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Rock music




A Rhythm and Blues Training Ground

Rock historian Ed Ward remembers The Dominoes, an early rock group led by pianist Billy Ward. The band helped launch the careers of Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson.


The Legacy of Sun Records

The record label, led by producer Sam Phillips, launched the careers of legends like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Rock historian Ed Ward remembers several of the other, lesser-known acts Phillips signed during Sun's heyday.


Captain Beefheart's Legacy

Don Glen Vilet is a painter who recorded experimental, blues-inflected music under under the name Captain Beefheart. Rock historian Ed Ward says that, while Beefheart was never a commercial success, his influence can be heard in everything from pop to heavy metal.


Mexican American Rock Bands Make Their Mark

Rock historian Ed Ward considers the influence of early Mexican American rock bands. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs were a goofy novelty act; the Question Marks incorporated the sounds of traditional Mexican music into their songs.


A Black Rock Entrepreneur with a Great Voice to Boot

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles New Orleans rocker Lloyd Price was one of the earliest black rock 'n rollers. He first recorded on the Special T label, and had hits with the songs "Personality" and his version of the old folk tale "Stagger Lee." He adopted a pop sound after New York City, started a few record labels, and owns several nightclubs.


Ricky Nelson: Rock's First TV Icon

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles the career of the late musician, who, as a teenager, first plucked America's heartstrings on the TV show "The Adventure of Ozzie and Harriet."


"No One Could Outperform Slim"

Eddie Jones, who later performed as Guitar Slim, was an early pioneer of rock and blues guitar. He died in 1959. Rock historian Ed Ward says that, had Slim lived, he could have outshone Jimi Hendrix.

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