Early Rock n’ Roll
While far from their greatest album, The Beatles’ first release Please Please Me perfectly captures the group as they transition from the roots rock group they were into the worldwide phenomenon they would become.
During the decade of the 1950s, Chuck Berry went from a part-time musician playing local gigs to supplement his income to one of the most successful and influential artists of the era.
Released during the height of his initial popularity, Elvis Presley recorded a 20th century classic in just a few days in 1957. Elvis’ Christmas Album, in its many versions and incarnations, has gone on to sell over 13 million copies through the decades.
Motown / Soul
The January 1968 release Lady Soul, Aretha Franklin‘s 14th overall studio album, captures the artist’s momentum as she evolved from Gospel singer to pop and soul superstar with a fine mix of pop singles, interpretive covers and thoughtful, original compositions.
R&B / Gospel
A huge pioneer in the popularization of Gospel music and the development of rhythm and blues, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was also an influence on rock and roll during its first few decades of existence.
A bit of a turn away from his early psychedelic-influenced work. Dr. John’s Gumbo is a finely performed and produced tribute to the distinct, traditional music of Dr. John‘s hometown of New Orleans.
Although it arrived with little fanfare, Tracy Chapman’s self-titled debut album quickly grew to became a landmark revival album for the singer/songwriter tradition.
Through the summer of 2016, we will be focusing on the great American genre of The Blues.
Other Traditional Genres
In the near future, Roots Rock Review will cover the rich potpourri of (mainly) American genres from the beginnings of recorded music in the early 20th century through 1964 (our sister publication Classic Rock Review covers form 1965 forward). Some of theses early genres we will cover include:
- Classic Country
- Pop / Big Band