Back off Boogaloo

boogalooBoogaloo: The Quintessence of American Popular Music
Arthur Kempton

Music is my obsession. I revere scholarship. You would think a combination of the two would prove intriguing. But that would require the involvement of a scholar. Sadly, this lengthy tome lacks it.

Kempton states his thesis  in his subtitle: American popular music  is based on forms developed by Black Americans. That’s hardly startling. We have heard it before, particularly from a certain rock critic. What’s unique about Kempton’s arguably workaday thesis is how he chooses to defend it.

Typically this story is told as slightly offset parallel tracks: rhythm and blues becomes rock-‘n’-roll by way of Sun Studio is one common telling. You Continue reading