I found the writing overall a little too earnest, and the attempts at humour often a bit forced. The writing style overall made me work a little bit too hard when it should have carried me along for the ride.
It is Preston Lauterbach's first book and a great achievement. His writing will improve, his research and historical analysis skills are there already. I recommend this book to people who really care about the multi-layers that went into the creation of rock and roll and want to look past the standard simplistic history.
Lauterbach's book is a fun, informative read about a time in pop music history that must have been in a constant state of chaos. I can only imagine all the personalities that were involved in the chitlin' circuit, as well as the frantic nature of making dates, trying to communicate back and forth, housing challenges, unpredictable venues, and keeping up with the constant change of popular music taste.
The book is well researched and I appreciate the specific names and locations. For example, among the events and stories I learned about included Walter Barnes and the song "The Natchez Fire," that Gene Gilmore performed about Barnes. This specific account shows that not every gig was fun and games.
The content is full of colorful characters and accounts of scheming and drama. Pop music history buffs will certainly devour this book in no time. It's also accessable to the casual music fan. "The Chitlin' Circuit" is begging to be made into a miniseries or a documentary! Ken Burns are you listening!?
if you think you know something about black music because you bought Run DMC and Public Enemy when they first came out, shut up and read this book. this book not only discusses some of the development of black music, but the development of a black middle class that sought to expand, improve and compete with white culture (which shut it out).
hence the chitlin' circuit and all it has given us - blues, soul, jump, jive, swing, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, funk and more.
even if you are fairly knowledgeable about this stuff, you'll learn something new every other page.