Jacksonville and the Roots of Southern Rock

Michael Ray Fitzgerald. Univ. Press of Florida, $28 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8130-6665-3
Media historian Fitzgerald (Swamp Music) positions the north Florida port city of Jacksonville as the crossroads for Southern rock in this fun and informative study. He writes that Southern rock “has no discernible sound or musical character; it can primarily be recognized by its subject matter, which has to do with the provincial men—and occasionally women—of the so-called heartland.” Fitzgerald smoothly weaves the stories of bands forming and at times moving on from Jacksonville (the Allman Brothers moved to Macon, Ga., to record at Capricorn Records, also the label for the Marshall Tucker Band). Many of these stories are familiar—the Allman Brothers history is well-known, for example—but Fitzgerald does introduce lesser-known artists such as Scott Boyer and Tommy Talton of Cowboy and keyboardist Reese Wynans, who played with bluesman John Mayall and country singer Trisha Yearwood. Along the way he digs into the origin of “bad boys” Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot (whose singer, Rickey Medlocke, “is one of the most talented singers to emerge from the city”), 38 Special (formed by Donnie Van Zant, the younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant), and Molly Hatchet (whom he labels “Southern Spinal Tap”). Fans of Southern rock will appreciate Fitzgerald’s entertaining survey. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 06/29/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-8130-6570-0
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