The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll

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9780393342949: The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll

“Lauterbach’s tribute . . . is welcome and overdue.” ―Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

For generations, "chitlin' circuit" has meant second tier―brash performers in raucous nightspots far from the big-city limelight. Now, music journalist Preston Lauterbach combines terrific firsthand reportage with deep historical research to offer a groundbreaking account of the birth of rock 'n' roll in black America. 34 illustrations

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About the Author:

Preston Lauterbach's first book, The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll was named a best book of the year by the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and NPR. A Curb Visiting Scholar in the Arts at Rhodes College, Lauterbach lives near Charlottesville in Nelson County, Virginia.

Review:

Lauterbach's first book is a rocking read and a deserving tribute to the people and places who were the foundations of rock and roll.

A great read, well-written, and insightful. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the seedy history of American popular music.

In this terrific popular history, music journalist and first time author Lauterbach uncovers a secret world that involves not only music but also racketeering and bribery, bootlegging, and various scandals. Lauterbach focuses on how the chitlin' circuit developed from the late 1930s to the early 1940s, with a particular emphasis on how it nurtured early rock 'n' roll. A major achievement and an important contribution to American music history.

Highly recommended....relishes the criminal origins of the mostly southern black club scene from the early '30s to the late '60s....a coherent, musically savvy history of a performance culture that until now was known only piecemeal.--Robert Christgau

Mr. Lauterbach uncovers a story as sensational as any day-glo circuit-show poster...The era's hepcat lingo ("ork" for orchestra, "ofay" for "white") and hard-boiled, noir ambience give Mr. Lauterbach a tune he can carry....the book is at heart a well-researched valentine to a lost world of seedy con men, promoters and club owners, the power brokers and hustlers who made the "circuitry spark.--Eddie Dean

Lauterbach has written the definitive history of the musical back roads and back rooms of the southern United States.... a great read, well written and insightful. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the seedy history of American popular music.

Lauterbach's writing is as energetic as a Little Richard song (a performer who started on the chitlin' circuit and crossed over to national fame).... a rocking read and a deserving tribute to the people and places who were the foundations of rock and roll.

[T]he genius prequel to an oft-told epic.

Lauterbach spins the tale with enormous vitality and it s terribly fun to read. He masterfully explains the complex logistics of the entertainment industry, and studs the book with fascinating, little-known characters. . . . The reader will finish with an overwhelming urge to turn up the volume. --Kate Tuttle"

A well-researched valentine to a lost world of seedy con men, promoters and club owners, the power brokers and hustlers who made the circuitry spark. --Eddie Dean"

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