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 too 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 downhill 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 their songs to suit Rock and Roll. Then Elvis came along! That changed a lot.

Elvis Presley

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 its 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 more popular.

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, feminine 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. Kiss and Alice Copper dressed up on stage to get there music across.

The 50’s had a clash of black and white music/traditions. 50’s/60’s Rock and Roll was born. Withen a few years, Rock and Roll was all over the world and in all different languages. Allot of the beginning Rock and Roll was allot better that now because he have branched out and created grunge, heavy metal, soft rock.



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