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The Way It Really Was!
In the 1950\'s there were many problems. The Korean war and the civil
rights struggle. Back then the music was all rhythm and blues (r &b). It was
record mostly by black artists and for black audience but the white teenagers
The music scene in the early 50\'s
Before 1954 there were 3 distinct music areas. R & B,country and pop.
Music stations usually played one type of music so listeners could easily find
what type they wanted. Pop had 4 major recording companies. RCA,Columbia,becca
and Mercury. These companies had very good connection and could make a small
band very big! Pop music had a subdued beat and smooth singing. R & B had
black artists for black audiences. Country Western had the least affect by Rock
and Roll. People who recorded at small independent music business and put out a
record, they were called Indies.
The first Rock and Roll hit
The term Rock and Roll was usually used for describing physical sex.
Allen Freed was credited with inventing Rock and Roll but that wouldn\'t be to
good for him later in life.
The father of Rock and Roll
Alan freed was the first white disc jockey to play Rock and Roll. Alan
show in Cleveland was very popular with teenagers. In 1954, Alan\'s show moved
to WINS. His nick name “moondog” had to be dropped. He adopted the new title “
the king of rock and roll”. Newspapers ran articles saying Alan was the main
wrongdoer in creating Rock and Roll. A riot broke out at one of Alan Freed\'s
concert. The police turned up the house lights to see what the teenagers were
doing and Alan said something and the teens went on a rampage. Alan was to
blame. He was charged but when the manager at WINS didn\'t stand behind him,
Alan left and went to WABC. The charges were later dropped. Because of all of
the court appearances, Alan filed for bankruptcy in 1959. In 1960, Alan was
fired from WABC for not signing a statement that he took favors to play certain
records. It was all down hill from there. In 1965 Alan died. His friends said
that he had a drinking problem and it got worse when he was fired.
Adult response to Rock and Roll
Most adults did not like Rock and Roll. They thought it was vulgar and
rude. Although there was never a link from violence to teens. Many incidences
proved that wrong when Nat King Cole was performing and 5 teens jumped on stage
and started to beat up him. He was not hurt. Teenagers were the main buyers of
records and they were performed by black artists. Many R & B artists modified
there songs to suit Rock and Roll. Then Elvis came along! That changed a lot.
First Rock and Roll artist to sell 1 million copies and to establish a
movie career. His music appealed to kids,teens and adults. First release was
Heartbreak Hotel. It was a smash.
The late fifties (1957-1959)
Radio stations were looking for songs and entertainers that wouldn\'t
offend adults. Rock and Roll started to lose some of it\'s popularity cause of a
lot of incidences that happened. Buddy holly, Big Bopper and Richie valens all
died in a plane crash. During the downtime of Rock and Roll, black music became
The early sixties
A national dance crazy swept the nation. Songs that were being released,
had a familiar beat. Chubby Checkers was a main producer of these songs. Allot
were slow and had a gentle mood. Important innovations came along in the early
60\'s. Producers became more skillful and mix and dub better.
Temptations,Stevie Wonder and the 4 tops were the most popular in this decade.
Females who were usually backgrounds were now lead vocalists. In the 60\'s,
femine groups were very popular. The first girl group was the Shirelles and the
most popular group was the Supreames but they emerged in 1964. The best girl
group producer was Phil Spector. His technique added drama to the performance.
The new rock scene
White song writers started to emerge like The Beatles and Bob Dylan.
Most of them were folk and folk blues but The Beatles and The Rolling Stones
played traditional Rock and Roll. Teens in the sixties were involved with
anti-war and civil rights and some were involved with drugs and eastern
religions. At the end of the 60\'s decade, trends occurred like art rock,
protest music and psychedelic music. By the seventies Rock and Roll was
established, Jazz merged with R & B and resulted it disco.
View Full Essay
African-American culture, Counterculture of the 1960s, African-American music, Popular music, Rock music, Rock and roll, Alan Freed, Rhythm and blues, WABC, Elvis Presley, Honorific nicknames in popular music, Origins of rock and roll
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