First, this is a no cover charge, no drinks minimum sort of joint, and if the burgers and fries tend to be a little greasy, the jukebox is, I assure you, eclectic (and will be more so as entries are added). So, soda shop for after school teens? Blues club (rural or urban)? Crossroads honkytonk where the farm folk gather? Up to you. Imagine it as you will.
Second, the occasion for these entries is in part Ticket Stubs & Liner Notes, a collection of poems that draw on American music of the 1950s and 1960s. These website entries (along with recordings of the poems) provide context for those who haven’t heard of Chuck Berry, Sun Ra, Bill Monroe, and other figures from those years who figure in the poems. (For the book’s blurbs, which further characterize the work, click here. If you think you might want to order your very own copy, the link above will beam you over to the publisher’s order page.)
Third, these entries (combining commentaries, reflections, and media links) are framed for those who are simply curious about the music and figures of this era, who are possibly interested in how the music was heard then, and how “then” might offer ways to re-hear the music now.
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Here’s a listing of the initial posting of entries (an interim navigation that will give way to something else as the number of entries grows):
- Guitar or Piano, That is the Question (1955): “Please, God”
- “In the Key of Jukebox (Soda Shop)”
- Carl Perkins: “Saturday Night”
- Elvis Presley: “Drugstore Malteds”
- Eric Clapton w. John Mayall: “The Boy Enters the Record Store for the First Time”
- The Grateful Dead: “Temporary Shrine (1966)”
- Jefferson Airplane: “First Night at the Fillmore (March 1967)”
- Country Joe & The Fish: “Country Joe & The Fish Play the Avalon…May 19, 1967”
- Ravi Shankar: “Ravi Shankar After the Show (Ithaca, NY, October 1967)”
- Michael Bloomfield: “The Electric Flag, An American Music Band, Plays The Bitter End (New York City, November 1967)”
- Janis Joplin: “Janis Joplin Plays the Fraternity Brothers (The Armory, Cornell, May 3, 1969)”
- Chuck Berry: “My Ding-a-Ling (Chuck Berry at The Roadhouse)”
- “Little Richard at The Roadhouse (Ithaca, NY, October 1970)”
- “The Summer of Love aka The Name Game”