Fifties Rock and Soul
The music that blew the lid off the America I grew up in. The big names are the right ways: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke. But what hits me most about the Fifties now is how deep the craziness went. The first two anthologies are revelations. Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins were right when they decided that this music did at least as much for Civil Rights as anything that was happening in Washington. There’s a library full of books on this music; I’d start with Robert Palmer’s Rock and Roll: An Unruly History.