Thursday, May 11, 2006

Country: The Twisted Roots of Rock 'n' Roll by Nick Tosches

Nick Tosches first book reads like a pile of notes with one chapter and topic jumping to the next without any real continuity, not unlike one of those “bathroom readers” or “book-of-lists” books that are so popular.

Tosches, focusing on sex, racism, drugs, and death, tells country & western's musical legacy through the history of yodeling cowboys, yodeling, Emmett Miller, black-face minstrel shows, black country musicians, sexual metaphors, “coon” songs, the fiddle, the electric guitar, the lap steel, the steel guitar, the pedal steel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sun Records, western-swing, honky-tonk, rockabilly, the Nashville sound, record labels, Reb Rebel Records, radio stations, disc jockeys, and more.

Tosches takes Sun Recording artist Warren Smith’s song “Black Jack David” and traces it all the way back to the birth of Christianity in ancient Rome. I wish it was longer and more in depth becasue I was literally reading this in my truck while stopped at red lights...

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