The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

David Brackett Lecture "Fox-Trots, Hillbillies, and the Classic Blues"

Wednesday, April 25: 7 p.m.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will welcome David Brackett of McGill University as the next guest speaker in the American Musicological Society/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Lecture Series – a joint collaboration that brings scholarly work to a broader audience and showcases the musicological work of the top scholars in the field.

Brackett will give the lecture, “Fox-Trots, Hillbillies, and the Classic Blues: Categorizing Popular Music in the 1920s” on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Foster Theater. This event is FREE.  RSVPs are recommended, but not required.  To RSVP, visit

This event will also be live streamed on, and a webcast will be made available on the AMS web site

Brackett is the author of Interpreting Popular Music and editor of The Rock, Pop, and Soul Reader, two significant works of popular music study.  His lecture will explore the relationship between categories of music and people in popular music by focusing on the 1920s, the period that saw the establishment of the three main categories for popular music that have subsequently dominated the U.S. popular music industry in one form or another. These categories, known as 'popular,' 'race,' and 'old time tunes' at the time, implied a connection between an audience and a type of music: middle-class, bourgeois, urban, northern, and white for popular; African American for race; and southern, rural, working-class, white for hillbilly. Yet the use of these categories, then and now, highlights numerous contradictions, foremost of which is their inconsistency in musical terms, as many recordings/songs that are similar musically are classified differently.

The AMS/RRHOFM Lecture Series continues in Fall 2012 with a lecture by Andy Flory (Carleton College) entitled "Reissuing Marvin: Musicology and the Modern Expanded Edition." Further details will be posted nearer to the date.

Building upon the success of the AMS/Library of Congress lecture series, which over the last three years has resulted in a six public lectures by distinguished members of the American Musicological Society showcasing research building upon the library’s musical collections, the AMS/RRHOFM Lecture series consists of two events each year featuring members of the Society presenting engaging lectures on topics relevant to the mission of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

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