Today Ed Ward and I will be filling in a gap in our discussion of his epic History of Rock & Roll Part 1, 1920-1963 by discussing the foundation of commercial country music and its first superstars, Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family.
This week, Ed and I talk about the 1927 Bristol Virginia sessions where A&R man Ralph Peer discovered both Rodgers and the Carters, their different career arcs and musical styles and their incredible impact on American popular music.
It’s time to Let It Roll. Today features the conclusion of our discussion of Ed Ward’s book Michael Bloomfield: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero. Bob Dylan listed the book as one of his favorites in a recent web post.
This week, Ed and I talk about the fall of Michael Bloomfield, his dream band Electric Flag and why it became a nightmare for him, the difficulties Al Kooper had in birthing their massively successful Super Session collaborations, Bloomfield’s drift away from the spotlight and his final years.
Today features the return of Ed Ward to discuss his book Michael Bloomfield: The Rise and Fall of an American Guitar Hero which is coming out in paperback this summer.
This week, Ed and I talk about the rise of Michael Bloomfield, his legend, his unique role as a Jewish bluesman who learned at the feet of Muddy Waters and other African-American players in Chicago, his role in helping Bob Dylan birth folk-rock and his pioneering innovations with the Paul Butterfield Blues band.
It’s time to Let It Roll. Today we’re bringing back biographer Paul Trynka to talk about Starman, his biography of the late, great David Bowie.
This week, Paul and I talk about amazing career and surprisingly sympathetic personal life of Davy Jones aka David Bowie aka Major Tom, aka Ziggy Stardust, aka the Thin White Duke etc etc. We discuss the many transformations and amazing accomplishments of the last great English rock star.
This week host Nate Wilcox is joined by Paul Trynka, author of Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed.
Paul and Nate discuss the dichotomy between the erudite and charming Jim Osterberg and his wild man stage persona Iggy Pop, Iggy’s troubled relationships with his various sidemen and writing partners and the multiple times David Bowie stepped in and saved Jim’s life and Iggy’s career.
This week host Nate Wilcox is joined by Paul Trynka, author of Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones.
Nate and Paul discuss the triumphs and tragedies of Jones' short life, his original vision for the Rolling Stones, his relationships with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Anita Pallenberg, his musical contributions and the rumors around his death.
We start the second season of Let It Roll with a prequel to last season that covers the period from 1920 to 1945.
It’s a fun one as Ed Ward and Nate Wilcox talk rock and roll’s prehistory in the era of Victrolas, live radio and swing bands. We talk about the first hit blues record, the first superstars of country music and much more.
Welcome to the final episode of the first season of Let It Roll. I’m Nate Wilcox and I’ll be finishing up my conversation with Ed Ward about his book The History of Rock and Roll 1920-1963. This week we’ll be concluding 1963 and hearing about the Lebanese Restaurant that birthed surf music and saved Fender guitars, how Murray Wilson’s failed musical career laid the groundwork for his sons’ amazing success, how Columbia buried Bob Dylan’s first attempt to go rock, and the split between kids singing “My Boyfriend’s Back” and those singing “Blowing in the Wind.”
We talk about Stevie Wonder’s first hit and why you can hear someone shouting “what key? What key?” in the background, the mystery of Smokey Robinson’s failure to get a hit with the Supremes and we finally get to England and talk about the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the revolution they triggered and would bring to America in 1964.
We’re nearing the end of our first series as Ed’s book stops at the end of 1963. He’s working on the sequel now and it’ll be out in 2019. But for now we’ve got so much to talk about on 1963 that we’re splitting it into two episodes.
This week we’ll be talking about how Berry Gordy perfected his Motown assembly line, Phil Spector and the wrecking crew, Roy Orbison’s operatic dramas, Patsy Cline’s final year and how James Brown finally seized control of his career and became the Godfather of Soul.
1961 and 1962 are often written off as “the dark ages” of the first rock and roll era -- the original rock & roll revolution was over and the Beatles hadn’t yet come along -- and yet as Ed points out “any time you’re a teenager is the best time for rock and roll!” And sure enough on closer inspection this period produced a lot of great music to discuss.
This week we’ll dive deep into the birth of the Beach Boys, Dick Dale and surf music, the explosion of the Twist and how it got away from song writer Hank Ballard, Don Kirshner and his amazing stable of songwriters in the Brill Buildings, Barry Gordy’s struggle to capitalize Motown and what Stax was doing in Memphis.
Hosted by longtime rock and roll fan and sportswriter Nate Wilcox, "Let It Roll" is a series of in-depth interviews with Ed Ward about his book, The History of Rock and Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1963. Ward was the official rock and roll historian for NPR’s Fresh Air for 30 years, and is a former editor of Rolling Stone, writer for Crawdaddy, and Cream.