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Rockabilly: The Twang Heard 'Round the World: The Illustrated History Hardcover – May 20, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Gatehouse News Service

“…a compelling, fascinating collection that finally gives a brash, revolutionary musical style its due, and reminds us that even though it was short lived, it never really went away.”
Publishers Weekly
“Born out of Elvis Presley’s improvisational cut of That’s All Right recorded at Sun Records in 1954, Rockabilly’s time under the spotlight was brief, but its reverberating influence still rings true. This illustrated history, much like the music, is a frantic journey, full of passion and charisma. A blend of bluegrass, jazz, and Hillbilly that predates both rock ’n’ roll and country, the origins of the term “Rockabilly” eludes even its most famous figures. Burgess’s tales of touring with Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison make clear that showmanship was prerequisite to the style that encompassed such greats as Eddie Cochran, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Interviews with lesser known musicians like Charlie Feathers give the story a personal touch. In varying manifestations, bona fide Rockabilly principles have endured from the 1970s European revival, through the brash “Psychobilly” of The Stray Cats and The Cramps, and on to the current new wave. Over 600 photographs and images of original tour posters, vinyl sleeves, and paraphernalia provide an electrifying account orchestrated with an authenticity that only adds to its already overwhelming worldwide appeal.”
Lincoln Star Journal
“This 232-page coffee-table book is filled with more than 600 photographs, concert posters, images of album covers and 45s and other memorabilia. So I've spent several nights just looking at the pictures. I haven't read most of the text, which includes essays by Peter Guralnick and Greil Marcus among others and quotes and quips from rockabillies like Sonny Burgess, who wrote the intro, and the great Wanda Jackson. Covering the movement from its 1950s explosion, with a lot on Sun Records, to contemporary purveyors of the vintage sound, the book is a must if you're a rockabilly fanatic like me.”
Monsters and Critics
“A colorful collection of great anecdotes and art, this new gift book is filled with all kinds of photos and images of movie posters, rare records and movie memorabilia from the early days of rock and roll."



The Big Takeover.com, May 9, 2011
"Rockabilly: The Twang Hear ‘Round The World is loud, brash and full of attitude. Just like the music itself. The book succeeds on all fronts… it’s highly informative and a lot of fun to read. Highly recommended.”
Examiner.com, May 13, 2011
“In Rockabilly: The Twang Heard Round World, editor Michael Dregni does a remarkable job of highlighting the genre via beautiful color and black and white photos – everything from old flyers and pins, to concert shots and close ups of the instruments the legends played - and write ups of some of the genre’s greats, everyone from Elvis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins to the Stray Cats and the Rev. Horton Heat.”
Rockabilly Hall of Fame (online), May 13, 2011
“This is one of the best books I've ever seen about rockabilly history. Its layout is dripping with 230 colorful informative pages containing comments, quotes and interviews. You will be impressed with its photographs of artists, posters, guitars, record labels, etc. It is reasonably priced and I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves rockabilly music ... whether you are a veteran fan, a collector, or one who is new to this genre."

From the Back Cover

The first illustrated history of Rockabilly—the twang heard ’round the world!
 
With a cast of rockabilly stars:
 
* Interviews & Reminiscences from Brian Setzer, Wanda Jackson, Carl Perkins, Charlie Feathers, Sonny Burgess, Billy Riley, Scotty Moore, Cliff Gallup, James Burton, Rev. Horton Heat, Tav Falco, Heavy Trash, Glen Glenn, Dale Hawkins, Rose Maddox, Barbara Pittman, Jim Dickinson, Pat Cupp, Paul Burlison, Ronnie Hawkins, The Cramps, Ray Campi, Johnny Carroll, and more
 
Added attractions:
 
* Featuring articles by Greil Marcus, Peter Guralnick, Luc Sante, Robert Gordon, Deke Dickerson, David McGee, Craig Morrison, Randy McNutt, Dan Forte, Garth Cartwright, Vince Gordon, and more
 
Plus:
 
* More than 600 rare photographs, concert posters, singles and LPs, memorabilia and collectibles—from Elvis to the Stray Cats to today
 
Don’t dare miss the best of Hillbilly Bop!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; First edition (May 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760340625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760340622
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a school tour guide at RCA Studio B in Nashville. I enjoy reading about artists that recorded at Studio B such as Elvis, Roy Orbison and many others. I highly recommend this book. The book arrived in a timely manner and is in excellent condition.
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Format: Hardcover
Visually, this book is stunning! Lots and lots of great pictures of artists, posters, records, album covers, sheet music, guitars - you name it. The expected players and their backstories, such as Sun Records, Elvis, Carl, Jerry Lee, Johnny, Gene, Eddie, the Stray Cats, etc., are included; most rockabilly fans will know this history. Beyond that, there are insightful interviews with many artists that music history has almost forgotten, but were important to the rockabilly story. Pages are even dedicated to the gear used in rockabilly.

With that said, the title of the book is as it says: an "Illustrated" history. Where pictures abound, the content is not deep like in a book such as Craig Morrison's, "Go, Cat, Go!", or "Rocket In My Pocket" by Max Decharne, and doesn't relay the genre's historical development in a typical time-line fashion. What the content does do is present personal perspectives from rockabilly innovators, both past and present. At times, though, I felt the content a little uneven. For example, there was one page with a picture of Janis Martin but no story, or a small corner picture of Billy Fury, and yet six pages for Sleepy LaBeef (nothing against Sleepy...)! Sometimes I thought the pictures were taking up space to make up for the lack of content.

For me, this is not the book to read for a scholarly researched history of rockabilly's development - there are other books available for that. But if you're looking for an emotional pull on the senses from great visuals and personal stories - this is definitely a book to have.
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Format: Hardcover
A lot of great not-so-often seen photos of artists, gig posters, records labels etc. Interviews and gear presentation. Great overall guide and source for history of rockabilly
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's an AMAZING book, with thorough, DETAILED articles (a whole section on the ES-295!) and tons of color and B&W photos. It also has a super, fact-revealing article on Grady Martin and the truth about the Johnny Burnette & The Rock'n'Roll Trio recordings, written by Vince Gordon of the Jime. And it has a cool cut-out hard cover design. If you like rockabilly and its history, you will LOVE this; would make a great Christmas/Chanukkah gift as well. A+++ for this book!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on impulse at the airport, expecting to flip through it on the plane for cool pics of old Rock and Roll culture. Two days later I had read it cover to cover.

The only times I really put it down were when I went online to sample some of the songs or look up more biography on the rockers.

I really don't have much to add to what has already been posted on Amazon. Yes, the packaging is outstanding -- tight binding, thick smooth cover, tons and tons of great photos, slick paper, generous index. And the writing ranges from good to masterful. Some of these essays were, for me, the reading equivalent of listening to a new Cramps CDs the first time on our living room couch in high school, or watching King Creole on a giant outdoor screen on a cool summer night in the French Quarter where it was set. Truly, I was always remember where I was and what I was doing when I read key parts of this book.

I'm not really overly familiar with rockabilly, but found the book humble and accessible. Here are a few tidbits that grabbed me as I flip back through the book:
* The essay by Sonny Burgess himself is amazing. "Nowadays they want it (music) too pretty. Everything's got to be perfect. They have machines that will put you in tune if you sing out of tune....I think that's where music has lost its soul. There's no feeling in it anymore." (p.11).
* The Intro. (pp.13f) on what defines rockabilly. More or less starting with July 5, 1954 when Elvis recorded "That's All Right" at Sun Studios with Scotty Moore and Bill Black. When it "ends" is harder to delineate. "The day the music died" (Holly, Valens and Big Bopper's plane crash Feb. 3, 1959)?
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From Sun Records and Elvis and Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins
to many you may never heard of this is the rockabilly bible.
It tells you everything and more you need to know about how
rock and roll really began with rock bop then rockabilly then
rock n roll! Buddy Holly, Roy Oribson, Eddie Cochran and Gene
Vincent and more! this is the book all rockers should read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a classic C+W fan, so there were many groups here I was unfamiliar with. But there are some classic pioneers like Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and the unfairly forgotten Jack Scott. Beautifully designed, large format book, with images of concert posters, music sheets, album covers and ticket stubs to enhance the stories. Some top music critics chime in, some coherent and some...not so much. But plenty to make you seek out the past masters on recordings and the many groups keeping the music alive today.
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