Never-ending story of Rock & Roll

History 29 June 2014 | Comments Off on Never-ending story of Rock & Roll

Never-ending story of Rock & RollHowever hard it may be to believe, but the fact remains that Rock and Roll was not always a genre of music. Most historians, musicians and music lovers, trace the origins of the genre to a time period between the late 1940s and early 1950. Originating in the USA, Rock and Roll combines elements of the African and American genres of music, mashing blues, jazz, gospel music and jump blues with country music and the western swing.

1954 is believed to be the year when music revolutionized and people’s tastes changed. Rock and Roll took base from R&B, with an honorary mention to the legendary innovator Little Richard, who, in the 1950s completely changed the music scene. With numerous R&B artists considered pioneers in the Rock and Roll genre, indluing Joe Turner, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, and Willie Mae Thornton, Richard’s words rang true. He has said that” R&B had a baby, and someone named it Rock and Roll”.

Rock and Roll started out with attracting the youth, specifically teens who did not want to listen to the music their parent’s preferred to listen to. Rock and Roll music was being aired to the radio, and the teens from Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and New York started tuning in, getting hooked to this new kind of music. While a lot of “black” audiences were familiar with this type of music, for the “whites” it was something absolutely fresh and new.

One of the most popular songs of the time, Shake, Rattle and Roll, by Big Joe Turner, started being broadcast of major “white” stations with their new target audience in mind.

This new kind of music was simple, fast, catchy and sexy, with a very understandable blue-based structure. Apt for use as music for dancing, Rock and Roll quick became a favourite among the teens, as it gave them the freedom and the empowered them with their own kind of music.

Rock and Roll was spontaneous, rebellious and almost “dangerous” considering the revolution and the cultural shift it brought with itself. Fast becoming a global trend, Rock and Roll fascinated the youth, and inspired them to seek out thrill and adventure, and question the norms.

A brief timeline:

Jan. 1951: Rocket 88: the first Rock and Roll record by Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner.It was a chart topper at the time.

Feb. 1951: the banning of “Sixty Minute Man”: the racy song was banned for pornographic lyrics. The song was later touted the first rock and roll song to be recorded.

1952: Fender Guitar: repairman Leo Fender and Doc Kaufman, a musician design a cheap, better sounding version of the electric guitar with a solid body.

Mar. 21, 1952: First Concert: Alan Freed aka Moondog organised a concert at Cleveland Arena. The concert had about 25,000 audience turnout, mostly African American. The show was shut down early as people denied entry got unruly. This is considered the first Rock and Roll concert ever.

1953: Crazy Man Crazy: the first rock and roll song recorded by a “white” Bill Haley.

Jul. 18, 1953: Elvis Presley discovered: and music and Rock and Roll was never the same.

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