The road to rock'n'roll

The Documentary Podcast

By BBC World Service

The road to rock'n'roll

Saturday, 24 July

In a segregated US, black audiences, entertainers and entrepreneurs established their own network of live performance venues known as the Chitlin’ Circuit. Concentrated primarily in the Deep South, it provided many pioneers of modern music with the platform to hone their craft and perfect their style as they travelled the country. Virtually every notable African-American performer from the '30s to the '60s graced the circuit. From famous urban institutions like The Apollo Theater in New York or The Howard Theatre in Washington D.C, to a run-down barn on a country back-road. It was in these settings, amidst a backdrop of segregation, that the sounds of rhythm and blues and rock’n’roll emerged and evolved, long before they captivated the world. Bobby Rush shines a light on a hugely influential network of venues that paved the way for rock’n’roll and shaped music history.
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