How Southern Rock Reclaims Regional Identity While Facing Down Old Ghosts

By Reinventing Rebel Attitude, the Allmans and Their Brethren Forged a New Genre

The South spawned rock ’n’ roll. Some scholars pin its arrival to the first week of March, 1951, in Memphis, Tennessee. There, in the studio run by record producer, label chief, and talent scout Sam Phillips, the rhythm-and-blues bandleader Ike Turner cut a jump-blues inspired paean to “oozin and cruisin’” in a sleek black convertible called “Rocket 88.” Phillips, of course, would later discover Elvis Presley, son of Tupelo, Mississippi, whose hip-shaking synthesis of blues, gospel, hillbilly, and country music changed American popular culture forever (although Chuck Berry and Little …

More In: rock music

Have We Turned the Last Page in America’s Songbook?

Tracing the Great Songwriting Tradition, From Cole Porter to Joni Mitchell

The Great American Songbook isn’t really a book. Rather, it’s a notional collection of several hundred pop songs. The precise identity of the songs varies according to who is doing …