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
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...
... middle of paper ...
...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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