The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Other Resources - Roots


This list offers a starting point for the investigation of topics in popular music studies. For further information on specific artists, please see our inductee bios.

  • Barlow, William. Looking Up at Down: The Emergence of Blues Culture.” Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989.
  • Bergreen, Laurence. Louis Armstrong: An Extravagent Life.” New York: Broadway Books, 1998.
  • Chilton, John. Let the Good Times Roll: The Story of Louis Jordan and His Music.” University of Michigan Press, 1997.
  • Davis, Angela Y. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday. Vintage, 1999.
  • Escott, Colin. “Hank Williams - The Biography.” New York: Little Brown, 1995.
  • Gioia, Ted. “History of Jazz.” New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Gillett, Charlie. “The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll.” 2nd Edition. Da Capo, 1996.
  • Gridley, Mark C. “Jazz Styles: History and Analysis.” 8th Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003.
  • King, B.B. and David Ritz. “Blues All Around Me B.B. King.” Perennial Currents, 1999.
  • Jones, LeRoi. “Blues People: Negro Music in White America.” Perennial, 1999.
  • Keil, Charles. “Urban Blues.” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
  • Malone, Bill C. “Country Music, U.S.A.: A Fifty-Year History.” 2nd Edition. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002.
  • Maultsby, Portia and Mellonee Burnim, eds. “African-American Music: An Introduction.” Routledge, 2004.
  • O’Neal, Jim and Amy Van Singel. “The Voice of the Blues: Classic Interviews from Living Blues Magazine.” New York: Routledge, 2002.
  • Oliver, Paul. “The Story of the Blues.” Northeastern University Press, 1998.
  • Palmer, Robert. “Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta.” New York: Penguin Books, 1982.
  • Reagon, Bernice Johnson. “We’ll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering African-American Gospel Composers.” Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.
  • Sackheim, Eric, compiler. “The Blues Line: Blues Lyrics from Leadbelly to Muddy Waters.” Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003.
  • Santelli, Robert. “The Big Book of Blues.” New York: Penguin, 2001.
  • Titon, Jeff Todd. “Early Downhome Blues.” Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  • Tosches, Nick. “Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘n Roll: The Birth of Rock ‘n Roll in the Dark and Wild Years Before Elvis.” Da Capo, 1999.
  • Whitburn, Joel. “Pop Memories 1890-1954.” Hal Leonard, 1991.
  • Wolfe, Charles and Kip Lornell. “The Life & Legend of Leadbelly.” New York: HarperCollins, 1992.