TV-a-Go-Go: Rock on TV from American Bandstand to American Idol

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Chicago Review Press, 2005 - Music - 368 pages
From Elvis and a hound dog wearing matching tuxedos and the comic adventures of artificially produced bands to elaborate music videos and contrived reality-show contests, television--as this critical look brilliantly shows--has done a superb job of presenting the energy of rock in a fabulously entertaining but patently "fake" manner. The dichotomy of "fake" and "real" music as it is portrayed on television is presented in detail through many generations of rock music: the Monkees shared the charts with the Beatles, Tupac and Slayer fans voted for corny American Idols, and shows like" Shindig! "and "Soul Train "somehow captured the unhinged energy of rock far more effectively than most long-haired guitar-smashing acts. Also shown is how TV has often delighted in breaking the rules while still mostly playing by them: Bo Diddley defied Ed Sullivan and sang rock and roll after he had been told not to, the Chipmunks' subversive antics prepared kids for punk rock, and things got out of hand when" Saturday Night Live "invited punk kids to attend a taping of the band Fear. Every aspect of the idiosyncratic history of rock and TV and their peculiar relationship is covered, including cartoon rock, music programming for African American audiences, punk on television, Michael Jackson's life on TV, and the tortured history of MTV and its progeny.

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TV-a-go-go: rock on TV from American Bandstand to American Idol

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Long before American Idol captivated audiences, rock music was practically everywhere on TV, starting with Bo Diddley and his sexually encoded lyrics on The Ed Sullivan Show in the mid-1950s and ... Read full review


Proto TV Rock and the Order of St Sullivan
Dick Clark Jack Good and TV Dance Shows
Keeping It Unreal with Monkees Partridges and Their Play Pals
BlackonBlack Music TV
Heres the Chipmunks Rock n Roll Cartoons
1970s TV Rock
Punk Rock on TV
MTV Music Videos and the History of Rock n Roll on TV
Rock n Roll Reality TV
Chronicle of a Life on TV
International TV Rock
Rock n Roll TV Guide
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About the author (2005)

Jake Austen is the editor of Roctober magazine, produces a cable-access children's television dance show called Chic-a-Go-Go, and writes for magazines including Playboy. He lives in Chicago.

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