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• ROOTS OF ROCK IN MODESTO VIDEO  • THE VENUES   • MADDOX STORY

Modesto's History of Rock'n'Roll 

The trail of the history of Rock and Roll and the music and the people that inspired Rock and Roll leads directly to Modesto’s doorstep...  
Yes my friends, Rock and Roll was born right here in Modesto USA in 1937.  Not another Modesto, our Modesto.  The same Modesto that is the home of American Graffiti is also the cradle of the modern music civilization.   How can this be?  Why don’t we have billboards on the freeway and giant museums celebrating our birthplace? These are good questions and now is the time to change all of that and take our place in the Roots of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
So pull up a chair, and listen up my friends, because there is a musical tale that begins in Boaz Alabama and leads to Modesto and then to the rest of the world.  Was this information hard to find? No it was right under our noses the whole time.
  Although there were some earlier R & B songs like Rocket 88 in ‘51, the first song commonly agreed as the opening chords of Rock and Roll was “That’s All Right (Mama)” by Elvis Presley recorded in 1954 at Sun Studios in Memphis.  This song has direct roots to the string slappin’ sounds played on a big stand up string bass by Fred Maddox in Modesto.  Yes, these first notes of Rock and Roll were slapped right here in Modesto USA.

10th St. is our History Row
  Modesto has a special opportunity.  There are very few streets in our downtown that have that retro charm.  In 2012, the section of 10th  and 11th Streets between K and G was designated as the Modesto Historic Cruise Route and a 25 marker history tour is there today.  These were the actual streets where the cruising, then called “dragging” would happen from 1946 through the mid 60s.  These are the same streets where the old nightclubs and the record stores featured the music of the Maddox Brothers, Chester Smith and the early pioneers of hillbilly boogie music that would become Rock and Roll.   We have an amazing opportunity to create a special historic zone in this area, encourage retro designs and make sure that our incredible music history as the “Birth of Rock and Roll” and our unique place as the home of “American Graffiti” can be celebrated.  It is a way to create civic pride out of the knowledge of our history and use our own history and streets to draw visitors to Modesto USA from around the world.  Now, people visit for our American Graffiti, Agriculture, business, relationship to Yosemite and now they can visit us as the birth place of Rock and Roll and Rockabilly. 

RESOURCE LINKS: Researched by Chris Murphy – 2013
Sources and confirmation are all available

"Researched and developed  by Chris Murphy, ModestoView and Sierra Pacific"

More Modesto Music History Coming Soon...
We need your help! If you have any video, pictures, posters, flyers or any memorabilia from these times, please contact us ASAP. This is a community effort and we need to capture, remember and celebrate our music history. 

Send info to:  info@modestoview.com 

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