Rock and Roll
When Alan Freed, a disc jockey, heard the song “My Baby Rocks me with a Steady Roll”, he developed the phrase rock and roll, which refers to one of the most popular and influential genre of music in the 1950s. Classic rock and roll is...
- Use of electric guitars
- Strong rhythm
- Youth oriented lyrics that often refer to sexual intercourse
Rock and roll evolved in the United States in the early 1950s and quickly spread to the rest of the world. Rock and roll is not only just a musical style but it has also influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes and languages. When Billy Haleys “Rock around the clock” came out in 1955, it was considered the first rock and roll song. Immediately, the new musical style became most appealing to teenagers in the 1950s because it gave them their own special identity and voice. Also, teens were strongly attracted to the good looks and sexual appeal of the artists and the music.
Another reason rock and roll spread so quickly was because of the advancement in technology. Electric guitars could play music louder and recording studios used the latest technology to improve the sound on radios and record players everywhere. Television also influenced the spread of rock and roll. American Bandstand was a daily afternoon show that launched the careers of rock and roll legends.Rock and roll appeared at a time when racial tensions in the United States were coming to the surface. Blacks were facing discrimination and segregation in schools and public facilities. The upcoming of rock and roll provoked strong and mixed reactions in the United States because it combined the styles of both white and black music. The new music style was sense of equality for the African Americans. In fact, black artists started to become more popular in the mid 1950s.
Three very known rock and roll artists of the 1950s are…
Chuck Berry : He was one of the first black rock and roll performers to appeal all colors by combining his rhythm and blues sound with rock and roll. Also his guitar playing and energetic dancing gave him a sexual appeal that attracted both black and white teen audiences.
Little Richard: He is known for his wild performances, rebellious music and his over the top appearance. He inspired some of the greatest bands in history such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Elvis Presley: He is also known as the “Rock and roll king” and had the greatest impact on early rock and roll because he was good looking, had a unique sounds and delivered an electric performance that made girls faint.
Buddy Holly was also an extreamly popular rock and roll artist, with hits like "Rave on" and "Words of Love"