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Rock and Roll: The Beginning

Rock and Roll: The Beginning

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Rock and Roll: The Beginning

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  1. Rock and Roll: The Beginning

  2. What was the first rock and roll record? Qualifications: -Heavy backbeat -Even eight-beat style beat

  3. The Candidates: 1. Jackie Breston - Rocket 88 2. Big Joe Turner - Shake, Rattle, and Roll 3. Wynonie Harris - Good Rockin’ Tonight 4. Elvis Presley - That’s All Right Mama 5. Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley 6. Chuck Berry - Maybelline 7. Little Richard - Tutti-Frutti

  4. The Candidates: 1. Jackie Brenston - Rocket 88 • Boogie-woogie bass • 8 beat shuffle • Solidly in R&B tradition 2. Big Joe Turner - Shake, Rattle, and Roll • Heavy backbeat stands out • Eight-beat style beat, but shuffle feel • Jump blues with strong boogie-woogie feel

  5. The Candidates: 3. Wynonie Harris - Good Rockin’ Tonight • 4 beat shuffle style beat • Slow tempo • Jazz/jump blues ensemble • On edge… 4. Elvis Presley - That’s All Right Mama • Two-beat country style - no subdivision of beats • Cover of R&B hit by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup • Mix of R&B and country - proportions wrong

  6. The Candidates 5. Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley • “rock band” instrumentation • steady eight-beat rock rhythm in maracas • no strong backbeat

  7. The Candidates 6. Chuck Berry - Maybelline 7. Little Richard - Tutti-Frutti • Both have underlying eight-beat rock rhythm • Strong accent on backbeat • Boogie-woogie influence on Tutti-Frutti evident • Hard to say what Maybelline is….except rock and roll

  8. When does rock happen? • 1951-1956 “Getting ready for rock and roll” • Youth market with independent purchasing power arises • Cheaper, smaller radios • First stations begin to carry black R&B • WDIA in Memphis • Then stations in NY • R&B becomes popular with white listeners

  9. Changes in record industry • Format change • 78 rpm records replaced with 45 rpm • 45s cheaper to produce, buy • can be played on any turntable, with standard needle • 33 rpm long-playing records (LPs) used for multiple tracks of popular music -- increase of profitability

  10. Changes in record industry Influence of major labels abrogated by small, independent labels • Chess • Imperial • Atlantic • Essex

  11. When does rock and roll happen? • Rock and roll happens when two musical streams -- R&B and country music (with dashes of jazz, Latin, and pop music) come together

  12. First Rock and Rollers • Chuck Berry • Little Richard

  13. Chuck Berry (Charles Edward Anderson Berry, 1926- ) • Grew up in St. Louis • Solid background in R&B, though familiar with many styles • Popular club act in St. Louis playing R&B versions of Western swing hits

  14. Chuck Berry (Charles Edward Anderson Berry, 1926- ) • Auditions for Chess Records with folk song “Ida Red” • Alters rhythmic approach • Eight beat style beat and accented backbeat • Lyrics re-written = Maybelline

  15. Johnny B. Goode • From country music • crisp, exact timekeeping • vocal style • From pop music • storytelling lyrics • verse and refrain form

  16. Johnny B. Goode • From R&B • refrain: 12 bar blues • verses: story over one chord • vocal style • backbeat • call and response from gospel

  17. Johnny B. Goode • From R&B • Refrain = 12-bar blues • Walking bass (refrain) • Guitar style • 8 beat rhythm transferred to guitar • out front; not accompaniment • call and response with guitar • double-note guitar style

  18. Little Richard (Richard Penniman, 1932- ) • Born Macon, Georgia • At age 14 traveled with medicine shows, blues bands, and other traveling musical acts • Masters pop, blues, R&B, gospel styles • 1952 becomes affiliated with Specialty Records • Producer Bumps Blackwell looking for gospel singer who could sing the blues

  19. Little Richard - Elements of Style • Wild, uninhibited vocal style • Blues shouter • With elements of gospel shout • Outrageous performing style • High energy of gospel

  20. Little Richard - Elements of Style • Speeds up boogie-woogie until shuffle rhythms break down • Percussive piano style that combines boogie-woogie and blues • Ex. Tutti Frutti