There will be a listening part on the final exam. There are a lot of examples we listen to
in class. Listening questions are contextual; Example: this song would have been
performed during the 19th century in a minstrel show.
Rock and Roll. 50s. and the in between years. The period that began in 1954 and went
The rock and roll revolution lasted 4 years, what made it come to the end was the in
between years. Rock and roll did not start at a specific or exact time. There are a number
of small bangs that created opportunity for the next series of events. We are talking about
a musical culture that emerged from the black community and into the homes of white
teens. Rock and Roll was a term applied in hind sight, it created a cultural music. Initially
a black term for sex; was used by Alan Freed to disguise the fact that white kids were
taking part in this. A social category. There are certain musical characteristics that can be
defined as being rock and roll. 10 year period as a continuum. There will be a lot of
contextual talk today!!!!
58-64, the first period came to an end. In 64 the Beatles and Motown created a second
ROCK AND ROLL (1954-1958)
A. Social and Historical Context
B. Technological Developments
C. Changes in Music Industry
D. Rock and Roll Styles
these are the 4 main areas.
From 1917 through the 20s and 30s we see a rapid transfer of the black community from
the Deep South to the Northern urban cities. This became the bedrock that would later
become rock and roll.
Post war boom. After WW2, most of the parts of the world were in a state of ruin. This
was a boom period for the US; one could see the increase of the working class after the
Second World War. An expansion of the urban cities. The suburbs were where the white
people fled to. To be considered middle-class....
The breadwinner must earn between 5,000-6,000 dollars/year.
The economy of the US was flushed with money. AS a part of the entertainment industry
was disposable income. After you've paid for the necessities there was enough to give to
the kids as an allowance, this would be money they would use to buy what THEY
wanted. This was important for the music industry. 76,000,000 in the US between 1954-
1968. 6,000,000 in Canada at the same time. BABY BOOM ERA. This was an enormous
demographic. Rock and Roll was at a time when the baby boom generation were growing
up and at an age to decide and rebel.
Suburban life was....
When rock and roll came about the good wife's guide.
1. 76 million in US/ 10 million in Canada
2. Teenager (13-18 years old)
3. Teen identity: dress/language/behaviour rock and roll = age specific music
4 Growth of high school system
5 High School desegregation: brown VS BD. of ED. Topeka, KS (1954)
Teenagers were not demonstrated until this period of time. There was either a child or an
adult. Certain events such as bar mitzvahs were the crossover from child to adult. These
are rituals that go back in history and you are held back before you can move on. When
you turn 13 or so you begin to change your parents begin to give you privacy. When
you're hitting puberty/becoming a teenager you are developing hormones.
Wealth in society caused us to space out childhood to adulthood by independence of
teenage hood. Before wealth in society you had to work as soon as you became old
enough (13-14ish). This has dragged on from 13 to 18 and now until 28. The confusion
that society is now faced with at this time was to give the term teenager. Everyone was
confused at this time especially those between the ages of 13-18. At this time teenagers
were "warehoused" in high schools to ensure their attendance. Rock and Roll thrived in
high school culture. Rock and roll was those who were teenagers/adolescents.
Teens wanted to rebel from what their parents were. They did not dress or intend to be
anything like their parents. AS it remains today. Items of clothing that defined you in the
50s. Clothing industries were careful of this. Playtex created a device that was useful at
this time THE TRAINING BRA. Men were presented with a car usually around the age
of 16. The car was a symbol for independence at this time. To drive around in cars at this
time were suggested that they were dads car; hot rods were then presented and intended
for teenagers to look `cool`. In approximately 1964 the Mustang was created as for the
male teenage audience which had 2 seats. Women were now moving into the workplace
because of the lack of wealth. In order for these women to get around they were
introduced with the Honda Civic (a car specific for women). Dinners were suggested to
be made by take out options such as KFC.
In 1954 an important political movement. The black community took the board of
education to desegregate the schools. Finally in 1954, the Supreme Court agreed so that
all schools would begin to desegregate. This was the first real challenge to Jim Crow. The
Supreme Court made it so that schools had to desegregate. The KKK was underground
since the 1930s. Their principle target was Irish Catholics, Jews and then black people.
The FBI went after the Capone gang and also the KKK. Rock and Roll could not have
come at a worse time or a better time. Rock and Roll was Rhythm and Blues and white
kids were listening to this. In 1950s you were taking greater risks by being politically
active unless you knew racial politics.
Zelma Henderson II fought segregation in famed Kansas case.
1 Transistor technology
2 Vinyl technology (45 RPM and 33 1/3 LP)
3 Electric Guitar and Microphone
4 Magnetic Tape Technology
Many were trying to outdo each other. 63' Cuban missal progress. They were trying to
deliver weaponry from space. The space race was important for communication
technology; they needed to develop more mobile and smaller technology. From the space
race was the radio, the transistor radio. This allowed people to listen to the radio at night and in bed with an ear piece. This was a way of receiving all American radio stations.
The disks until this point were heavy and had one song on one side and one on the other.
They would cost approximately 50 cents.
The most important invention at this time especially for rock and r&b culture was the
tape recorder which was created by Dr. Fritz Pfeumer (Germany) called the
Blattnerphone. This new technology was presented and then dropped off the face of the
earth. This was because Hitler was holding onto these new technologies saying that they
were the Germans and only the Germans were able to have and use them. Captain mullin
of the U.S Signal Corps; went to radio Hamburg and took this technology. What they
didn't know was that Hitler was giving these speeches and broadcasted for Europe to
hear. He was doing this with the tape recorder. He would sent these copies to different
stations and cities to have it broadcasted in 1945
Bing Crosby made a lot of money from this machine. Ampex (U.S.) cost between 5 and
10 thousand dollars. If you had this you could make recordings and start your own
Independent Record Label.
CHANGES IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
1. network television and independent radio
2 African- American Radio - WDIA, Memphis 1948
3 RADIO DJS
Promoter (Alan Freed - Dick Clark)
4 Creation of BMI (1939)
5 Growth of independent record labels
6 major record Companies VS indies
CBS NBC STANDARD
these owned dozens and dozens of radio stations throughout the US. Nearly all of this
was live music that was played on TV. Network Radio put pressure on the stations to
begin to move into television. Advertising. Television