Alan Empson reviews
The Roots of Rock, from Cardiff to Mississippi and Back
by Peter Finch
Peter Finch, besides being a poet and critic, is the author of Welsh-centric travel guides, particularly concerning his home city of Cardiff. However, as a long time music enthusiast, it was inevitable that he would be inspired to travel to, and write about, the land where his musical preferences originated.
The early chapters offer a kaleidoscope of memories that will be familiar to anyone born in the post war baby-boom years, although they probably seem like visions of a distant planet to later generations. Amidst the comfortable BBC radio programmes offering light entertainment, there appeared the rumblings of something new that appealed to a younger audience: skiffle, courtesy of Lonnie Donegan, and rock & roll in the unlikely shape of the avuncular Bill Haley. Of course, then Elvis came on the scene, and things got all shook up.Sign in to read more