Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock & Roll
Honky-Tonk Heroes and Hillbilly Angels:
The Pioneers of Country & Western Music
These books are short and sweet, so I'll keep this brief. Both have one page biographies of important rock and country performers. Ms. Levine has created a fun, folk art likeness of each entertainer. You can use these titles for read alouds and YouTube time.
I like to present two performers at a time and show one song from each artist. For example, the pianos of Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis pair up nicely. Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens have become linked through tragedy. Love matched Johnny Cash and the Carter Family. George-Warren already yoked George and Tammy for you.
If you don't want to read the whole book, it can supplement a study of The Outsiders since both Elvis and Hank Williams are featured in these books. It's also a good reminder of writing for an audience. Watching a live performance makes the sometimes abstract idea of audience literal for students.
Hey, Bo Diddley! If you are an art teacher, how about making diddley bows with the kids? Here's a link so you can watch Jack White make one in the opening scene of It Might Get Loud. He goes electric with his, but I'd recommend acoustic for the classroom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZNk76_4lds
Right now both books are inexpensive enough on Amazon to buy a spare set to deconstruct and use as classroom art.
Thank you to my dear art teacher friend and fellow music fan, Robert Mercer, for donating new copies of these books to my classroom!