The Woodshed

History of Rockabilly Book: “Rocket in My Pocket”


Not wanting to be remiss in my rockabilly arcana, I decided to dig a bit deeper into the history of rockabilly music. While there are some decent web pages that cover different aspects of the genre, they are scattered far and wide across the interwebz. Rather than take a purely serendipitous approach to my studies, I went looking for more formally structured book learnin'.

What I found was this book by Max Decharne called "Rocket in My Pocket" which traces the various influences leading up to the famous Elvis Sun Studio recordings and well beyond to current revivalists. There is an accompanying CD available, but, also being a somewhat cheap bastard, I discovered that many, if not all, of the early recordings referenced are available on YouTube.

I'm about half way through the book now, and while most of it yields no great "revelations", the book is an entertaining read that is filling in a great many gaps. Surprisingly, each chapter has yielded a few new tidbits of info of which I was previously unaware. The biggest value for me was being able to chronologically listen to the referenced tracks to discover some of the influential elements for myself.

I wouldn't call it comprehensive by any means, but it seems like a great, reasonably concise starting point for deeper, more structured and detailed excursions into web resources on rockabilly's early influences.

If you're gonna start somewhere, this is as good, if not better, a place to start than many you could choose.

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