From its earliest beginnings, even preceding independent statehood, the culture of the United States has embraced popular music. Folk songs, patriotic songs, field hollers, religious hymns and gospel songs, laments, trail songs, Old West ballads, and other forms of music combined and recombined to form the rich musical tapestry of American vernacular music.
From Bakersfield to Beale Street: A Regional History of American Rock 'n' Roll examines how rock 'n' roll music developed in American regions during the years between 1940 and 1987. The music originating from the distinctive cultural regions of the United States reflects these diverse areas. These styles helped to define the American popular musical landscape in the second half of the twentieth century. This text traces the roots of rock 'n' roll through three basic archetypes-the blues, folk and country music, and popular music coming from Tin-Pan Alley. America's many genres of popular music are the result of the ongoing recombination of these basic forms and styles.
From Bakersfield to Beale Street is organized around listening examples, chosen from artists and styles that reflect America's distinctive regions. Listening Activities describe each song's important features.