rocket city rock and soulRocket City Rock and Soul: Huntsville Musicians Remember the 1960s Jane DeNeefe The History Press, due for release November 2, 2011

 

"In a state widely considered ground zero for civil rights struggles, Huntsville became an unlikely venue for racial reconciliation. Huntsville’s recently formed NASA station drew residents from throughout the country, and across the world, to the Rocket City. This influx of fresh perspectives informed the city’s youth. Soon, dozens of vibrant rock bands and soul groups, characteristic of the era but unique in Alabama, were formed. Set against the bitter backdrop of segregation, Huntsville musicians---black and white— found common ground in rock and soul music. Whether playing to desegregated audiences, in desegregated bands or both, Huntsville musicians were boldly moving forward, ushering in a new era. Through interviews with these musicians, local author Jane DeNeefe recounts this unique and important chapter in Huntsville’s history."

---from the jacket of Rocket City Rock and Soul: Huntsville Musicians Remember the 1960s

 

Excerpt from the Foreword by Frye Gaillard:

“This book, the result of her years of extensive interviews, is more than a study of musical integration, as important as that subject may be. What DeNeefe understands and makes clear in these pages is that music often captures the spirit of the times, in all its various manifestations, and in that regard the city of Huntsville was no exception. . . . “With a clear understanding of contemporary music – and of the city in which she lives – Jane DeNeefe guides us through the Huntsville scene: the emerging funk artists, some of them still in high school, listening to the music of Thelonius Monk; the great blues singers like Howlin’ Wolf playing the clubs in Huntsville’s inner city; the rich and surprising contributions of Huntsville’s 55th Army Band; and of course, the beat of old-time rock ‘n’ roll. What DeNeefe has produced is a well-written case study of American music – how it shaped, and was shaped by, the life and history of one southern city.”

---Frye Gaillard, Foreword to Rocket City Rock and Soul: Huntsville Musicians Remember the 1960s, The History Press, 2011

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