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Music in the 1950s and 1960s
Transcript of Music in the 1950s and 1960s
Classic pop music of the 1950s was typically simple, focused on melody and catchiness.
Many artists were called "interpreters", taking old, well-known songs and adding their own characteristic and distinctive styles. Sinatra was one of the most popular interpreters.
This genre was heavily influenced by big band and swing music of the earlier twentieth-century
The popularity of classic pop declined as the decade went on but had a resurgence in the 1960s, dubbed as "Adult Contemporary" Early 1950s - Classic Pop T The Beatles Jimi Hendrix Motown Sound Woodstock Folk Music Compare Contrast & Late 1950s - Rock 'n' Roll In the latter half of the 1950s, an amalgamation of R&B, pop, country,
and gospel music known as rock and roll exploded onto the scene.
The electric guitar, popularized by Les Paul and implemented by artists such as Chuck Berry (above), became the defining tool and sound of the genre.
Chuck Berry is considered a pioneer of rock and roll, with his loud, passionate music and guitar solos, incredible showmanship, and bad-boy personality. Other popular acts included Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Ray, and Bill Haley and His Comets.
Chuck Berry was also the first person elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and strongly influenced the future of rock and roll everywhere.
Rock and roll achieved a huge audience in the United States with teenagers and those who had fought in World War II, and was featured on various radio stations and television programs, such as American Bandstand. Elvis Presley and Rockabilly Elvis was the first person to accumulate an extremely widespread, mixed-
race audience through his combination of intense, high-powered "black" music with a somber, hillbilly style. This style became known as rockabilly.
His combination of talents as a performer, style integrator, and in personal style were and have been relatively unmatched.
His slicked-back hair, "cat clothes", and outlandish behavior became typical of the rockabilly persona.
Bruce Springsteen said of Elvis: "There have been contenders, but there
is only one King." For many people, Elvis was (is) rock and roll, and he brought rock and roll to its largest audience around the world up to this point.
For all of these reasons, Elvis is perhaps the most important person in the history of the development of rock and roll. Country Johnny Cash (left) became very popular in the '50s with his country- and rockabilly-influenced style and his distinctive baritone voice.
Most of Cash's songs are centered around life, sorrow, and relationships but tried to integrate humor into his songs as well, which became widely respected by an array of audiences.
He often performed for prison audiences, something largely unheard of before then. His most famous performance came at the Folsom Prison in Folsom, California.
Hank Williams (right) was another prominent country music artist of the 1950s who has continued to influence artists even today despite his death in 1953.
Williams' upbeat, ragtime sound (often contrasting Cash's style) helped define the country style of the 50s and led to the creation of the Outlaw Country genre. Rhythm & Blues Patti Page, popular pop
singer. Sang the decade's
biggest hit, "Tennessee
Waltz." Mitch Miller, head of Columbia
Records Rhythm and blues (R&B) emerged in the 1950s as a slightly more upbeat and performance-based version of 1940s jazz.
Little Richard (nicknamed "the Georgia Peach") emerged as a top R&B artist in the mid-1950s with loud, energetic songs with nonsense lyrics, such as "Tutti Frutti" and "Good Golly Miss Molly"
He is also known for his extremely loud vocals, over-the-top personality and wardrobe, and scandalizing lyrics.
R&B also helped lead to the creation of the Motown, funk, and soul genres.
Other popular acts included Ray Charles, Lloyd Price, and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Sources
The 1950s by Stuart A. Kallen
The 1960s by William Dudley Woodstock took place from August 15 to August 18, 1969 on Max Yasgur's farm.
Over the three day period, thirty-two artists performed in front of 500,000 fans.
Woodstock is often considered a pivotal moment in music history because it was the culmination of the musical revolution taking place at the time.
The festival ended Monday morning with Jimi Hendrix's set, when he played his most famous part of Woodstock: his iconic rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner"
There were two recorded births and deaths at Woodstock. One birth was in a car near the Festival and one was at the festival itself (they were airlifted by helicopter to a hospital). One death was by heroin overdose and the other was when a man was run over in a tractor after sleeping in a hayfield. Folk Rock grew during the mid-'60s, evolving with the increase in protests during the Vietnam Era.
Folk Rock is often noted for its melodic sounds and often contained protest like lyrical messages.
Bob Dylan was one of the most famous of the Folk Rock artists who did not believe he was revolutionary but turned out to be somewhat of a figurehead for the anti-war movement.
Much of Folk Rock revolved around the "Peace, Love, Happiness" craze that occurred during the time period.
Other popular bands of the Folk/Protest music genre included The Mamas and The Papas, Cat Stevens, and Simon and Garfunkel. Motown music influenced was influenced by the Civil Rights Movement.
Motown was primarily made by African Americans who wanted the appropriate success that white Rock n' Rollers had during the 1950s.
Aretha Franklin (left) was one Motown/R&B singer whose song "Respect" won her two Grammys and is considered one of the best R&B songs in history.
Other Motown and R&B artists including Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and The Supremes had as much commercial success as other contemporary rock artists.
Other famous Motown artists included Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Berry Gordy. Jimi Hendrix was one of several hit artists in the 1960s that played psychedelic rock.
Psychedelic rock is often associated with counter-culture and was designed to enhance the experiences of those using hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD.
Jimi Hendrix's music consisted highly of his famed left-handed electric guitar coupled with high amplifier feedback and use of the wah-wah pedal.
Jimi Hendrix revolutionized the musical world through his use of the electric guitar making it the emphasis of his music as rock music does today.
Other artists of the psychedelic rock music genre during the '60s were Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and The Doors. The Beatles were a 1960s pop group that were extremely popular and leaders in what is known as the British Invasion.
The British Invasion was a series of bands that came from the United Kingdom that became extremely popular in the United States.
The Beatles are the best-selling band of all time, selling over a billion albums.
Other artists of the British Invasion were The Rolling Stones, The Animals, and The Who.
Their style of music consisted of driving rhythms, fresh melodies, and often irrelevant lyrics. The 1950s and the 1960s music differed in various ways. The '50s was more focused on Pop and Rockabilly while the '60s genres focused generally on Rock. While '50s music was changed by the lasting effects of World War II and the Civil Rights movement, '60s music revolved a great deal around protesting the Vietnam War. The Beach Boys; they characterized a new kind of Rock: Surf Rock. Janis Joplin: one of several famous psychedelic rock artists Music from the 1950s and the 1960s share several similarities. Motown and folk music of the 1960s have roots in and developed from R&B and classic pop, respectively, from the 1950s. Music from each decade was also heavily influenced by drug use, especially the classic pop and rock and roll of the 1950s and the psychedelic rock of the 1960s. Additionally, the most popular types of music from each decade (rock and roll in the '50s and rock and folk in the '60s) found its largest audience among the young people in America, especially during tumultuous times such as the Vietnam War.