The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Save: $6.49 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Chitlin' Circuit: And... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Excellent Condition! Very clean pages, cover, and tight binding!! Fast Amazon Shipping! Tracking # with every order! Satisfaction Guaranteed!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll Hardcover – July 18, 2011


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.46
$16.72 $3.96

The Art of Big Hero 6 by Jessica Julius
The Art of Big Hero 6 by Jessica Julius
This is a perfect book for both diehard fans of the movie or anyone with any interest in animation. Learn more | See all by author
$20.46 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll + Beale Street Dynasty: Sex, Song, and the Struggle for the Soul of Memphis
Price for both: $40.77

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Starred Review. Lauterbach has written the definitive history of the musical back roads and back rooms of the southern United States.... a great read, well written and insightful. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the seedy history of American popular music.” (Library Journal)

“Remarkable… Lauterbach has resurrected the names and careers of men and women―and, yes, some of the toughest of these people were women―who ran bars, booking agencies and clubs, where traveling musicians could come into a black community, play, make money and go to the next town… It’s a complex, multi-layered story… The Chitlin’ Circuit illuminates a period of American musical history that’s long needed it… Go[es] a long way toward illuminating the life black performers lived off-stage and the conditions they endured while they worked.” (Ed Ward, NPR)

“An intensely researched, engaging revelation… This captivating account slips the reader smack into the middle of rock’s own hothouse.” (Barry Mazor)

About the Author

Preston Lauterbach's first book, The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll was named a best book of the year by the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and NPR. A Curb Visiting Scholar in the Arts at Rhodes College, Lauterbach lives near Charlottesville in Nelson County, Virginia.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (July 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393076520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393076523
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of The Chitlin' Circuit (W.W. Norton), a Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and NPR best book of 2011, and Beale Street Dynasty (W.W. Norton), a story of sex, song, and the struggle for the soul of Memphis, coming in April 2015.

Customer Reviews

Fans of this era and music will enjoy this book.
Stuart Jefferson
The book considers singers and musicians as well as the black entrepreneurs involved in the production of the music.
Robin Friedman
The author writes well and his research is very good.
Mark Anderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Hardcover, 13 page Introduction, 276 pages of text, 4 page Afterword, 3 pages of Acknowledgments, 21 pages of Chapter Notes, plus an Index. There's also a number of (small) b & w photos throughout the book, which give added depth to the text.

The so called "chitlin' circuit" played an unheralded, but important, role in the rise of blues/soul/r&b/r'n'r in the early days of America. It's both interesting and shameful that this particular area of music hasn't been explored at length before now. The author, Preston Lauterbach, has done a good job of exploring his subject beyond the surface, especially considering this is his first book.

The chitlin' circuit has historically been the domain (to some extent) of so called "second tier" performers. They were black artists who spent their careers (unless they were lucky enough to break nationally) performing in one small venue to the next, in the American South. Possibly because of these factors, this highly interesting area of musical history has never been given much of a look. The author not only has done some good research and writing, but has an empathy for his subject, which comes through in the book without coloring the story. His writing style is easy to digest without being overly simplistic. He tells the story, oftentimes letting the story itself unfold naturally, which highlights the subject.

The story begins in the 1930's, with what most people consider the beginning of a relatively small circuit of venues for small combos and sometimes larger orchestras. A number of well known artists got their start on the chitlin' circuit-including Little Richard, B.B.King, Wynonie Harris, Louis Jordan, Gatemouth Brown, Johnny Ace, James Brown, Roy Brown, and a number of others-before they became nationally known.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Almost twenty years ago, I listened every Sunday night to a program on local public radio called "The Blues Experience" hosted by Steve Hoffman. The program, in Steve's words, went "back into the alley, down into the roots, deep into the heart of the blues." Steve's blues experience opened up this music to me before, alas, the show and the station which presented it went the way of much public radio.

I was reminded of this old local blues program upon reading a new book by Preston Lauterbach, "The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock'N'Roll"(2011). The focus of the book is on the small blues combos including Louis Jordan, Roy Brown, Amos Milburn, and Wynonie Harris that played small one-night stands across the South in ragged dance halls and bars in the 1940's and 1950s. In his radio show, Steve showed an evident liking for this period of the blues, and he featured it often. The book gave me a the opportunity to become reacquainted with this music after several years away.

The book considers singers and musicians as well as the black entrepreneurs involved in the production of the music. Lauterbach offers a look at African American community life during the 1930's -- 1950's before the Civil Rights Revolution. The settings and the characters vary. Much of Lauterbach's story takes place in three cities: Indianapolis, Houston, and Memphis. Indianapolis was the home of Denver Ferguson, who ran a policy scheme in the city, owned a nightclub, and organized a touring circuit throughout the South in which musicians played their gigs. In Houston, Don Robey became affiliated with Ferguson and soon became the most powerful figure in the blues in his own right with his clubs, recording studios and contacts.
Read more ›
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Staglified on July 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An enlightened account of an incredible, American phenomenon. Witty and sarcastic, poignant and concise, the author conveys a sense of being there not just writing about. A cross between Wolfe and Ellroy only well referenced and intelligent. Can't wait for Lauderbach's next effort.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D_shrink VINE VOICE on December 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a work that kept me interested and excited to learn more about individuals who in total were responsible for Rhythm and Blues, which was later morphed into Rock-n-Roll.

The Chitlin Circuit referred to the grand tour of ever changing southern bars, taverns, holes in the wall, barbeque joints, and makeshift venues for dancing or simply those to showcase new black artists, while turning a substantial buck on the booze sold. The era described extended from about 1930 to the mid 1980s. At the beginning of that era, the featured performers had larger orchestras and preferred to play SWING, while the crowds would rather hear smaller bands that played R&B. The promoters agreed with the crowds as the guarantees were much smaller for bands than orchestras.

One of the added bonuses of this book were the numerous B/W photos of the many people who made this musical form popular. The author's telling of this story is done in a rapid fire staccato pacing. An example being "He modified what Mother Nature gave him to compensate for what Father Time took away." How can you not love a line like that. It was just so easy to see the scenes depicted through the author's voice. Even the chapter titles as "The Loser Goes to the Hospital, the Winner Goes to Jail!" has a certain panache and verve that sets the tone of the place and period. There were numerous vignettes of the many important personalities of the era that enabled you to get to know them on a more personal level. We get to know the history of how Riley King morphed into B. B. King, Richard Pennington into "Little Richard", John Alexander Jr. into Johnny Ace, Willa Mae Thornton into Big Mama Thornton and all the intrigue and events of the daily life on the circuit. This is a must read for anyone interested in that period of our history and it background and certainly for all interested in the roots of R&B. A great read!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll
This item: The Chitlin' Circuit: And the Road to Rock 'n' Roll
Price: $20.46
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com