Rock ‘n’ Roll “It used to be called boogie-woogie, it used to be called blues, used to be called rhythm and blues …. It’s called rock now.” Chuck Berry
The Times 1900-1909 Model T, First Flight, Einstein 1910-1920 WWI, Russian Revolution, Prohibition 1920-1929 Women’s Suffrage, Mussolini, Edgar Hoover, Charles Lindbergh 1930-1939 Great Depression, German Nazi Party, Gandhi 1940-1949 WWII, Hitler, Pearl Harbor, Manhattan Project, Apartheid 1950-1959 Hydrogen bomb, McCarthyism, Korean War, Color TV, Rosa Parks, Sputnik 1960-1969 JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Cuban Missile Crisis, Draft Protests 1970-1979 Vietnam War, Watergate 1980-1989 AIDS, Personal Computers 1990-1999 Internet, Operation Desert Storm, Y2K, Oklahoma City Bombing
2000s War on Terrorism Sept.11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attack on DC and NYC Oct. 7, 2001 US attacks Taliban and Al-Qaida in Afghanistan Feb. 1, 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia explodes March 19, 2003 War in Iraq begins Aug. 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans Oct. 17, 2006 Population of US reaches 300 million June 1, 2009 H1N1 deemed a global pandemic by the World Health Organization
Beginnings • Timeframe • Appeal • “Rock ‘n’ Roll” • First Hits
Timeframe In the mid-50s a mixture of rhythm and blues, soul, jazz, boogie-woogie, black and white gospel, country and western music appeared. Sound enticed the listener with strong rhythms, backbeats, energy and a “tribal” passion Appeal Initial appeal was to white, middle class teens Parents of these teens responded negatively --- “race music” was censored as being too rebellious, sexual, and anti-social
Term “Rock ‘n’ Roll” The term “rock ‘n’ roll” was first coined by the disc jockey Alan Freed in Cleveland, Ohio in the early 50s. “Rocking” was first used by black gospel singers to indicate spiritual rapture By the 1940s the term became a double entendre: dancing and sex
Alan Freed (1921-1965)
First Hits The first rock ‘n’ roll record debate: • Rocket 88 (Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats) • Maybelline and Johnny Be Good (Chuck Berry) • Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley), • Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley and the Comets)
Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats “Rocket 88” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcFIj8OuIEI
Chuck Berry “Maybelline” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RAfxiyMKAk “Johnny Be Good” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ofD9t_sULM
Bo Diddley “Bo Diddley” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgBbmuD_LQw
Bill Haley and the Comets “Rock Around the Clock” provided the impetus to take rock ‘n’ roll to the top of national and international charts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG974H1BQ0Y
Social Context • African-American Culture • Post-War Generation • Economic Climate
African-American Culture • Blues, originating in the work songs of American slaves, provided the foundation for rock ‘n’ roll. • As Southern African-Americans migrated north, Chicago became a center for rock. Here they created an urbanized, electric rhythm and blues (models for Little Richard and Chuck Berry). • Motown in Detroit became a center for soul music explosion in the 60s. • Disco in the 70s and Hip Hop in the 80s; both originating in the African-American culture. • These new styles coincided with and reflected the African-American struggle for equality. • Throughout its development since the 1950s until today, rock music has helped to integrate white and black America
Influences of the Post-War Generation “I love the rhythm and beat of good rock and roll music and I think most people like it too. After all, it’s a combination of folk or hillbilly music and gospel singing.” Elvis Presley
“ I hope someday that somebody will say that in the beginning stages of the birth of the music of the Fifties, though I didn’t contribute in terms of creativity, I helped keep it alive.” Dick Clark
The development of rock was greatly influenced by the dramatic population growth that occurred during the post-war era.
Favorable economic times during the post-war era allowed rock ‘n’ roll to flourish. • Previous generations had been raised during a severe economic depression. • Baby Boomers lived in relative affluence; thus, they possessed the ability to purchase records. • The 1970s saw worsening economics (especially in England). During this decade we see the development of punk rock in response to the worsening economics. • During the 1980s America witnessed worsening economics. During this decade styles such as hardcore punk, industrial music, grunge and rap revealed the worsening economics.
Advances in technology has always shaped the sound of rock and roll. • The development of the electric guitar in 1931(to reduce feedback and increase gain). Around 1940, Les Pol (Lester Polfus) developed the first solid body electric guitar. In the 1950s, Leo Fender further developed the electronic guitar and gave its distinctive sound. • Later technologies helped to popularize rock by making it more easily and inexpensively accessible: TV, portable transistor radio, portable cassette tape player/recorder, 45 rpm record (1940), 33 1/3 rpm record (1960s) • Other technologies advanced the sound quality of rock: high fidelity, stereo, component stereo systems, CD, MP3
Development of the Music Industry • Rock music has always been a business, a commodity • Movement has been from small independent companies to major record companies
Small, independent companies (Chess Sun, Modern, King) offered a style of commercially untested rock.
As rock’s popularity grew, major record companies (RCA, Decca, Delta, Capitol) added heavy marketing.
Rock as Rebellion “We have a private revolution going on.” - A handbill distributed from the Blue Unicorn, a coffeehouse in the Haight.
Rock became a major influence on culture, fashion and social activities. • Rock has consistently represented an avenue for rebellion ……
The Decades • 1950s: R&B, soul, country, rock and roll • 1960s: British invasion, Motown • 1970s: punk, disco, glam rock • 1980s: punk rock, new wave, alternative • 1990s: grunge, hip-hop, indie • 2000s: emo, garage, metalcore • Future
“Rockin’ in Time: A Social History of Rock-And-Roll” by David P. Szatmary (Prentice Hall, 2000)