Rock and roll drew on many different styles. Combining the boogie woogie rhythms of R&B, the hillbilly twang of country, the fervor of gospel and the moans of the blues, the new mongrel music excited a worldwide generation of young listeners, while upsetting established social, cultural and musical authorities. The charisma and musical bravado of early rock and roll heroes such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard inspired fans and young musicians alike. With the maturing of an unprecedentedly vast and affluent teenage audience, rock and roll music became the sound of young America and soon spread around the world.
Teenagers were the driving force behind fashion in the 1950s. Up until that time, clothing trends had largely been set by fashion houses that catered to the adult market and the dress style of young people had simply followed adult fashions. As cinema, television and rock 'n ' roll swept the world, however, the youth market clambered to copy the 'style of the stars '. Teenage fashion quickly developed into a huge industry in its own right.
During this period, teenagers also had increased buying power. Newly-affluent parents could now afford...
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...and the Beach Boys, artists experimented with complex instrumentations, elaborate arrangements, and ambitious compositions. By 1969 rock music often featured symphonic orchestras along with electric guitars and tambourines. Multi-track recording meant that musicians could develop densely layered performances unlikely to be duplicated live. Recording and performance became separate styles of rock music.
Since 1970 rock music has spawned numerous styles and spin off genres punk, metal, new wave, and grunge are only the most widely known. While rock no longer dominates popular music, the styles of the late 1960s still attract the ears of listeners born long after that time. The sheer range of talent, the experimental exuberance and the utopian excitement of rock defines the music of that period, and to this day its sensibility shapes the music we call rock and roll.
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