History Of Rock And Roll

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History of Rock and Roll


Rock and Roll started after the year 1955 with its roots being in Blues,

Gospel, and Jazz. This influenced vocal music, which was popular with the

African American population. Hep Harmony which added rhythm and harmony was

sung by groups such as The "Mills Brothers" and the "Ink Spots".

Small Swing Bands or Jump Bands featured saxophone soloists and repeated

phrases. These city style blues featured singers such as Joe Turner, Dina

Washington, T-Bone Walker, and composer-singer Percy Mayfield.

During this era, country blues traditions of the south became

influential in the North as well. Blacks moved from the South to the North and

Chicago became the center of blues recordings. This emphasized electric

guitars, harmonicas, and drummers who emphasized after beats (beats 2 and 4 of

the measure). Black gospel music was very popular and given the label of

rhythm and blues (R&B). This music was carried on radio and popular with the

disc jockeys.

In the mid 50's, Chuck Berry and Little Richard were popular and changed

the face of music, which was named rock and roll by the D.J.'s.


At age 21, in 1956, Elvis Presley was introduced to the public with his

rockabilly style of music. His first record, "Heartbreak Hotel" was recorded.

It was the first of a consecutive 14 records to sell over one million copies.

He inspired other country singers to sing rock and roll. This started a

trend for "cover" recordings. This was when white singers simplified versions

of Black recorded songs. White singers were played on more radio stations and

became very popular.

Young listeners became their largest audience. Young singers were hired

to record songs featuring adolescent issues. "Young Love", "16 Candles", and

"Teenage Crush". Such singers as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Jerry

Lee Lewis became famous and popular.

Love ballads also became more popular, with the musical audience looking

for sentimental and honest expression. This turned some of the more popular

music from rock to folk ballads. Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Peter, Paul, and

Mary were the more popular folk singers.


During this period, the Beatles became the most popular band of the

1960's. In the 1...

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...r first album, Led Zeppelin, in 1968. Other popular albums

included Led Zeppelin II (1969), III (1970), and IV (1971), Houses of the Holy

(1971), The Song Remains the Same (1976), and In Through the Out Door (1976).

Their most famous song was `Stairway to Heaven' (1971). With the death of

Bonham in 1980, the band was at a great loss, and band members (Plant and Page)

went on to solo careers. The reunion of the remaining band members was in

1985, for a Live Aid benefit concert in Philadelphia. Another reunion took

place in 1988 for Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary celebration (John Bonham's

son, Jason, played the drums).


There were many other bands not mentioned in this report that influenced

music in the 60's, 70's, and the 80's. Some of these bands include Pink Floyd,

The Doors, Eagles, Genesis, CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young), The Monkees,

Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne, Michael

Jackson, and many others.

Rock and Roll has been an important part of young peoples lives for

decades and decades to come. Music is a way of expression for some and a way

of relaxing for others.
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