JIM DAWSON'S
ROCK 'N' ROLL HISTORY
BOOKS ON SALE!


Though Los Angeles writer Jim Dawson is now best known for his outrageous 1999 international best-seller, Who Cut the Cheese? (currently in its thirteenth printing), rock 'n' roll and R&B fans have been familiar with his work for thirty years.

Dawson has written liner notes for well over 150 albums and CDs, and written music articles for the Los Angeles Times, Goldmine, Juke Blues and other publications. He also wrote the booklet notes for Rhino Records' box set of Los Angeles black music, titled Central Avenue Sounds. For five years in the early 1990s he also cohosted, with Ian Whitcomb, a popular weekly roots rock 'n' roll radio show that aired all over Southern California on KPCC-FM. These days he can be heard all over Southern California every Wednesday night from 10:30 to midnight, playing and talking about classic rhythm and blues records with Bill Gardner and Ray Regalado on KPFK's Rhapsody in Black (90.7, or streaming at kpfk.org).

Dawson's groundbreaking 1980 article/exposé on Ritchie Valens in the Los Angeles Times virtually lifted the tragic singer out of obscurity and led to the reissue of his music and the making of the Valens biopic, La Bamba. Dave Marsh and James Bernard, in their The New Book of Rock Lists, called Dawson's deeply researched notes for a Swedish Jesse Belvin album among the ten best liner notes ever written. Because of his book on Buddy Holly and his comments in an international Associated Press story about the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Buddy Holly-Ritchie Valens-Big Bopper plane crash, Dawson appeared on several BBC radio shows throughout the day in Great Britain, on February 3, 2009. He has also talked about early rock 'n' roll on VH1 and CNN.

Dawson keeps his own music books in stock and is selling them at reduced prices. Prices include postage and handling.


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  Rock Around the Clock
(Backbeat Books, July 2005)
By Jim Dawson
Price: $20
(CLICK IMAGE TO SEE FULL-SIZE COVER)

Backbeat Books

Jim Dawson's Rock Around the Clock (Backbeat Books) was released in early July 2005, just in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of Bill Haley and His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hitting the No. 1 spot in Billboard in early July 1955. Jim and five surviving members of the Comets signed the book at a special screening of the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock at Hollywood's Egyptian Theater (July 5) and at a tribute screening of old rock 'n' roll kinescopes at the Museum of Radio & Television in Beverly Hills (July 6).



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  45 RPM
(Backbeat Books, late 2003)
By Jim Dawson
Price $20
(CLICK IMAGE TO SEE FULL-SIZE COVER)

Backbeat Books

45 RPM lays out an engrossing account of the ‘doughnut disc's’ rise, mixing equal parts high-tension industry politics with details of a (what now seem stone age) high-tech breakthrough and plenty of resulting insider dirty dealing. Thinking man's rock, to be sure, but still down and dirty.”
—Jonny Whiteside, L.A. Weekly, November 21-27, 2003

"Filled with trivia and history about 45 records, this book is a gem. A story emerges of changing technology and formats, intertwined with corporate competition and marketing ploys of record companies that try to extract as much money from music fans as possible. It’s a fascinating account that includes the emergence of the 45 platter in 1948 to the download issues of today."
< CLICK FOR COMPLETE REVIEW >
--Phyllis Pollack, Valley Scene, February 6-19, 2004



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book   Nervous Man Nervous
(Big Nickel Publishing, 1994)
By Jim Dawson
Price $20.
(CLICK IMAGE TO SEE FULL-SIZE COVER)

The story of the honking tenor saxophonists and their effect on '50s rock 'n' roll. Loaded with nearly 80 rare, vintage photographs, this is the only history of the R&B / rock 'n' roll saxophone. Detailed histories of Big Jay McNeely, Joe Houston, King Curtis, Chuck Higgins, Hal Singer, Big Al Sears, Sam "The Man" Taylor and more. Also contains a special section on the rise of R&B in Los Angeles.

Nervous Man Nervous is now out of print and the author is out of copies.

REVIEWS OF NERVOUS MAN NERVOUS



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book   Memories of Buddy Holly
(Big Nickel Publishing, 1996)
By Jim Dawson & Spencer Leigh
Originally $20. Now only $15.
(CLICK IMAGE TO SEE FULL-SIZE COVER)

This is the story of rock pioneer Buddy Holly and his lasting legacy, as told by his friends, family, co-musicians and people who were influenced by his music. Testimonials by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, many more, plus some rare photos and listings of all of Holly's recordings, his hits in several countries, his unreleased recordings, a list of cover records and tribute records, and a copy of John Lennon's personal 1974 letter to Dawson in which the late Beatle discusses Holly's influence on himself and his former vocal group ("What he did with three chords made a songwriter out of me," says Lennon).

REVIEWS OF MEMORIES OF BUDDY HOLLY



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book   What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record?
(Faber & Faber, 1992)
By Jim Dawson & Steve Propes
Forwards by Billy Vera and Dave Marsh
Price: $15.
(CLICK IMAGE TO SEE FULL-SIZE COVER)

Now out of print, this is the definitive book on the recordings that shaped rock 'n' roll between 1944 and 1956. Fifty influential recordings are each a chapter, loaded with details that will amaze you.

What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record? is now available for Kindle:

Amazon.com: What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record? [Kindle Edition]

REVIEWS OF WHAT WAS THE FIRST ROCK 'N' ROLL RECORD?



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book   The Twist
(Faber & Faber, 1994)
By Jim Dawson
Originally $14.95. Now only $10.
(CLICK IMAGE TO SEE FULL-SIZE COVER)

"Dawson provides a wonderful overview of the whole Twist-fad phenomenon and its rise up the socio-cultural ladder....He covers the huge and often bizarre recording output of Twist records, the news coverage, the movies, the television shows, and the night-clubs. The Twist is the definitive account of one of the most important and essential areas of rock 'n' roll history."
--Robert Pruter, Goldmine, October 13, 1995

The Twist is now available for Kindle:

Amazon.com: The Twist [Kindle Edition]


MORE ABOUT THE TWIST



**** HOW TO ORDER ****





PHOTOS

CLICK PHOTO TO SEE FULL-SIZE IMAGE

Gallagher tries out one of his comedy prop gags on Jim in 1980. Jim and Henny Youngman discuss the finer points of girlie magazines in 1981, while working on a comedy bit together.

Jim hangs with comedian Rudy Ray Moore, a.k.a. Dolemite, in 1988. Jim and rockabilly stars Janis Martin and Eddie Fontaine take a breather near Lime Regis in southern England. Jim hovers like the ghost of Buddy Holly behind Gary Busey, Crickets drummer Jerry Allison (right), and Crickets bassist Joe B. Mauldin at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood, circa 1992.

Jim takes five in Elvis's favorite chair during an evening visit to Graceland's Jungle Room in 1990. Jim visits the original recording studio at Motown Records in Detroit in 1990.


Jim with jazz bassist Red Callender, Richard "Louie Louie" Berry, and saxophonists Buddy Collette and Big Jay McNeely at Jefferson High School, Los Angeles, in 1988.

With rockabilly legends Ray Campi (left), Johnny Powers and Tony Conn at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood, 1991.


Jim with singer-songwriter Hank Ballard on KPCC-FM in Pasadena.

With singer Anita O'Day at the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip.


With Bill Haley's sax player Joey D'Ambrosio (center) and '60s rock icon Ian Whitcomb at the Derby in Los Feliz.

With The Brooklyn Bridge in 1996: Jimmy Rosica (left), Fred Ferrara, Johnny Maestro (of "Sixteen Candles" fame) and Les Cauchi.


Jim visits Jim Morrison's grave at Père Lachaise, Paris, 1988.

With Art Fein (foreground) and bluesman Willie Egan on "Art Fein's Poker Party" TV show in Santa Monica.

On the set of N.W.A.'s video "Always Into Somethin'" in 1992.


Jim with rock biographer Jonny Whiteside (left) at Jacks Sugar Shack in Hollywood.

Jim with record producer Phil Spector (left) and rock photographer Robert Leslie, 1992.

Jim presents a special Southern California Doo-Wop Society award to legendary disk jockey Hunter Hancock at the Petroleum Club in Long Beach, on March 4, 2000. Jim appeared on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports on July 4, 2005. Jim and former Warner Bros. Records' executives Bob Merliss and Andy Wickham offer moral support to longtime friend Phil Spector during his 2009 trial.






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