April 09, 1984 12:00 PM

Mike Clifford, consultant

Far lighter on specifics but much better for generalities, this compendium does list Denver, Manilow and Murray, not to mention Herb Alpert, the Osmonds and Les Paul. Breezily written by a crew of rock fans and writers, it includes brief biographies, discographies and group rosters. There are lots of pictures (in a garish layout style) and charts; one chart shows, in family-tree fashion, the Byzantine interrelationships of such California country rock groups as the Hillmen, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, and the Eagles. One thing does lead to another, doesn’t it? There’s also a section with record-label data, one on common instruments and one on management personalities. There’s an occasional gaffe: Charley Pride’s name comes out “Charly,” for instance. But this is a usable, enjoyable volume. (Harmony Books, $11.95)

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