If Memphis is the birthplace of rock n roll, it spent its adolescence along U.S. Highway 67. Known today as Rock n Roll Highway 67, it runs from Newport, Arkansas, to the Missouri border. It is here that the first rock n rollers--such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins--honed their skills and played along the two-lane road with local talent such as Conway Twitty, Sonny Burgess, and Charlie Rich. In these pages, author Vicki Pasmore takes you on a guided tour of the Rock n Roll Highway to meet 20 of the entertainers who gave it its name. Entertainers include: Elvis Presley, Sonny Burgess, Billy Lee Riley, Wanda Jackson, Narvel Felts, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Barbara Pittman, Sonny Deckelman, Teddy Redell, Carl Perkins, Ronnie Hawkins, Joyce Green, Larry Donn Gillihan, Bobby Lee Trammell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bobby Brown, Bud Deckelman, Carl Mann, and Charlie Rich
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Victoria Micklish Pasmore holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Art and masters degrees in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. She has taught math, art, and special education to K12 students for thirty years. A native Arkansan currently living in Mississippi and Wales, she is a world traveler and an enthusiastic fan of rockabilly and early rock n roll music.Review:
Vest-pocket profiles of rock-'n'-roll pioneers who first planted their roots along Arkansas' Highway 67. Pasmore introduces, in two-page vignettes, 20 white musicians who cut their teeth in the industry by playing the small joints along Highway 67. A good handful of the names have household familiarity Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis while a few were one-hit wonders or made an impact by working in the background as session players, such as Billy Lee Riley and the Little Green Men. Pasmore is most concerned with the fun and excitement the music generated, along with tidbits of lore the origin of "Blue Suede Shoes," for instance and though she gives credit to the profound influence of rhythm and blues, boogie woogie, jazz, swing, and gospel (along with country), it's hard to miss the elephant in the room: no African-American musicians, no Ike or Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Big Mama Thornton, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Little Richard, or Robert Johnson. That these artists have no association with Highway 67 was certainly worth a mention, and though it would have thrown a damper over the good times, it would have given this introduction a greater sense of the moment. Still, Pasmore gives recognition to other influential and deserving figures whose names have dropped off the music radar. (sources) (Collective biography. 9-12) --Kirkus Reviews
Take a trip back in time when music really got a party going with STARS of the ROCK N ROLL HIGHWAY by Victoria Micklish Pasmore. Pasmore s research led her along U.S. Highway 67, officially designated Rock n Roll Highway 67 by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2009. Stretching from Newport AR north to the Missouri border, the 111-mile route was once dotted with nightclubs, honky-tonks as well as school gyms and cafeterias where the first rock n rollers staged their early performances and honed their skills in the 1950s and early 60s... the cusp of the Rockabilly era. The publisher, Plum Street Publishers, took the direct approach, putting a name most young people will recognize as the lead story Elvis Presley. Geared towards readers in grades 5-8, STARS of the ROCK N ROLL HIGHWAY is a great read for those of us who remember names like Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty and Wanda Jackson. While there were a lot more people Ms Pasmore could have included in her book, she focused on twenty, bringing the book to a quick read for any attention span. As I read the book, several thoughts went through my mind. First and foremost was how much musical history is right out my back door and I was not even aware. The other became a running list of names of people I knew who would enjoy this book as much as I was. One thing I felt really set this book apart from others were the 'Did You Know' facts - five factoids - given at the end of each chapter. STARS of the ROCK N ROLL HIGHWAY is the perfect read for anyone. Whether you like music in general, grew up listening to Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins or Charlie Rich, or enjoy history in any form. And if as an adult you want your children to learn about when you were their age, this is the perfect door to opening dialogue. Don t wait until your gone for them to begin asking questions and receiving no answers. Introduce them to the magic now that was the rock n roll highway. I'm tipping my hat. --Kelly Henkins, TheCountryAngel
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