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 1950\'s, the Beatles were also known as Johnny and the Moondogs
and then the Moonshiners. They first became known as the Silver Beatles. They
brought about the renewal of rock and roll, starting in Liverpool, England.
John Lennon (10/9/40-12/8/80), led the Beatles as the lead singer and
songwriter. Also writing the songs for the Beatles was Paul McCartney (6/18/42-
present). George Harrison (2/25/43-present) added to the sounds of the Beatles.
In 1962, Ringo Starr (7/7/40-present) became the drummer for the band. They
were now known as The Beatles, (the Fab Four).

Their first song "Love Me Do" was recorded in 1962, after Ringo joined
the band. In 1964, the Beatles \'invaded\' the United States, by bringing their
music here and driving the crowds wild. The Beatles bridged the generation gap
and language barriers. They were trend setters, with their style of dress and
hair changing the face of the young people. They also influenced the use of
hallucinogenic drugs, Indian music, and Eastern mysticism.

The Beatles last concert was in San Francisco in 1966. The band broke
up in 1970. Lennon went on to record solo albums and with his wife, Yoko Ono.
McCartney went on to form Paul McCartney and Wings, with his wife, Linda.
Harrison and Starr also went on to do solo albums. Ringo also starred in some
films. Rumors of a reunion were believed until the murder of John Lennon in

Some of the groups influenced by the Beatles were The Who, Cream with
Eric Clapton, and Chicago Blues. They brought out sounds such as loud music,
guitar screeches, and on stage smashing of instruments. During this time, rock
operas and rock musicals became popular, such as Tommy, The Who and Hair.

Formed in 1962 the Rolling Stones started becoming popular. In 1964,
The Rolling Stones were first known as Muddy Waters. They had wild stage
antics and brutal lyrics. The group consisted of 5 members from London. Mick
Jagger led the group as the lead singer. Keith Richards on guitar, Brian Jones
(replaced in 1969 by Mick Taylor). Mick Taylor was replaced in 1976 by Ron
Wood (from Rod Stewart\'s band). Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer, Charlie Watts
made up the rest of the Stones. By the late 60\'s they called themselves the
world\'s greatest rock band.

The Stones were number one on both sides of the Atlantic, with their hit
"Satisfaction" in 1965. The Stones put out more than 35 albums. Many of their
lyrics covered