Michael Ray FitzGerald is a freelance writer. He has written hundreds of articles for local, regional, national and international publications, including several scholarly journals as well as three books. His primary research area is media history, specializing in film and television.
The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, along bands such as Blackfoot, 38 Special, and Molly Hatchet, ushered in a new kind of southern rock from Jacksonville, Florida — an unlikely hotbed for a new musical movement. In Jacksonville and the Roots of Southern Rock (University Press of Florida) Michael FitzGerald brings eyewitness detail to his in-depth story of how the River City bred this generation of musicians. He profiles essential bands alongside forerunners like Gram Parsons and Cowboy, and reveals how the powerful local AM radio station worked with newspapers and television stations to nurture talent. This in turn created a public hungry for live performances by area bands. FitzGerald looks at the music as the diverse soundtrack to a neo-southern lifestyle that, in the late sixties and early seventies, reconciled different segments of society in Jacksonville, and across the nation. Publishers Weekly called it a ” fun and informative study. […] Fans of southern rock will appreciate Fitzgerald’s entertaining survey.”