Book Review: Rockin’

For the uninitiated, rockabilly is a way of life for those smitten by the rough, raw, unsanitized-for-the-masses American born music of the early 1950’s. Rockabilly is a mindset that encompasses dress, dance moves, hairstyles and cars, especially custom hot rods. Although most everyone is familiar with Elvis Presley, few are aware that such famous hits as Blue Suede Shoes was actually written and first performed by Carl Perkins and fewer still realize that country western great Hank Williams was a vital part of the original rockabilly movement. Through a vivid portfolio of color and black and white photos, Shaylor provides a glimpse of the fans and musicians that are keeping rockabilly alive in Great Britain and the U.S; he also provides background history and recounts his pilgrimage to the American south, home of Hank Williams and Carl Perkins.

For music fans worldwide, this presents an excellent overview of an often-overlooked facet of our collective musical heritage. Shaylor has managed to highlight the people, their cars, get-ups and attitude built around this vital, brash music style without being trite or worse, judgmental. This is a must-have for anyone interested in the roots of modern day rock and roll but be warned, once you start searching out and listening to the old titles you’ll be hooked.


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