Dr. James Perone Authors Mods, Rockers and the Music of the British Invasion
December 5, 2008
Dr. James Perone, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music at Mount Union College recently published his latest book, Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion.
Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion chronicles the development of British rock through the iconic artists who inspired the movement, as well as through the bands who later found incredible success overseas. In addition to analyzing the music in the context of the British youth culture of the early 1960s, Perone analyzes the reasons that the British bands came to so thoroughly dominate the record charts and airwaves in the United States.
“I was particularly interested in the British Invasion in 1964 and 1965 when British groups dominated the American charts,” said Perone. “I always thought of myself as someone who knew a lot about the British Invasion rock-and-roll, but it was amazing to me how much was going on in Europe before it actually happened.”
Perone gives credit to the lesser-known bands such as Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and the Tornados for paving the way for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to make their mark on American soil.
“Much of the things that characterize the music of the Beatles and other Liverpool groups were anticipated as early as 1959 and 1960,” he added.
Perone believes British rock-and-roll began to progress to what it was in 1964 when musicians began to incorporate Black American music into their own style. ‘British musicians began to veer away from directly imitating American rock stars such as Elvis and Buddy Holly and started to turn their attention to rhythm and blues.’
In addition to Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion, Perone is the series editor for The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection, for which he has also written four volumes: The Sound of Stevie Wonder (2006), The Words and Music of Carole King (2006), The Words and Music of David Bowie (2007), and The Words and Music of Prince (2008). He is also the author of several Greenwood Press books, including Music of the Counterculture Era (2004) and Woodstock: An Encyclopedia of the Music and Art Fair (2005).