The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1963 by Ed WardEd Ward covers the first half of the social history of rock & roll in this definitive book. Beginning in the 1920s when blues, country, and black popular music played over the air waves and the first independent record labels were born, this first volume of a two-part series finishes in December 1963, just as an immense sea-change begins to take hold and the Beatles prepare for their first American tour. Ward introduces you to the musicians, DJs, record executives, and producers who were at the forefront of the genre. Sharing story after story of some of the most unforgettable and groundbreaking moments in rock history, Ward reveals how different sounds, harmonies, and trends came together to create the music we all know and love today.
Ed Ward has been NPR’s Fresh Air rock & roll historian for the last thirty-five years reaching 14 million listeners. In these pages he shares his endless depth of knowledge and through engrossing storytelling hops seamlessly from Memphis to Chicago, Detroit, England, New York, and everywhere in between covering all the big-name acts everyone is already familiar with, from Elvis and Buddy Holly to Chuck Berry, while filling in gaps of knowledge with the more obscure and forgotten names of music’s past like T-Bone Walker and The Ventures.
For all music lovers and rock & roll fans, this sweeping history will shine a light on the corners of the genre to reveal some of the less well-known yet hugely influential artists who changed the musical landscape forever.
History of Rock & Roll 60s - The 1960s (Pt. 2)
Origins of rock and roll
Rock and roll emerged as a defined musical style in the United States in the early to mids. It derived most directly from the rhythm and blues music of the s, which itself developed from earlier blues , boogie woogie , jazz and swing music , and was also influenced by gospel , country and western , and traditional folk music. Rock and roll in turn provided the main basis for the music that, since the mids, has been generally known simply as rock music. The phrase "rocking and rolling" originally described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but it was used by the early 20th century, both to describe a spiritual fervor and as a sexual analogy. Various gospel, blues and swing recordings used the phrase before it became used more frequently — but still intermittently — in the late s and s, principally on recordings and in reviews of what became known as "rhythm and blues" music aimed at black audiences. In , Cleveland-based disc jockey Alan Freed began playing this music style while popularizing the term "rock and roll" to describe it.
Rock and roll has been described as a merger of country music and rhythm and blues , but, if it were that simple, it would have existed long before it burst into the national consciousness. The seeds of the music had been in place for decades, but they flowered in the mids when nourished by a volatile mix of black culture and white spending power. Black vocal groups such as the Dominoes and the Spaniels began combining gospel-style harmonies and call-and-response singing with earthy subject matter and more aggressive rhythm-and-blues rhythms. In that sound coalesced around an image: that of a handsome white singer, Elvis Presley , who sounded like a black man. Yet his early recordings with producer Sam Phillips , guitarist Scotty Moore , and bassist Bill Black for Sun Records in Memphis were less about any one style than about a feeling. Presley was hardly the only artist who embodied this attitude, but he was clearly a catalyst in the merger of black and white culture into something far bigger and more complex than both.
Rock And Roll - A Very Brief History
According to Greg Kot , "rock and roll" refers to a style of popular music originating in the U. In the earliest rock and roll styles, either the piano or saxophone was typically the lead instrument, but these instruments were generally replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late s. Beyond simply a musical style, rock and roll, as seen in movies, in fan magazines, and on television, influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. In addition, rock and roll may have contributed to the civil rights movement because both African-American and white American teenagers enjoyed the music. The phrase "rocking and rolling" originally described the movement of a ship on the ocean,  but was used by the early twentieth century, both to describe the spiritual fervor of black church rituals  and as a sexual analogy. Various gospel, blues and swing recordings used the phrase before it became used more frequently — but still intermittently — in the s, on recordings and in reviews of what became known as "rhythm and blues" music aimed at a black audience. In , Billboard magazine columnist Maurie Orodenker started to use the term "rock-and-roll" to describe upbeat recordings such as "Rock Me" by Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
F or some of us, it began late at night: huddled under bedroom covers with our ears glued to a radio pulling in black voices charged with intense emotion and propelled by a wildly kinetic rhythm through the after-midnight static. Growing up in the white-bread America of the Fifties, we had never heard anything like it, but we reacted, or remember reacting, instantaneously and were converted. We were believers before we knew what it was that had so spectacularly ripped the dull, familiar fabric of our lives. We asked our friends, maybe an older brother or sister. It was an obsession, and a way of life. For some of us, it began a little later, with our first glimpse of Elvis on the family television set.
The Golden Decade - The use of rock, roll, rock and roll, etc. A form of popular music arising from and incorporating a variety of musical styles, especially rhythm and blues, country music, gospel. Originating in the United States in the s, it is characterized by electronically amplified instrumentation, a heavily accented beat, and relatively simple phrase structure. This web page attempts to explore the roots of rock in such a way as to illuminate the natural progression of musical styles.