One summer's day at college, our lecturer must have been bored so he invited his mate to pop over who gave us a two hour history of the roots of rock n roll from R&B, Country and Gospel. Not something you expect from a Sociology class.
Rock n Roll America was an enjoyable examination of the evolution of early rock and reminded of that afternoon, so their was little new here for me. It starts with Fats Domino, goes through Little Richard and you get to Rock around the Clock with the oldest teenager going, Bill Haley and an emerging Elvis.
Other programme examines the the scandalous personalities such as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard and then how it became mainstream. You get to hear how black performers struggled to get their songs to a wider audience and how often the songs were recoded by white performers in order to get airplay (Pat Boone being the worst offender although he spins it round by saying he was doing the black artists a favour by getting their music known by sanitising it.)
The programme goes to various birthplaces, Sun Records, Bourbon Street also very much tourist hot spots these days and talks to various participants who are still around, if not their kids.