This title covers the Spirit of 1956 and the Birth of Rock n Roll! Rock n Roll was born in 1956. In that year: Elvis released Heartbreak Hotel; Chuck Berry sang Roll Over Beethoven; Little Richard blurred the boundary with Tutti Frutti; Janis Martin sang for women with Drugstore Rock and Roll; while pop music hit the big screen with Rock Around the Clock, featuring Bill Haley and the Comets. It was fun, it was gaudy, it was provocative and sexy, fresh and new. And radio listeners and record buyers, black and white equally, fell in love with rock n roll. Music journalist Nick Johnstone charts the events the year rock n roll broke into the mainstream and explores its African-American roots. He also shows how the DNA fused in that one burst of creativity has persisted for the next 50 years, first re-born as rock in the hands of two new superstar artists: The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and its many incarnations through punk, Ngrunge to the present day.
Nick Johnstone is a music journalist for Mojo, Uncut, Melody Maker, and the author of the highly acclaimed memoir A Head Full of Blue. He was the editor of The Melody Maker History of 20th Century Popular Music. He has interviewed all the major names in pop, rock and country including Keith Richards, Lou Reed, Richard Hell, John Cale, Elliott Smith, The Flaming Lips, Ronnie Wood, Ryan Adams, Rickie Lee Jones, and Rod Stewart. He is also the biographer of Nick Cave and Patti Smith.