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True Sound of Rock

Geoffrey Cannon, The Guardian, 3 December 1968

2019: Thoughts after half a century. The piece below written as rock as a genre and a concept was emerging stands up quite well. As you will read, I was still trying to lose the term "pop music", now happily obsolescent, in favour of "rock music" or sometimes "rock'n'roll". It's all different now, though. As Danny and the Juniors and Sha Na Na predicted, rock and roll is here to stay. Bob Dylan has won a Nobel Prize for literature, with Patti Smith singing 'A Hard Rain's A'gonna Fall' in his place in Stockholm. In the UK we have Sir Paul, Sir Michael, Sir Ivan, Sir Raymond, Sir Reginald and — hard to believe — Sir Richard. The US has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1993 Chuck Berry and Little Richard played at Bill Clinton's inauguration ball, Barack Obama awarded Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Donald Trump's musical managers (who evidently have a subversive sense of irony) play the Rolling Stones' 'Heart Of Stone' and Neil Young's 'Rocking In The Free World' at his rallies. Wikipedia entries for Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and many others, worked on for free by hundreds of devoted compilers, updaters and editors, are 10,000 — 20,000 words long, and in the UK thanks above all to Barney and Mark, we also have Rock's Backpages.

Total word count of piece: 1378


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