You can read all about this 3 part series in Joe Nick Patoski's "Willie Nelson: An Epic Life".
In this episode, Joe Nick tells us how a country boy from Abbott, Texas grew into a hard-core honky tonk hero, playing gigs from San Antonio to Portland, Oregon. Honing his skills as a singing radio DJ and selling everything from encyclopedias to classic songs for as little as $50 a pop.
Read Joe Nick Patoski's "Willie Nelson: An Epic Life".
This week author Paul Trynka returns to discuss his first book, “Portrait of the Blues” a classic that’s unfortunately out of print but widely available online for a slight premium.
In this episode Nate chats with Paul about the time he spent connecting with legendary bluesmen like John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin and the stories they told about their lives and adventures playing the blues from Mississippi to Chicago and all over the world.
This week special guest Dr. Cam Cobb returns to finish the story of Moby Grape. Cam’s the author of “What’s Big and Purple and lives in the Ocean - The Moby Grape story”.
In this episode, Cam and I conclude the tale of Moby Grape and their journey from being the “Next Big Thing” of 1967 to madness, drugs, mental institutions and utter creative and personal dissolution. We’ll talk about Skip Spence’s infamous axe-wielding breakdown at Columbia Records headquarters and how the rest of the Grape managed to cut some great music amidst the ruin.
In this episode, Ca
Host Nate Wilcox is joined by author James Burns to discuss his book “Let’s Go to Hell: Scattered Memories of the Butthole Surfers.”
This week, James and I talk about the unique circumstances of the 1980s that allowed a band as outre as the Butthole Surfers to reach a large international audience, the research involved in compiling a hardcore oral history, many staggering scatalogical anecdotes and the cosmo-historic importance of Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary and company.
Ed Ward is back for a discussion of Bob Wills and Western Swing.
This week, Ed and I pick up the history of country music where we left off after the Carter Family & Jimmie Rodgers episode and carry on to the 1930s emergence of a distinctive genre in Texas: Western Swing and the man, Bob Wills, who led it to the top of the pop charts, packed dancehalls, TV and movies.
This week I’ve got a special guest: Dr. Cam Cobb author of “What’s Big and Purple and lives in the Ocean - The Moby Grape story.”
This week, Cam and I begin the amazing and tragic story of Moby Grape -- the Next Big Thing of 1967, how they were caught up in one of the first rock record company feeding frenzies and had their classic debut album swamped by a wave of overhype.
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 evolution of African-American music from blues & jazz thru swing to Rhythm and Blues with a focus on great performers from Bessie Smith to Louis Jordan.
This week, Ed and I talk about the how African-American pop music transformed itself thru the swing era, the rise & fall of the blues queens, the thin line between jazz and blues, the first guitar heroes and the greatest American musical superstar you’ve probably barely heard of, Louis Jordan.
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.
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.