A survey of American popular music in the 1920s to 1960s. We will start with the early history of three major streams of music: Country & Western, Rhythm & Blues, and Popular music. The critical year in that history was 1954, when the streams fused into a volatile mixture that detonated with the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll. From the beginning this was a story about race, politics, money, generational divides. The songs themselves will guide us on our path. And this course aims to guide our ears to a deeper understanding and appreciation of them.