The Seventh Stream: The Emergence of Rocknroll in American Popular Music

Front Cover
Wesleyan University Press, 1992 - Music - 445 pages
0 Reviews
Philip Ennis presents a major social and cultural study of the origins and evolution of “rocknroll.” With masterful command of general trends and telling details, he describes the artistic, economic, and political context that nurtured this radically new popular music. This “seventh stream,” which drew from existing forms of pop music, began as a youth movement of rebellion and remains a worldwide banner of youth in search of alternatives.

“Rocknroll” emerged, he shows persuasively, from the successive meeting and melding of the other six “streams”—pop, black pop, country pop, jazz, folk, and gospel. He chronicles how these were shaped by struggles over musical property rights, and by the new technologies of radio and phonograph record.

The most decisive clash was between the New York based music publishers and the radio broadcasters. Their decades long contest resulted in many cultural changes. The basic unit shifted from sheet music to the phonograph record. The radio disc jockey in small, independent radio stations became the new focal point for all the popular musics. New venues, audiences, and talent appeared throughout the nation.

The appearance of “rocknroll” marked a significant cultural moment, argues Ennis. This “seventh stream” was part of an explosive efflorescence in all the American arts after World War II. Its early stars—Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley—built a pantheon of performers with deep roots in all the other streams.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

The seventh stream: the emergence of rocknroll in American popular music

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

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 ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
19001940
15
The Organization of Popular Musics
17
Publisher against Broadcaster
42
Their Paths in Development
71
The Pop Stream Leads It All to 1940 and the War
99
19451965
129
The Disk Jockey Takes Over
131
The King and His Court
229
19651970
257
The Industry Refuses Then Accommodates
259
The Youth Movements
283
n Rock
313
Continuum
362
Notes
381
Bibliography
423

The Streams Aligned
161
The Early Crossovers
193

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1992)

PHILIP H. ENNIS is Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Wesleyan University. Author of numerous studies on the arts in their social and legal contexts, he has served as consultant to the American Library Association, CBS, and The National Endowment of the Arts.

Bibliographic information