Rock and roll can never die

I’m happy to see not-especially-penetrating historical descriptions of rock and roll now casually defining it as arising in the 1940’s. (Here, for example, and here, and here.) Because that’s right.

History helps clarify. Everybody admits that Alan Freed started talking about rock and roll in ’51 — but doesn’t that sort of have to mean that, as a surging creative force, the thing was already over by then?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, of course, says otherwise, telling the pre-chewed story we think we already know. Getting it wrong is what halls of fame are for.