"Rock & roll" and "Eddie Cantor" are not two terms frequently heard together. But the comedian is precisely the perfect person to start off this collection of "The Secret History of Rock & Roll." RCA Victor and Bluebird have ingeniously figured out a way to present their vast treasure of historic recordings from the earliest years of the record business. The conceit that every musician that came before Elvis was merely laying groundwork is absurd. Still, hearing the gutsy jazz, blues and folk that provided musical refuge for those discontent to settle for syrupy pop is revelatory. This disc is the fifth in the series and offers a wide range of the music that kept people sane throughout the Depression. Whether it's the giddy swing of "Ten Cents a Dance" by the High Hatters lifting people's spirits or the thoughtful tales of Sonny Boy Williamson and Woody Guthrie providing commiseration, the deep impact of the economy's collapse was inescapable. The two dozen cuts are crazily diverse -- blues, folk, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, vocals -- scuttling any misconception folks might have about the era's monochromatic sound. So, what does Eddie Cantor have to do with rock & roll? Not much, but he had a lot to do with providing popular entertainment during the era, and, like the distractions of today, that's as essential as it gets.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.