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DECCA 48157; MAY 1950

 
 

 

One thing that rock ‘n’ roll had that other popular forms of music tended to sidestep, or at least wrap in pretty bows and ribbons for mainstream consumption, was an affinity for realism in its messages.

Oftentimes it was cynical, which brought it closer to the blues, but unlike that form of music where hard truths were faced with stoic resolve, in rock there was a tendency to thumb their nose at societal oppression, making it a cathartic outlet for a generation that was beginning to understand that the road to prosperity may be filled with potholes, but it was still worth the ride to get to the promised land.

To that end, Cousin Joe – lyrically adroit, rhythmically inclined and attitudinally modern – was the ideal elder statesman and spiritual guiding light of early rock, someone who saw earlier musical styles either marginalized or co-opted by society at large, but who now could look over the horizon and see things were beginning to change as rock ‘n’ roll muscled its way to the front of the line.
 
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