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Copy of The 1950's Rock 'n' Roll

Grade 10 Music ISP

Denise Hamlin

on 24 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of The 1950's Rock 'n' Roll

Before Rock and Roll... 1950's In the mid 1950s, New York DJ, Alan Freed, invented the term "Rock 'n' Roll" (Brunning, "Rock 'n' Roll"). Elements of rock 'n' roll music were already found back in the 1920s. This new type of music, a medley of mainstream popular music, country and western, and rhythm and blues, became well known in the 1950s. It was influenced by music before that decade. As time went on, more people began to buy televisions as it became popular. Just as the number of people with TVs started to grow, images of rock 'n' roll musicians started to appear ("History of Rock and Roll"). A large part of population was made up of teenagers. Back then, males were expected to join the military or get a job to earn income for the family. Females were taught to become a good household wife, and were also expected to marry and start a family. Teenagers were assumed to follow their parents' footsteps. However, when the economy boomed, families started to have economic power, freedom, and independence. With more money, teens started to buy their own things, like food and clothes. They also started to rebel against their parents, such as not listening to music their parents listened, but listened to rock 'n' roll, a type of music their parents disapproved of (Cox, "Teenage Life"). Baby Boom Fads and Fashion Poodle Skirts Poodle skirts were fun, bright coloured skirts that became popular with teenage girls. Poodle skirts are made of felt fabric, and has an image of a poodle on it. Designs such as musical notes and dice were also images on poodle skirts (Cunningham 1). Sock Hops were high school dances where teenagers took off their shoes and wore socks to dance. This was required as it protected the school gym floor. New dance moves that were inspired by television shows were brought to sock hops. Teens danced to rock 'n' roll songs, such as Carl Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes" and Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" (Cunningham 2). Sock Hops Elvis Presley is acknowledged as the "king" of rock 'n' roll music. During the summer of 1953, he sang two popular ballads, "My Happiness" and "When your Heartaches Begin" at Sun Studios. Sam Phillips, the Sun Records founder, listened to Presley's recordings, and noticed his talent. He proceeded to put Presley with musicians Scotty Moore and Bill Black. On July 5, 1954, Phillips recorded Presley when Presley was fooling around with a song. The recording became a huge local hit. Later, Presley made his television debut on January 28, 1956. On February 22, his song "Heartbreak Hotel" made its way to the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He was a great influence to many. Johnny Hallyday, copied Presley but in French, became very popular in France ("Elvis Presley"). He also paved the way for Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and other American rockers ("History of Rock and Roll"). Elvis Presley Well Known Musicians Bill got his first guitar the Christmas of 1938. It was a second hand guitar. His father taught him the basic chords and playing by ear. When he was 21, he felt that he wouldn't succeed in being a singer. Later on, he was hired by a radio station to be a musical director in 1947. He then formed a group called "Bill Haley and His Saddlemen". In the summer of 1950, they recorded songs that later became rare records that had bids over $500 each. They were first recordings of the group. Subsequently, they felt that the term "Saddlemen" did not seem appropriate, so they renamed themselves to "Bill Haley and the Comets" (Gregoire , "Bill Haley"). One of their most well known songs, "Rock Around the Clock" sold over 20 milion copies, and has been said to be the anthem of rock 'n' roll (Brunning, "Rock 'n' Roll").
Bill Haley and the Comets Some religions believed that ethics and morals were lost. Rock 'n' roll songs had themes of rebellion and chaos. "No one can tell you how to live your life" or "I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life" were messages sent out to teenagers through lyrics. It differs from the belief of religious people (Thompson, "Social Effects of Rock & Roll Music"). Social Effects Religion Through music, fans feel belonged. They share the same values as others. Many bonded with other fans at concerts and social events (Thompson, "Social Effects of Rock & Roll Music"). Community Historical Events The Day the Music Died It was February 3, 1959. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P "Big Bopper" Richardson, died in a plane crash. Their Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashed in Iowa minutes after it took off. Holly had called for a private plane for him and his band after his tour bus had mechanical difficulties.Valens and Richardson wasn't supposed to be on the plane, but Valens won a seat after a coin flip with Tommy Allsup, and Richardson persuaded Waylon Jennings to give him his seat because he had the flu ("The Day the Music Died").
Buddy Holly Buddy Holly, 22 when he died, had a radio show and toured worldwide. He had written all of his songs, and influenced Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney. He had also opened for several performers, including Elvis Presley ("The Day the Music Died").
J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson, 28 when he died, was a DJ before he started writing songs. His most well known song was "Chantilly Lace", which climbed up to the Top 10 chart ("The Day the Music Died"). J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens, 17 when he died, had several popular songs, such as "La Bamba" and "Donna". He made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 ("The Day the Music Died"). Wanda Jackson Wanda was known as Queen of Rockabilly (Jurgensen, "Queen of Rockabilly Returns"). Her father, a past country singer, taught her to play the guitar and piano. He also took her to see Western swing musicians, like Tex Williams and Spade Cooley, when she was young. She won a talent contest in 1952, and was given a 15, later 30, minute daily radio show. She was in high school when Hank Thompson, a country singer, heard her sing on the radio show. He requested for her to sing with his band. She then became one of America's top female rockabilly (mix of rock and roll and country music) singers. She met Elvis Presley when she had her first tour in 1955. They became very good friends, and he encouraged her to sing rockabilly (Wolff, "Wanda Jackson"). She supported racial equality when she toured with an African-American musician (Gilbert, "Wanda Jackson"). One of her songs, "Fujiyama Mama" had big success in Japan. Later on, she sang "Santa Dimingo" in German, and it made its way up the German charts (Wolff, "Wanda Jackson"). Still singing in the present age of 74, she recently toured with singer Adele in 2011. Adele had announced that one of her most famous songs, "Rolling in the Deep" was inspired by Wanda's song "Funnel of Love" (Hunter, "Wanda Jackson"). A video of Wanda Jackson singing Fujiyama Mama A stainless steel guitar and three stainless steel records lays on the exact spot in Iowa, where their plane crashed. A second monument was built for Roger Peterson, the pilot who flew their plane. A pair of black rimmed glasses, representing Buddy Holly's signature glasses, marks the trail head. ("Plane Crash Site")

Waylon Jennings had said "I hope your ol' plane crashes" jokingly as a retort back when Holly said "I hope your ol' bus freezes up", after learning that Jennings was not boarding the plane. This would haunt Jennings for a lifetime. ("Plane Crash Site"). Rock 'n' Roll has survived through generations, it is still continuing. It has influenced and unified many. This genre of music had been a great impact, and still affects us even today with punk rock, which rock 'n' roll influenced. Since the 1950's, the world had never been the same again. Rock 'n' Roll will forever be the music that changed the world. Brunning, Bob. Rock 'n' Roll. London : David West Children's Books, 1998. Print.

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By : Nicola Poon
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