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Lecture 11

MUSI 1530 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Scantron Corporation, Leon Mcauliffe, Leading Edge

Course Code
MUSI 1530
Rebecca Jubis

of 5
May 26 Lecture Notes
Final Exam:
June 15th, Wednesday, 9am to noon in ACW 206
Last 5 digits of the student number is what the scantron mark will be listed under
Avg. 72% of the scantron – pretty good
There will be 2 marks listed as NA because the student number didn’t go thru
Mid-1950s Rock and Roll Styles
Generated a lot of issues with racial issues
Became a lightening rod for the mainstream population in USA and Canada
3 main issues:
1. race – blacks vs. whites
2. caused delinquency
3. suggestive lyrics – sex!
Cover Versions (Crew Cuts: Sh-Boom)
1. Artists (Black white)
2. Instrumentation (no honking sax)
3. Vocal delivery
4. Tempo and the drove (often slower than original)
5. Lyrics (muted sexual content)
6. Form
altering music and gave back something that was quite different from what it took
Vocal Group (Chords: Sh-Boom)
Acoustic and Electric Guitar/Slap Bass
Memphis (Elvis: Blue Moon of Kentucky)
Jump Band
Horn/Piano-Based (Little Richard: Tutti Frutti)
Guitar-Based (Chuck Berry: Maybellene)
All of the record labels were trying to tap into the teen market with available money
Listened to: “Ida Red” by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (guitar: Leon McAuliffe)
Something Chuck Berry listened to and auditioned to 2 white guys
Listen to the guitar groove – country 2 beat (drew a lot of polka)
Double-stops on the guitar – playing 2 notes at the same time
Berry had 3 types of songs he performed (to appeal to teen audiences):
No school
His first hit? Maybellene
“Maybellene” Chuck Berry (1955)
May 26 Lecture Notes
-no overt “He’s contaminating kids with this line!” but you can definitely see his 3 themes in the song
if you use your imagination
-a twist on country music
The In-Between Years (1958-1964)
1. Loss of Leaders/Innovators of the Initial Period of Rock and Roll (1958)
Buddy Holly (dead)
Elvis Presley (got conscripted into the army)
Chuck Berry (ferrying a 16 year old girl (minor) in his car across state lines- jail for 2
Little Richard (went back into church as minister – tax shelter – saw the end of his career)
Jerry Lee Lewis (bigamist and pedophile – married 2 women, one was 13)
Elvis will return!
Born in shotgun shack, then visited upon by wise men, and became a star and died for our
entertainment sins
The end of the world is here! Jesus will visit us all!
2. Payola Scandal
House Special Committee on Legislative Oversight, Owen Harris, Chair.
Investigation of fraud in television game shows (e.g. “Twenty-One”) begins in November
So the contestants were being coached – corruption
A lot of noise about the entertainment industry – good for politicians who wanted to stamp
out rock and roll
ASCAP (New York – a lot of old publishers and composers- shut out of rock and roll
BMI (radio industry – a lot of independents) – delivery of R&B and rock and roll to a
significant number of people
ASCAP pushes for a similar investigation into the interlocking interests between radio
(BMI) and (Indie) record labels
Who to bring to congressional meeting? There were hundreds of indie record labels
Indie Records <----------------Indie Radios/DJs<-----------------------Audience
Rock out DJs and the whole system will fall apart
oHow do DJs jump from $20-$100 per week to $150 000-$200 000
Brought up 2 main DJs, Alan Freed and Dick Clark
oFreed worked for WINS in NY – yes, I take money for music played on my
radio station – was in his 40s
oWho would be interested in this? The IRS – making money on the side and
not filling it for taxes
oLabeled as a cheat assuming he could carry on – he was handed a
disclaimer (sign it you keep ur job, don’t sign it loose your job)
oCouldn’t get a job after that, black listed coz he refused to sign the
May 26 Lecture Notes
oAdviced to put his money into trust funds
oAmerican Broadcasting corporation
oTriangle Publications
oDidn’t really want Dick Clark – they wanted Freed – unabashed fan of
R&B – wouldn’t play covers
oDick Clark was connected in a big way
oBecame a big name after the Payola Scandal and is now more powerful
Dick Clark’s Financial Network
3. Major Record Companies Reassert Control Over Market
Bought out contracts of major stars (e.g. Elivs: Sun-RCA)
Streamlines artist&recording/production/distribution
Bought out successful indie labels
Hired independent producers – usually young kids with ears to the ground
4. Rise of Format Radio
Todd Storz and Bill Drake – radio engineers – how
In 1948 came up with system – format/playlist – still dominates today
oTake top 40 songs, and rank them into groups
oTop 10, songs rising/dropping
oTop 10 would get high rotation – heard more frequently
oFurther down the list, less and less frequent playing
oAudiences would be polled with phone-ins to determine what songs ranked as
“reporting” radio stations
oHad shows that went on with phone-ins where they would send in a new song
and wait for the switchboard to light up
oIf people requested songs a lot, the info would be pooled and sent to Billboard
magazine who compiled figures and sent out to radio stations the playlist
Laser technology implemented at the retail level – became known as Sounscan (LA)
Interesting observations: where did they baby boomers go? Started listening to country
music (not hip-hop, heavy metal or alternative)
Bumped into ‘new country’
Who’s Nirvana? The people who listened to them didn’t phone radio stations – kinda like
an underground culture – Kurt Cobain became a pop star overnight
5. American Bandstand (1956)
8 million viewers of dance shows
Spot to hear new teen music and learn new dance steps
Whites on one sides, blacks on other side of same dance floor
oMonster Mash, the Twist, made some kids get up and do ‘The Pony’ to a song by
Chubby Checker
oInvariably, the songs would have instructions on HOW to dance
Guys in cardigans and girls in skirts – arms length dances, not suggestive
The host would come out after the dance and interview the kids: where to school, going to
be a respectable member of society (doctor, lawyer, professor, etc.)