Fresh Air Rock Historian Ed Ward Unveils Ambitious 'History of Rock & Roll'

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 (Photo: Todd V. Wolfson)

The "rock-and-roll historian" for NPR's Fresh Air, Ed Ward, has published a new book, "The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1, 1920-1963," where he argues that rock 'n' roll began with neither Beatlemania nor Elvis Presley. Instead, Ward weaves together the individual stories of 900-plus lesser-known musicians and producers who shaped the origins and trajectory of rock 'n' roll and situates them within broader cultural and historical shifts. We'll talk with Ward about why no one "invented" rock 'n' roll and why he says that "one of the most important things that makes American music American is the African-American connection."


Ed Ward, author, "The History of Rock &Roll, Volume 1, 1920-1963"; rock-and-roll historian, NPR's Fresh Air