MUAR 392 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Big Joe Turner, Bill Haley, Chess Records

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16 Aug 2016
MUAR 392
Lecture 5
Spreading the sound of R&B
-Indie record labels focus on R&B in late ‘40s/ early ‘50s: Atlantic, Chess, RPM, King Specialty
-Alan Freed’s “Mood Dog House Rock n’ Roll Party” radio program launches july 1951
-WJW, Cleveland, NYC…
-Played R&B records for both white and black listeners
-Brought more black sound to radio to help desegregate radio shows
R&B or Rock n Roll: “Shake, Rattle and Roll” (1954)
-Big Joe Turner — R&B (recorded in February
-Bill Haley — Rock n roll
-Turner version success indebted to earlier crossovers
-Haley version indebted to crossover…increased access to R&B sound for a broader market
via radio (Alan Freed)
-Market — black and white teenagers
-Beginning of the rock n roll craze
Bo Diddley, “Bo Diddley” (1955)
#1 R&B, did not reach the pop chart
-Different beat than we’ve heard before (not a straight back beat)
-Guitar is the main instrument — together with the drums
-No brass (drummer, maracas and guitar)
-African patting juba rhythm…cuban son clave pattern
-“I want candy” — more recently
Chuck Berry — prototypical rock n roller
-Singer, songwriter
-Emulated guitarist
-Diverse musical influences (R&B, Chicago blues, country, pop)
-“Master of creating stories directed toward teenagers that described widespread experiences,
transcending boundaries”
Rock n roll vs. R&B
-Rock n roll was a cross over market (mostley white)
-R&B was more black market intended, didn’t cross over as much
- Sax/ horn response (similarity)
-AAB lyrics
-The chorus is “shake, rattle
and roll” (12-bar)
-Boogie-woogie base
-12-bar blues
-Tempo — second was faster
(Bill Haley’s version)
-Snare was pronounced on 2 +
4 (Backbeat)
-Bill: aggressive vocal style
-Big Joe Turner: laid back vocal
-Big Joe: suggestive, double
entendre lyrics
-Bill: cleaned up lyrics
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