Music: Dancing in the Outer Darkness

Two nifty new books tap the tangled roots of rock

Ooh! My soul! That's what the man said.

Part spiritual and part sexual, that exclamation is about as neat as the package gets: a tidy summation of the worldly power as well as the almost religious delirium of good old rock 'n' roll. The phrase was popularized by Mr. Richard Penniman of Macon, Ga., who used it both as a song title and as a kind of revival call-and-response as he rocked, in concert, with the forces of Satan. Mr. Penniman, known to a wondering...

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