Synopses & Reviews
"Rock 'n' roll was loud, brash, and impudent; TV was soothing and polite. Rock 'n' roll was sex; TV was violins. Rock 'n' roll was Elvis Presley; TV was Robert Young."
-- from Station to Station
Television and rock 'n' roll: a combative yet profitable marriage of convenience that shapes fashion, attitude, talk, and music itself. In Station to Station, the first book to fully chronicle the evolution of televised rock, renowned music journalist Marc Weingarten brings to life all the defining moments in its history, from Elvis and The Ed Sullivan Show to Madonna and MTV.
Covering six decades of culturally significant performances, personalities, and shows, and drawing on dozens of in-depth interviews with key players at every level, Weingarten reveals how rock on television synthesized the burgeoning youth culture and transformed the face of middle-class America. He explores American Bandstand's stranglehold on the pop-radio charts in the 1950's, the rise and demise of artists via Soul Train and Saturday Night Live, and the impact of radio programmer Bob Pittman's idea for an "all music video" channel. Whether discussing players (Dick Clark, Don Kirshner, Don Cornelius), prefab teen idols (Fabian, The Monkees, The Partridge Family), or showstoppers (The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Run-DMC) Station to Station is a thouroughly engaging and coprehensive look at the intersecting realms of popular culture's two most influential artforms.
From the advent of local, DJ-hosted sock-hop broadcasts to the current primacy of MTV as today's chief arbiter of pop music tastes and trends, Weingarten's fascinating survey doesn't miss a beat, spotlighting all of the key events both the obvious and the seemingly obscure that contributed to this most elemental of media marriages. Here is Elvis Presley securing a page in history with his sex-charged performance on The Ed Sullivan Show; American Bandstand exercising a longstanding stranglehold on the pop-radio charts; the rise of the revolutionary and influential Soul Train; the bizarre impact of soul-inflected rock and psychedelic-drug culture on children's programming (Schoolhouse Rock, Alvin and the Chipmunks); and much, much more. Drawing on dozens of in-depth interviews with key players at every level and from every era, Station to Station is at once detailed and wide-ranging, informative and entertaining.
About the Author
Marc Weingarten is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, US Weekly, Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, and Vibe. He lives in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
1. Local Heroes
2. "A Real Decent, Fine Boy"; Elvis on TV
3. The Idolmaker: Dick Clark and American Bandstand
4. Nelson Family Values
5. The Whole World Is Watching: The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show
6. Do the Demographic Rock: The Monkees
7. Bump City: 1960s TV Rock Shows
8. Tougher than Leather: Elvis's '68 Comeback Special
9. Couch Time with the Counterculture
10. After the Sugar Rush: Cartoon Rock
11. Naked Lunch Box: David Cassidy and the Cult of the Teen Idol
12. Lucite and Soul: 1970s TV Rock
13. Saturday Night Live: Rock as Comedy, Comedy as Rock
14. Last Night a Veejay Saved My Life
TV Rock Top 40