Rock critic Ken Tucker says the music coming out of Los Angeles today has come a long way from the soft rock sound of the 1970s. But no one style dominates the city -- there's some good pop and rock, but Tucker is most excited by rap artists from Compton.
Rock historian Ed Ward begins a special series on the contribution of various cities to rock and roll. He begins with Los Angeles. Artists discussed Roy Milton, Johnny Otis, Esther Phillips, Richie Valens, Eddie Cochran, Beach Boys, Phil Spector, The Ronettes, and The Byrds.
It's hard to believe today, but in the mid-1950s, Los Angeles didn't mean much in terms of popular music. But the coming of rock 'n' roll meant an infusion of tiny record labels -- and one was Dore, run by a happy-go-lucky guy named Lew Bedell. Ed Ward tells its short, crazy story here.