Music History as a Subway Map

Here‘s the history of 20th century depicted as a map of the London Underground. Be sure to click on the link to the PDF to see the actual map You can also order a t-shirt, though when I tried, the server seemed to be down.

I found it very interesting to locate groups like the Everly Brothers and the Louvin Brothers on the map. Both groups show up on the line designated as “Blues and Country” (an odd conflation in and of itself). The Louvin Brothers seem to be situated on the more “country” end of the line. The opposing end includes Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, and others from the early days of rock and roll. The Everly Brothers are placed (without their own station–I guess you just have to jump out when you get there) between these two camps, between country and rock and roll. They are inside the Circle Line, which the author describes as pop music. All lines intersect with the Circle Line and all music in the twentieth century intersects with pop. The Everly Brothers sit right in the middle.

Honestly, I started out searching the edges for the Everly Brothers. I assumed that was the place that they would appear, if at all. Their role in shaping the sounds of rock and roll and its successors seems obvious to me, but I recognize that the standard orthodoxy does not necessarily admit groups like them.

Do your favorite groups/artists/composers show up where you would expect them?

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