Stomp and Shout: R&B and the Origins of Northwest Rock and Roll

Univ. of Washington. Jan. 2023. 290p. ISBN 9780295751252. $29.95. MUSIC
Blecha (Sonic Boom!: The History of Northwest Rock, from “Louie, Louie” to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”) finally delivers his long-awaited magnum opus on early Northwestern U.S. rock music. Having conducted more than 300 interviews, he begins with the Northwest pioneers of jump blues and R&B including Ray Charles, Robert “Bumps” Blackwell, and saxophonist Billy Tolles. Showing the merger of R&B with rock, Blecha features Little Bill and the Bluenotes, the Dave Lewis Combo, the Wailers, and the Dynamics, which featured future jazz guitar icon Larry Coryell. He chronicles the national breakthroughs of the vocal trio, the Fleetwoods, and the instrumental blockbusters, the Ventures. Blecha furnishes new insights into the early music and stage act of the Seattle born-and-bred Jimi Hendrix and focuses on the proto-punk, unfettered wildness of the Sonics. He concludes with the commercialization of the Northwest sound by the highly successful Paul Revere and the Raiders. Along the way, he highlights major venues, such as Seattle’s Birdland and the Spanish Castle, DJs, such as Pat O’Day, the role of “Louie Louie” in Northwest rock, and pivotal record labels such as Dolton, Jerden, and the Wailers’ Etiquette Records.
VERDICT In a tour de force, Blecha offers all music fans the definitive book about the highly significant but much neglected story of Northwestern U.S. rock.
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