In this episode Ed and Nate discuss the period when Rock and Roll really got started. We’ll hear about the woman who discovered Elvis Presley, a pair of Jewish music fans who become legit R&B legends, how a Turkish record mogul wrote Ray Charles’ first hit, when country music discovered cheating songs and a whole lot about dirty dirty naughty rhythm and blues records.
In the second episode Nate talks to rock historian Ed Ward about the early 1950s and the emergence of Rhythm and Blues. They discuss the legendary song “Good Rockin’ Tonight” and the two simultaneous hit versions that came out in 1949 plus the early work of Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Ruth Brown and the late, great Johnny Ace.
In the first episode, we’ll be talking about the time period from 1945-1950. You’ll be hearing about the stroll, which was the main avenue of the segregated African-American city within every major American city. We’ll also be hearing about the independent record labels that put the music out, the relationship of jump blues, jazz, gospel, folk and western swing to the new music, as well as legends like Fats Domino, Hank Williams and Muddy Waters.
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.