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The Seventh Stream: The Emergence of Rocknroll in American Popular Music Paperback – December 15, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This social history of "rocknroll" traces the development of popular music from 1900 to 1990, concentrating on the emergence of rock as a separate "stream" or musical style within the music business. Ennis's thesis is that rock music grew out of the social, artistic, cultural, and economic changes that took place in post-World War II America. His somewhat dry prose lacks the vitality and sweep of other rock texts, such as Charlie Gillett's updated The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll ( LJ 8/70; Pantheon, 1984. rev. ed.), but nonetheless is a solid, extensive, well-researched history of rock music. Recommended for large academic libraries.--Debora Richey, California State Univ.
Fullerton Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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“[A] solid, extensive, well-researched history of rock music.”―Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Wesleyan; 1st edition (December 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0819562572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0819562579
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,553,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Pactor VINE VOICE on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A note on vocabulary- Ennis uses the term "Rocknroll" to refer to the formative period of "rock and roll." He distinguishes rocknroll from the later period of "rock." Basically, rocknroll is what happened before 1965 and "rock" happened afterwards. It's not a usage that has caught on in any significant way since the publication of this book in 1992, and perhaps that is unfortunate, because I, for one, happen to agree that "everything changed" in the mid 1960s, and that the changes weren't for the better.

Eninis' main thesis is that rocknroll was the synthesis of the six pre-existing "streams" of American popular music: Pop (Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building), Black Pop, Country Pop, Gospel, Jazz and Folk. In the first section of The Seventh Stream, Ennis focuses on the "assembly" of the six distinct streams against the back drop of technological change between 1900 and 1940. His insightful, distinct division of American Popular Music into six "streams" is paired with a turgid, obvious recitation of the pre-World War II struggle between the publishing industry and the broadcasting industry. To his credit, Ennis does clearly demonstrate how this struggle influenced the development of the "six streams" (In a nutshell, the rise of radio favored Black Pop and Country Pop at the expense of Traditional Pop.)

The lasting contribution that Ennis makes to "rock history" comes in his tour-de-force of a second section, where he describes the emergence of rocknroll in the post World War II period. Perhaps his most important insight is the manner in which he describes the reflective relationship between Charts and the Record Labels who sought to profit from that information. The concept linking the two is the "crossover" i.e.
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By Michael Brook on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book. One his best insights is that a kind of music that can't sing about sexual love is dead for the young. Another is that the audience essentially forced rock and roll on the unwilling music industry. This (happily) flies in the face of the notion that the audience is at all times merely a passive pawn of the music business.

My only complaint is his use of "rocknroll." It is so distracting and he never justifies it.
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By beckyt on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a textbook that my son in college is using for his History of Rock N Roll class and we couldn't find it in any bookstore. Thank you so much for having it, for the great price, and quick shipping!!!
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