Peter Blecha @ Town Hall

Secrets of Northwest music history—revealed 😮

📸: Courtesy Town Hall Seattle

Wednesday, April 19th • 7:30 pm

To many people, the music scene of the Pacific Northwest begins and ends with the word “grunge.” Happily, historian Peter Blecha is on hand to correct that sorry misperception in his latest book, Stomp and Shout: R&B and the Origins of Northwest Rock and Roll. It’s a well-researched tale, taking you back to the days when you might catch Ray Charles or Quincy Jones in the early days of their careers at Seattle venues like the Black and Tan or the Eagles Auditorium, debate the merits of Tacoma’s Bluenotes verses the Wailers, and take pride in the fact that Olympia’s Fleetwoods actually made it to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. It’s a story also enlivened by the dozens of first-hand accounts Blecha’s obtained over the years as a dedicated researcher of Northwest music history; among other accomplishments, Blecha was the founding curator at the Experience Music Project museum (now the Museum of Pop Culture).

And Blecha’s upcoming readings will be enlivened by a little music as well. His Town Hall appearance will feature the D’vonne Lewis Combo (grandson of Dave Lewis, whose Dave Lewis Combo Blecha calls “the singularly most significant figure on the Pacific Northwest’s nascent rhythm & blues scene in the 1950s and 1960s”). Blecha also delivers a Zoom lecture via the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild on May 18 and appears at the McMenamins Elks Temple in Tacoma on May 23, along with garage rockers Girl Trouble.

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Gillian Gaar

Gillian G. Gaar

Gillian G. Gaar is a Seattle-based journalist and the author of several books, including She’s A Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll and Entertain Us: The Rise of Nirvana. Twitter: @GillianGaar