Popular Culture&Music

  • ISBN 9781846687211
  • 29/07/2010
  • 336p
  • Paperback
  • Buy this book now
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  • Waterstones

A Rocket in My Pocket

The Hipster's Guide to Rockabilly Music

A Rocket in my Pocketis the story of rockabilly music, the primal 50s howl of rockin'rage that helped start it all.

Rockabilly had its roots in country, blues, folk, hillbilly, R&B, boogie-woogie and most other indigenous Deep South forms of popular song that you could strum three chords along to or howl down a cheap microphone. It was young people's music, made almost entirely by the first wave of teenagers, despised by adults in general and the country music establishment in particular. Its pioneer exponent, Elvis, eventually become respectable in the eyes of straight society but he was the exception.1950s rockabilly was a spontaneous outburst of spirited three-chord songs, tiny record labels, primitive studios, fiercely partisan audiences and wild-eyed, driven performers who weren't even sure that their musical careers would last the week. The book charts the rise (and fall) of the original 50s wave of rockabillies. It will also follow the progress of the music, in clubs, on radio, TV and film, pinpointing the key record labels and important regional centres, showing how fashions eventually changed and left rockabilly high and dry, far too wild and primitive in an era of smoother sounds. Décharnétraces the music to its Memphis roots.

About the Author

Max Décharnéis a writer and musician. He has written about music regularly for Mojo magazine since 1998, where he is their chief authority on the subject of rockabilly music, which he has followed and played since the 1970s. His work has also appeared in the Sunday Times Colour Magazine, the TLS and Bizarre, among others. He is the author of six books, the most recent of which, King's Road - The Rise&Fall of the Hippest Street in the World, was published by Weidenfeld&Nicolson in November 2005.


'A read as rip-roaring and exciting as the records and singers he eulogises.', Lois Wilson, Mojo

'The definitive book on rockabilly... tells you all you need to know', Andrew Weatherall, BBC 6 Music

'IfRocket in My Pocketdoesn't make you want to go out, get drunk, listen to Charlie Feathers and get into a fight, then you have no soul.', Janine and Lee Bullman, Loud and Quiet

'An immaculately researched and evangelically passionate tome... a pretty much definitive guide to this short-lived but sprawling genre.', Andrzej Lukowski, Metro

'This is a great book... the most concise history of all things rockabilly that I've come across so far... informative and objective... Décharnéwrites well and has a great turn of phrase... a well-written and much-needed book.', Trevor Cajiao, Now Dig This

'Magisterial', Peter Curran, BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends

'Decharne sets down his case with liveliness and enthusiasm... There's no doubt that his passion for and knowledge of his subject are impressive, but his memories of the scene are priceless and worth a book on their own.', Gerry Ranson, Rock'n'Reel

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