If I Were Reading About Rock Music, I Would Want to Keep in Mind. The Roots of Rock and Roll: I Went Down to the Crossroads; Classic Rockersthe First Generation: Just Give Me Some of That Rock and Roll Music; Classic Rockersthe Second Generation: Theres Good Rockin Tonight; Doo-Wop: Street Corner Serenade; The Early Sixties: The Calm Before the Storm; The Beatles: Because the World Is Round It Turns Me On; The Rolling Stones: Its Only Rock and Roll but I Like It; The Who: People Try To Put Us Down; Bob Dylan: Somethin Is Happening but You Dont Know What It Is; Folk-Rock: So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star; Soul Music: R-E-S-P-E-C-T; Motown: Hitsville, U.S.A; The San Francisco Sound: People in Motion; The Guitar Kings: And I Gave Her the Gun; The Seventies: Dazed and Confused; Punk Rock: Buzzsaw Bravado and Shock Politics; The Eighties: The Revolution Will Be Televised; Its Only Rock and Roll but I Like It
Dr. Paul Friedlander is Director of California State University, Chico Music Industry Program. He is author of the Encyclopedia Americana "Rock Music" entry, many book chapters and journal articles, and is past-president of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music/American Chapter. As a musician, he has sung with Pete Seeger's Children's Chorus at Carnegie Hall, played bluegrass banjo at southern music festivals, hit notes with New York homeboys The Chapters, played folk music in Moscow's Gorki Park, and rock and rolled across the U.S.A.
As rock and roll enters its fifth decade, critics and scholars have taken up the gauntlet to chart its evolution and examine it within the context of late-20th century civilization. Friedlander, a professor at the Conservatory of Music/University of the Pacific, has done his research, reading Robert Palmer on blues, Dick Hebdige on punk and Tricia Rose on rap, among many others. Still, his tome, despite its subtitle, is better read as a catalogue of rock trivia than as a critique. At the outset, Friedlander traces how gospel, country and blues have influenced everyone from Marvin Gaye and Elvis to the Who. Looking back across classic, alternative, punk and folk rock, Friedlander postulates a rather obvious recipe for success: seizing the moment and having a team approach (talent, manager, producer label support). In his conclusion, he speculates on the oligarchy of the few record labels which now dominate the industry. Although not the definitive cultural critique of rock and roll, this does have an appealing tone as Friedlander combines the ebullience of an amateur with the technical fluency of a musician.(Jan.)