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06:42

Ed Ward's Favorite Band from the 1950s

In the first of a two-part profile, Fresh Air's rock historian looks back at the 5 Royales. They started off as a mediocre gospel group from North Carolina before evolving into a distinctive rhythm and blues vocal ensemble signed to Apollo Records.

07:55

The Roots of Doo-Wop.

Rock and roll historian Ed Ward explores the roots of doo-wop from jazz harmonists the Cats and the Fiddle to groups such as the Ravens and the Orioles.

06:55

An Unparallelled Document of Time and Talent.

Rock historian Ed Ward plays us some tracks from the "Million Dollar Quartet" sessions. It was an early 60s recording date at the Sun Studios in Memphis, featuring Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash.

06:58

Soul Singer Laura Lee Tells It Like It Is

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles Laura Lee, a gospel singer who in the late 60s and early 70s switched to soul. She became known for her feminist songs "Wedlock is a Padlock," and "Women's Love Rights." After a string of hits she went back to gospel music, recording with Al Green.

05:20

The Gospel to Pop Rule.

Rock historian Ed Ward looks at some pop singers who got their start in gospel. Artists discussed include Sam Cooke, Johnny Taylor, The Five Royales, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, James Brown, and Shirley Ceasar.

06:02

Elvis Lets Loose While the Tapes Roll

Rock historian Ed Ward takes us behind the scenes of the Million Dollar Quartet session, which featured Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and others playing in the Sun Records studios in 1956.

07:12

Tracing Little Richard's Later Years

Rock historian Ed Ward tells us about the middle years of Little Richard's career, when he left pop music for a while, sang gospel, and then returned to rock 'n' roll.

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