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...One of the first American pop vocal groups to gain international fame, the Ink Spots were responsible for stylistic innovations which led to rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and doo-wop. Originally formed in 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana...

The Dismissal of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Jazz Critics at Down Beat

Matt Brennan

Matt Brennan is a Chancellor’s Fellow of Music at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He has served as Chair of the UK and Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). His is the co-author (with Simon Frith, Martin Cloonan, and Emma Webster) of The History of Live Music in Britain. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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When Genres Collide : Down Beat, Rolling Stone, and the Struggle Between Jazz and Rock

Bloomsbury Academic, 2017

Scholarly Books

...Scott DeVeaux, 2005. “Cores and Boundaries,” The Source 2, 15–30.As any of you who have looked at Down Beat know, the more detail, the more problems. It’s not a matter of what to leave in, but what to leave out. History is storytelling...

The Coasters

Artist Pages

...The late 1950s and early 1960s material by the Coasters provided a link between the older doo-wop sound, blues, and the new rock and roll. Formed in 1955, the Coasters evolved out of the Los Angeles doo-wop group the Robins after two of its...
...The sound of R & B/soul music in the late 1960s would have been completely different if not for the career of Aretha Franklin. Aretha was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father was C. L. Franklin (a civil rights activist and preacher...

Memphis, TN: Beale Street

Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume IV : Locations: North America

Continuum, 2016

Encyclopedia Articles

...Beale Street is a thoroughfare in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. By the beginning of the twentieth century it had become the city’s center for black business, culture and entertainment. The main entertainment district was between Second...

James Brown

Artist Pages

...The energetic performances and illustrious career of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, earned him the moniker “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.” Born in 1933 in South Carolina, Brown grew up in extreme poverty. His family moved...

Otis Redding

Artist Pages


B.B. King

Artist Pages

...As a figure commonly recognized as “the King of the Blues,” B.B. King’s almost seventy-year career saw seventy-four entries on the Billboard R & B charts and the evolution of his form into various idioms of popular music. Born in 1925...
...As one of the most prolific artists to emerge from the Beale Street scene in Memphis, Tennessee, Bobby Bland’s career spanned fifty years. Born in 1930 in the small town of Barretville, Tennessee, Bland dropped out of school after third...