Pop Music – Simon Wood 9/12/2012 3:37:00 PM
put course title, Music 2II3, in subject line of emails
First chunk of semester spent on pre WW2
Will go up to the 1980‟s, hip hop, MTV, music videos
Notes not necessary on readings, there for a big picture view.
Testing – Saturday, September 29 th9:30 a.m. 25% 2 and ½ weeks
Saturday, October 27 9:30 a.m. 30% 4 weeks, not cumulative
Exam 45% is cumulative, but weighted so that majority of questions are from the
final third of the course.
o Multiple Choice
o 50 minutes
What is Popular Music?
Sam Phillips, owned a record company, small, Called Sun Records in Memphis, 1954, he is
white, colour is an important part of this story. Recorded a lot of white and black artists.
Well respected in both communities, notices thing changing in the U.S., more and more
music written by black artists was being played on the radio, but not only black artists were
listening, white teenagers tuning into this culture. A lot of people thought this was bad
though, white people that black culture was of lesser value and beneath them, people were
annoyed that there children were tuning into this. Sam said something to his assistant,
Marianne Cyster, “if I can find a white man who sounds like a black man I could make a
million dollars”, realizing there was so much resistance that if he could capture that sound in
a more acceptable package to whites he would make money. This was alleged and he said
he never said it. Do not know the truth! He should have said it because nothing would have
summed up what was happening in western society so concisely. Months after this alleged
event Elvis Presley walked in to his office and the man that discover him was Sam Phillips.
The idea of a white man sounding like a black man, as ridiculous as that sounds to us now
was a real issue then. All of this tell us that modern rock and roll was born when Elvis came
about but not true, that is just when we realized it was there.
Why 1954? Intersection, when things that have been occurring over decades all come
together, if it hadn‟t been Elvis it would have been someone else, it had been happening for
over 150 years.
The real man who invented rock and roll, the black man who sounded like a white man,
What is Popular Music?
Put against art/classical music
Post World War 2 – origins of 3 prexisting styles, rhythm and blues (black culture), country
and western (rural white culture), and tin pan alley (Urban white, northern)
These three style will begin to merge and through this we get the sound that is
rock and roll, and from that the roots of all popular music today.
How did they come together? To develop popular music, we need an industry, very much focused on what society wants
at that point in time. In past there was no middle class and therefore there was no popular
music as those are the ones who buy music.
Large Urban population, can‟t get famous in the country as there are not enough people
there, process of rural to urban shift which has been going on for centuries, but while most
people are in the country no may to have popular music
Copyright Law, have to protect the people who create the music so ideas are not stolen and
Technologies of Mass Production and Broadcasting – if you have to go town to town with
your guitar no way to be famous, but through t.v., internet, radio, etc. as well as machinery
that can produce the albums.
Western Popular music is this unique blend of black and white culture that can happen no
Black culture in North America
North American Slave Trade – 1619-1863
First year that a group of Africans were kidnapped and brought to North America
to be a slave.
Lasts for 250 year, ends technically, January 1sy, Abraham Lincoln signs the
Emancipation Proclamation, slavery is now abolished, the middle of the civil war
(1861-1865) it is said that the Civil War was fought over slavery but not
accurate, did not actually end until the end of the civil war.
Slaves were murdered, abused, etc., but without this occurrence we don‟t get
popular western music. I forced black and white society together for the first
time without a choice, and whether with or without intention they begin to
influence each other. Influenced the entire western hemisphere as the went to
South America also.
In Africa there is a great emphasis on percussion instrument, think of the music
of South America, Caribbean, Tango, etc. all West African influence. So why is it
so different in North America?
Religion! Brought to all shores of the Americas, several colonial powers, British,
French, Spanish, Portuguese. Central and South America divided between
Spanish and Portuguese, with some French Influences. France also had a huge
are in Canada and New Orleans, lost most of there land fairly early on to the
British. Most of N.A. belonged to the British, English were protestant while others
were all Catholic. Catholic slave owners didn‟t care about what there slaves did
with there free time, allowed to engage in cultural practices, so African culture
remained more so in Catholic areas. Protestant slave owners not ok with this,
wanted to save the souls of the heathens. Much greater limitations on music,
dancing, etc. Slaves that ended up in N.A. new that they needed to figure out a
way to merge there culture or there would no last long. African Retentions are
much less obvious in North America.
African Retentions: Interest in percussive and distorted timbres (quality of a sound), sharp distinct
sound, distorted didn‟t have a bad connotation in Western Africa, seen as an
overflow of emotion, a high level of commitment and intensity.
Value in the Ecstatic and the Cathartic, totally spent after something that you
can‟t move, seen as commitment, wonderful level of intensity
Rhythmic complexity – syncopation
Use of riffs – a short self contained musical fragment that repeats as the basis for
a longer composition, similar to a motif (Beethoven‟s 5 ), in west African
tradition you play it exactly as is, where a motif you manipulate it as much as
you can. Makes music circular in structure, never know when it will change, it is
a loop. Music is based on the idea of music as beat/loop. Beethoven‟s music is
linear, it has a start, goes somewhere different and then comes home.
Use of call and response, can take on many attributes, musicians and an
audience, two musicians. The interaction between audience and musicians is
critical, it creates energy, participation is important. TSO you cheer you are
kicked out, no interaction. Popular music is all about being part of the
performance and interaction.
Early Music of African Americans (pre-Civil War) is primarily vocal (acapella). We know that
there was music with slaves. They would sing Work Songs.
Recording Technology invented my Edison in 1877, a decade past slavery was gone. We
are listening to a chain gang of African American Prisoners taken out to cut down a tree.
The reason we have music is because of primary documents of what they heard at the time.
This is recognizable as the same tradition.
Help pass the time, set pace, coordinate work. Absolute boredom, poor health of
slaves, only value was if you were healthy, if not you would be replaced and
murdered, don‟t sing the song faster then what the weakest member of the
group can do.
Introduction and Chapter 9/12/2012 3:37:00 PM
What makes music popular?
Stylistic elements came across from African American culture, still there today. The Work
Song. (chain gang technology not around in time of slavery to have actual recordings)
Song Leader led this music, not real songs, but strings so ideas all in his head and strung
them together for entertainment but also for the sake of survival.
Old Alabama 1947
433 433 443 4333 4333
aab aab aab aaab aaab
Lyrics structure is the Lower case letters
Numbers are how many measures are in the line, how long it takes for the line to unfold.
Distortion – signifies a level of investment and commitment, disapproved of in white
European culture. This is song with distortion, roughness in voice, seen as more esthetically
pleasing sound. When they sing notes they don‟t hit with absolute accuracy but scoops into
it. All seen as a way to carry emotion, not approved of by white culture.
Call and Response is also an African Retention, First guy you hear singing is the song
leader, and then every one joins in, Song Leader best at improvising and connecting the
bits, the rest of the workers know all the bits just not as well as the song leader. The enter
as soon once they realize what it is, enter sooner the second time because they know what
is coming. Never start right at the beginning to wait and see what he does, part of what
made it entertaining as they didn‟t know what was coming. Is process over product, what is
important in music is not about what is right now but what was happening in the moment,
also an African retention. The song leader is singing a melody, but no one person is doing
exactly the same thing, song on various notes for various lengths, similar idea but each
person had own idea, it is individuality within community. Everyone is equal, dong the
same thing, every one is going long with what is happening in the community but everyone
has room for self expression. Not like classical music where the Orchestra is expected to do
exactly what is written.
Performed by amateurs (don‟t do it for a living)
For self and community entertainment
Oral tradition, learn through elders, not written down, listen to it until you figure out how to
do it on your own, constantly changing because of this, why we have regional styles of folk
music. No body owns these songs they belong to the community. More concern with
tradition than innovation (lacking “self-consciousness), try to do it exactly how it was taught
to people, don‟t want to change it. If you decide to do it for a living you have to change it
to make it original, not popular in folk music. Wanting to make a mark is the sign of
someone in popular music.
Sacred Music Practice
Previous was secular.
The type of music that occurred under protestant slave owners is different than anywhere
else as they are trying to convert them and therefore the music fuses. Encouraged to
match practices to Protestant ones. Hymns sung in white churches, hymn books with
melodies written out but the majority of people couldn‟t read music, just responded to what minister said. African Americans forced to adapt, but don‟t really adapt but modify, get
hymn books, and rewrite the melodies. In Protestantism the words are the most important,
Gad has to hear the words. Not the case in the African American church, melody just as
important. Ocean of sound as the notes were held and sung. In Protestantism everyone
has to sing. In African American the spirit falls on the congregation, start speaking in
tongues, etc, getting closer to the lord, in a white church thought as a loss of control.
“Lined Hymn” No Date
Distortion of vocal timbre
Music is perceived very differently in this
Not slaves, a later recorded track
American Civil War (1861-1865)
Slavery ends with this
Separation of Church and State
America became a colony with the War of independence in 1870‟s
Thumbnail sketch of war was fought to end slavery. Not really true, set into action when
U.S. became a colony. Set up because they wanted out of the tyranny of U.S., supposed to
be a secular nation. Set up treaty with Ottoman Empire, Islamic nation, debating setting up
with U.S., but in a unanimous decision they said yes, as they were not a Christian nation,
therefore ok to set up with Mohammed nation. Thomas Jefferson a big part of this equality.
All men were created equal, yet had millions involved of slavery, contradicts itself, economy
based on slavery. They had believed slavery would be done soon as it was no longer in use
in Northern States. And non profitable in Southern States, but then the Cotton Gin was
created by Eli Whitney, now took off like a bat out of hell in the first half of the 1800‟s,
North tries to stop this, but south doesn‟t want it stopped. New stated being created at this
time, had to take on title of free state or slave state, initially equally balanced, but then
more states were being created and it was going to through things out of balance, and no
one wanted to give up power. So yes war was about slavery but not really.
1963 Abraham Lincoln signs Emancipation Proclamation, but doesn‟t end until the end of the
war when the North wins the war.
Post Slavery Period
The south was very resentful of this and they made it very difficult for African Americans,
where they could eat, how many could stand on a street corner, what to do if a white
woman is walking down the sidewalk, etc. If you didn‟t you would go to jail and were often
beaten and murdered. Institutionalized racism. Slavery was over but till a rough place to
We start to see the shift, moving our of rural areas and into urban areas, start creating
black communities especially along the Mississippi. New forms of culture were appearing
now, in 1880‟s and 1890‟s. Took this long because people spent their lives as slaves and
told they were free, but in reality were not, were hardwired to think one way and it is not
easy to change. Have to wait for the new generation for there to be changes, a generation
of people who have spent their lives free and as the come into adulthood they realize that
the stories and ways of being in the world are no longer representative of what was the
music of the past, now want to describe themselves. Jazz and Rag Time created, urban styles, in the new communities of people, especially in the Mississippi. There is a third style
that first occurs in the rural areas. Blues.
Test – Cover Everything up to test. Will provide a study guide, will be poster this week
sometime. Include a list of the audio files that will be on the test, a list of reading sections
to reread and look at in some detail. Will be some test questions about these reading
sections. General overview of that we covered. Guestimating what we get through next
Wednesday. We will talk about the test more next week.
The Blues is a music that incorporates the style of the African American culture
Country/ Rural Blues
Practiced by a single, male individual who travels from town to town in a small area
accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar.
Had a swooping sound, came to be associated with a lament, gives a voice to your troubles.
Not about complaining but letting other people know that they aren‟t the only one with
Themes include: Travel(couldn‟t travel, the only time slaves did was when they were sold,
had to try and travel to get a job), Economics (no jobs, hard to get, at least when they were
a slave they didn‟t have to worry about because they had no money and even if they did
they were property so they couldn‟t buy anything, now have to worry about this)and Love
(as a slave don‟t get to choose who you love, decision was made for you, get to make
choices in relationships.) We get to hear all of this in the blues.
About their struggles, everything that had happened to their parents and realizing how bad
things had been and still were. Expressing how new everything was.
Musical Structure also
12 measure phrases – only one based on this
a-a-b lyric pattern – based off of work songs it is believed
call and response between guitar and voice
associative coherence –make sense out of the music by connecting things
together, a lot have deeper meaning then what the lyrics simply say. Sunday
Morning Blues, has a job he hates, on the weekend can go an party has enough
money to do that, then realized when the week roles around again that he can‟t
change anything because he cant save his money because he goes and blows it
to relieve stress. Eagle flies on Friday, Saturday go out and play, Sunday go and
pray. Going to be in this trap for the rest of life, begging to get out of this
floating pool of verse – similar to work song, thousands of ideas just floating
around, construct songs in real time based on what they heard in that town.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
I IV I V IV I
a a b
Melodies and Chords. What they are.
The Blues tell you exactly what chords to play, one of the only styles of music to do this. 12 bars blues is wired into Western Culture, part of the reason why the blues structure is so
recognizable is because it is laid out so strictly, incredibly rigid in terms of structure.
Blind Willie McTell (1898-1959)
1929 recorded song “Travelin‟ Blues”, one of the first recorded example of this type of
blues, started with spoken narrative. Partway down the blues section starts, has associative
Distortion, Swooping, Acoustic Guitar, AAB form, This is an early country blues recording,
this is a style of music emerging into professionalism, he earned his living from playing
guitar yet esthetically he still is a folk artist. N longer being contained to African American
communities, more people are starting to hear it and as it emerges if becomes a
professional music culture.
In fact this song is only 10 and a half bars long because each section is only 3 and a half
bars long. Does it because he can, only him, no one to confuse, the more people you have
the more you have to rehearse or even have music, but when performing alone he does it
he can and because that is simply the way he sang the song. This is how he has always
how he did it, if you heard him perform it the next night it may be different. Not Self
conscious of what he is doing. Is not a professional in his mind, but shifting that way.
About travel and economics.
Robert Johnson (1911-1938)
Most famous country blues musician in history. Did things on the guitar that no one before
him had ever done. Wildly larger then life character. Started the 27 club. He was
poisoned, unknown by who. Used to go into clubs where jazz musician were playing he
would bring his guitar in a play, told him he sucked, disappeared for 18 months and came
back onto the scene as the best guitar player in history. Story about him meeting the devil
and him offering his life to if he can be the best guitar player. History is starting to be filled
in, believed he went to Memphis and learned with some of the jazz musicians around.
“Sweet Home Chicago? (November, 1936)
Intro Vrs 1 Vrs 2 Vrs 3 Vrs 4 Vrs 5 Vrs 6 Outro
2 12 12 12 12 12 12 2
Actually has an intro and outro, this is new
Has a very specific idea of what is to be done, well planned, thought out and practice, sets
up what‟s going to happen, uses dynamics, starts louder and then gets quieter into the
song. Strong musical ability, shows that he is a professional, innovates and thinks about his
music, does things to try to make himself unique.
Even Bar Count
Intro and Outro
Call and response
Style change from McTell to Johnsons shows style becoming professional
Changes in the Black Community (increasing access to jobs, increasing numbers
of black communities in urban areas) have made African Americans a consumer
demographics. Decide to start making for them specifically, even though they
are still the most marginalized. Blues artists now recording because a market exists for blues records. Previously
thought no one would find interesting. Lecture 3 – Development of the Euro-American
Music Industry 9/12/2012
Midterm – check Avenue to find out where midterm will be
Multiple Choice, everything, even listening
Majority of questions will deal with lecture material, if he said it or it was up on
board it could be in the test questions.
Have to know names and dates, order in which things happen
Textbook questions, go through the reading sections in the study guide, when
studying these sections know that there are text questions based on those
questions, each reading section has a title, keep title of section in when reading
Listening, 30 second sections played twice, last 6 questions are listening, 3
songs, 2 questions each. What style of music? What form is it? Who is the artist?
When it was recorded? Concept questions.
Low 30‟s for number of questions. More like a quiz.
Identify name, what were they responsible, date questions, concept questions.
Important Event for the “Standardization of Music”
Europe provides technology and industry that is needed for them music industry
1453 – printing press, allowed for mass production
1557 – Queen Mary – Stationer‟s Company – first copyright law, could take
someone‟s pamphlet get copy‟s made and then undercut the person who came up
with the idea initially. The idea that ideas belonged to people didn‟t exist.
Pamphleteers went to the Queen and saw an opportunity to get people to like
her, all pamphlets had to go through her and in return she would give soul rights
to their ideas and have people go around making sure no one is selling pamphlets
and if they found someone doing it then they would have to pay a copyright fee,
called royalties, went through the queen.
1831 – Amendments to the copyright law to cover sheet music. U.S. develops
copyright laws early, start to look at it to see how it can be amended and made
better. Expanded to sheet music. Tells us that by 1831 there were enough
people in the U.S. trying to make a living as song writers that the government
had to change the laws, music industry is starting to take shape
Minstrel Show and Parlour Music
Variety show that depicted African-American in a negative light. Mock
representation, still in time of slavery. Singers, dancers, comedians, actors, etc.
everyone would appear in what was termed blackface, take cork and burn it,
created black makeup essentially and would all go out with this on.
Been around for a very long time
Minstrel show orchestra - Acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, one or two percussion
instruments i.e. tambourine, sticks (known as the bones)
Presentation is very distasteful, simplistic, naïve, childlike, suggested slavery a
good idea so that they could look after them. Songs echoed this Most important composer was Steven Foster, believed to be the first important
song writer, Camptown Races Sing Their Song
o “massa‟s in de cold, cold ground” 1852
Vocal Control – is white culture, written by white song writers for
white listeners, performers were white. NOT black culture, in black
culture not about control, but distortion. In this case listening to
the voice and ignore all else, northern European value of control.
Demonstrated the divide of white culture and black.
o Idea is that master has died and all the slaves are crying because they
lost their “father”
Looks different but essentially the same thing. Shows another thing that is
needed for music industry….A Middle Class…..that‟s who buys stuff. For
thousands of years there was the aristocracy and then the lower class, until the
The Industrial Revolution – marks the period where we stop trying to scratch out
a living on the farm but move into cities, Urbanization, shift away from a living of
growing food but by doing something else. Marked by important transitions.
Shift away from monarchies to elected democracies. Also see transition of an
economy based on barter to one based on banking. Can‟t amass wealth when
bartering. Mesopotamians came up with banking. Beginning of amassing wealth
and heading it down from generation to generation. Some who were in the lower
class begin to climb the ladder and make it to middle class. By buying things in
large amounts is what the music industry needs to survive. That is what the
middle class does.
Women in family now become useless because they don‟t need to work,
esthetics, painted nails, big dresses. Trying to be appealing to men, vulnerable,
unable to do things.
Luxury Items – Piano – symbol of wealth, women start playing piano, useless,
lots of maintenance, if you can afford to buy, maintain, and afford to teach your
women to play this it is a sign of wealth
Profession song writers designing music especially for these people
“Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms – Thomas Moore (early
Intro Vrs 1 Vrs 2
8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
A A B A A A B A
On the verge of popular music. Proper young women singing this, it became part
of courting process, specially in business world, fathers matching their children.
Process to who sings and who plays piano.
Characteristics: o Piano Accompaniment – defining part of parlour music
o Themes – Loyalty, honesty, control, restraint, all things that one is looking
for in a good match. A society which wishes to deny passions, but marry
who your family says is appropriate to advance family. All parlour songs
had music like this, it was what was considered appropriate for young
women to sing.
o Vocal Control –standing very still, straight back, hand together, denial of
physical action, completely at odds with African American music. Very
similar to Minstrel songs, written by the same people. People trying to get
rich by writing and publishing song.
Beginning to see that everything we need for a music industry is in place. Demand for
newly composed songs leads to the increased organization of the music industry. But you
still couldn‟t get rich of music.
Tin Pan Alley
1892, Charles K Harris, After the Ball, it‟s a Parlour song, guy in love, leaves girl for a
minute goes onto the balcony, then sees her on the balcony with another man, kissed him,
only finds out later that it was her brother.
Became the song that every one had to own, Sold 5 million copies in a few
months. Made Harris a very wealthy man. Done through word of mouth, no
radio. Becomes the first hit song, changes everything, know that is it possible
that you can write a song and if people go crazy for it can be set for life,
beginning of modern music industry.
Why 1892? Huge rural to urban shift in 1790 only 5% of population live in urban
areas, 4 million, by 1890 35% in Urban areas, 63 million. By 1892 there was a
critical mass of urban centres who were willing to buy sheet music
What was Tin Pan Alley?
A way to create songs, an approach to melody, a place in N.Y. city where people
of the music industry came together, etc.
th th th
Place in NYC (West 28 street between 5 and 6 Avenue)
Becomes he center of professional music making
During 20‟s and 30‟s 21000 publishers, 36000 composers
2 stories about the name tin pan alley, popular story - all the windows open all
the pianos out of tune, sounds like cats hitting tin pans. Less popular story, more
likely – gold rush would use tin pan with a sieve to find gold, thousands would go
only a few would make it big, that‟s what they were doing.
Division of labour: composer, lyricists, publisher, publicity, performers, creates
consistency and equality, and if anything goes wrong you know exactly who to
fire. Essentially an assembly line. Standardizes music. The songs have a great
deal in common, this is the pop music of the first part of the 20 thcentury
o basic rhythm scheme
o Syllabic o Idealized romance – beginning and ending, not trying to change the
world, the insane parts of love
o Easy to play – still not selling records, but sheet music
o Easy to sing – phrasing and range
o AABA musical form
Music industry established in first decades of 20thc – tin pan alley – northern, urban, white,
middle class, based on commodity of sheet music
Changes in Technology
1877 – Edison invents the phonograph, was not intended for music, but for business, he
had no interest in the arts. The idea was though that it could be used for music, but the
quality was poor, and would only last for a few plays. Before anyone would take it seriously
for music work had to be done on it.
1892-1912 – transition from cylinders to disks, sounded a lot better and lasted a lot longer,
different companies had different speeds, couldn‟t use music from different makers on a
1925 – industry standardizes speed set to 75 r.p.m. – people now start buying recorded
music. In the past the music you listed to was either produced by you or someone
immediately close to you, now could listen to music from anywhere. This is a remarkable
change in how we listen to music, use music, etc. The music industry now exists!
1876 – The Player Piano – a piano with a wind up devise that would play the piano if you
fed through a sheet of paper with wholes in it that indicated what notes would be played
and how long they would be played for.
Both phonograph and Player piano were very popular. Mechanical reproduction.
Disadvantage - Player Piano, cost a lot, you only get piano sound, Phonograph had poor
sound quality, disks very fragile. Advantage – phonograph, could listen to anything, any
time of instrument, player piano, very good sound quality. Both were an opportunity to
make money, Player Piano‟s peek around 1920 and then disappear.
People started using them in there stores, not by live musicians but by a machine, this is a
problem. When a music is playing a song, you have to buy he music, composer gets
royalties. When someone buys the records then you don‟t get records. They were initially
intended to go home and listen to privately. But in a public place getting money using your
1914 – Victor Herbert, sitting in restaurant, hears his song, realized he isn‟t getting paid.
Realizes people should be getting paid for mechanically recorded music and royalties need
to be collected comes up with American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers
(ASCAP). Probably the largest performance royalties company in the world.
What was recorded?
Sheet music/ Tin Pan Alley (urban, white, middle class)
Black Music/ rural southern white music not recorded. There music doesn‟t come
out in sheet music form so it‟s not recorded
o Rural areas o Cultural chauvinism - Believed this music was not important and that
there was no point, who is going to but it, it‟s less valuable, not very
good. Nothing in it for them
Radio programming that makes money from airing commercials
Started in 1920, but by Jan. 1922 – 28 stations, by December 1922 – 570 station
Player pianos disappear because of this
Controlled by only a few networks (CBS, NBC, Mutual), already active in new
technology, picked up contracts as the came out
Very few independent radio stations exist, most run through NYC
Success of Radio
Television of time, have vaudeville, children‟s shows, etc.
Expensive one-time purchase, unlimited content, can keep listening, always new
content, kills the player piano and nearly kills record industry
Why buy records?
o People stop buying
Record industry concerned - needs to rind new markers
Artist and Repertoire guys
o Ralph Peer – Okeh Records, in 1920 wants to record a new song he just
found “Crazy Blues” (is a TPA song not blues)the singer backs out at the
last minute, band member says he knows a girl who would be awesome,
says bring her in, he does, the girl walks in and she is black, Mamie
Smith, Ralph says what the hell, and does it. First hit record sung by a
The radio would not play records had to be live, concerned what would be said.
Had to come up with something. Ralph was one of the most open mind of his
era, realizes can‟t beat them by doing what they are doing, can‟t play TPA, better
and cheaper, we have to change, realizes it‟s not what radio plays, but what it
doesn‟t, no focus on black and southern music, have to focus on that. Had
success with Mamie, realized maybe there is enough of a market in that industry
to stay a float and produce something that radios don‟t play.
Introduction of “Hillbilly” (southern rural white) Carve that possum 1927
Introduction of “Race” (black) How Long Blues 1927
No recording of blues until we get into 1920‟s, this is why, will result in Rhythm and Blues,
Country Western, while you may intend for one artist find their way into the home of other
listeners. 9/12/2012 3:37:00 PM
Barndance, i.e. the Grande Ole Opry, so important to Country/Western music that Nashville
become center for this type of music. Majority still went to TPA and that was where most of
the radio focused
Hillbilly Music – Carve that Possum, 1927, Uncle Dave Macon, people who make a living out
of folk music, don‟t think about making themselves unique
Has an odd time signature, been rehearsed, has background vocals
Race Music – How Long Blues, 1927, Carr and Blackwell, very successful duo in the 1920‟s
and 30‟s, Carr singing and playing piano, Blackwell playing guitar
not actually a 12 bar blues, is an esthetic, a way to play instrument, it is a blues
not actually country blues, was considered a next step because it was an urban
style, some of the first country music developed after country musicians come to
the city for the first time. Change of instrument focus, not guitar, but piano,
considered an urban instrument, can‟t carry one around, have 2 musicians, more
musicians taking part means more rehearsal. The acoustic guitar was soloing all
the way through the song, beginning need for electric guitar so he can be heard,
don‟t just want to play chords anymore need to be amplified to be heard
1930-1939: ASCAP repeatedly raises its licensing fee for radio
1940: ASCAP doubles fee
no one would wanted to pay anymore, ASCAP says fine you can‟t play any music
we license, means no TPA, now a lot of open space on the radio, now start
playing Race and Hillbilly, January 1 st1940 = race and hillbilly all the time.
Formed out Performing rights organization, BMI, Broadcast Musical Incorporated,
paid fees to the musicians whose music was being broadcast, not as much, but
The ASCAP boycott did not last long by the end of the year TPA returned to its
place, but not all the way as a door had been opened just a little, it was being
heard and change was starting, not everyone wanted to hear TPA, making an
effort to find and year the other music, White Middle Class
First demonstration in 1927, no one considered it as a mass media device, but for
educational purposes. By 1935 first station was on the air, programming all live, may only
be on the air for 4-6 hours a day.
WW2 breaks out and puts a hold on everything for 7 years, by 1945-6 stations on the air by
1955 there were 41 stations.
Radio sells the mass to networks, we are what mass media sells. Now can not only tell
people about shows, but show people, when you purchase the product you will be this
happy, way better then the radio was, now everyone starts moving to t.v., no one care
about the radio, by the late 1940‟s a lot of the radio licensing‟s that had belonged to huge
networks and are up for more local people to buy, a lot more of the program would be
WDIA, radio station in Memphis, purchased by 2 pharmacists in town, expect it to work the
same way as it had before, come in and make advertisement, no one came in, when owned by network, national sponsors. Realize most people are black and they are playing TPA so
the switch to Race music, it became the first black appeal radio station in 1948, listening
numbers going through the roof, advertising pick up. Within 6 years (by 1954) 200 BA
radio stations on the air. Start getting radio stations focusing in Hillbilly music.
In 1949, Billboard Magazine (more for industry purposed, come up with popularity charts,
had been tracking race and hillbilly music for some time) looked at how popular this music
was coming, realized these terms needed to be changed, insulting to the people who listen
to it, Race music became known as rhythm „n‟ blues and hillbilly music became country and
Radio is a media of BROAD cast, it goes everywhere, can tune in whether or not you are the
intended audience or not. For the most part it was the intended market, but there were
some people who were outside of that market, especially young people. Elvis Presley was
one of those people, this is where he starts to form.
Extended adolescence, before WW2 there was no such thing as a teenager. Previously
between 10-13 years old something happened to make you an adult, many cultures still like
that in the world. But most of the Western World changed after WW2, U.S. entered in 1941
after Japan‟s attack on Pearl Harbour, with the exception of that one day not a single shot
was fired in anger on U.S. soil. There are parts of Europe where everything is totally
destroyed. U.S. had become and industrial superpower, factories, rail lines ports, roads.
Everyone comes home from the war, to a nation where there were jobs for everyone,
changed the factories over to be appropriate for the world they now lived in, easy to switch
a factory that made bombs to one that made radios and t.v.‟s , everyone worked so
everyone could buy. Nuclear family – dad can go out and work and the women could stay
home with the children. Didn‟t have to worry about not having enough money, baby boom
because they could. And when they turned 12, the flip didn‟t switch, but could stay in
school and get an education, do what you want, because dad can afford it because of the
post war ideology. Could still go out and get a part time job, school was still main job, and
the money that was earned you got to keep, didn‟t have to give it to the family, you became
a new market, a leisure demographic, had money and could spend it on whatever you
Transistor Radio - a smaller radio, could actually carry it around, in the past radio listening
was something you did in a group, but with this you could do what you wanted and no
would know. Take it in the car. A new culture that defines you, creates a gap in the taste
of grownups and their children.
Ray Charles (Robinson) 1930-2004
born in Albany Georgia, blind at age 7, not good, poor, blind African American
Got a lucky break, went to a blind school and the teacher realized how talented
he was, could pick up any instrument and learn it quickly, can learn a song after
hearing it once
Decides to start a music career and joined Atlantic Records in 1952, only record
company that had any real clout that would take black musicians, when he
signed to them he started playing the music that became known as gospel Gospel is a sacred music that was sung by African American church after the Civil
war, this is not that, takes performance style of that music, the sound, but takes
the sacred elements out and replace it with secular.
I Got a Woman – 1953-54
In post war era TPA term is no longer used, pop, music is getting safer, at the
same time this song was out, the pop music equivalent was How Much is that
Doggy in the Window, people are tuning to Ray Charles
Chicago Electric Blues:
New form of Blues come out of Chicago
Muddy Water 1913-1983
Born in Mississippi
Played guitar and harmonica
emulated Robert Johnson
moves to Chicago, early 1940s
Switches to electric guitar in 1945, had tried to remain on acoustic for a while,
but the city is much louder, have drummers playing along, bass players, acoustic
doesn‟t cut it anymore. Electric guitar is the whole system, not just the guitar,
but the amplifier is just as important as the guitar itself, can also change the
tone, distort the sound, can make it edgier, in black culture is very desirable.
1946, records for Aristocrat Records, would later become Chess Records (very
important for the development of blues music)
Hoochie Coochie Man, written by Willie Dixon, 1954, very important to electric blues, as a
writer and producer.
Verse chorus (modifies 12-bar blues)
Verse: same music, different words
Chorus: same music, same words, may include the song title, may feature a heightened
level of intensity.
Popularity with white teenagers leads to moral panic, a lot of white middle class teenagers
tuning in, children need to be protected, know they are tuning in because of the popularity
charts, this is a problem, the world is changing, African Americans tired of hearing they are
equal, yet in reality not, still segregated, and after waiting for almost a century to be
allowed to access what the law said was already there they started demanding equal rights,
resulted in the Civil Rights Movement. Happened when BA radio station became popular.
The north ok with this, but there were still a lot of middle class white people saying this is
bad, don‟t want change. Moral Panic – many middle class whites saw a world where they
had grown up believing that despite what we say that everyone else is equal, they are not.
Cover Versions: 1954-1956, rerecording a song that was written or performed years ago,
are not trying to compete with the original song, talking about a period where for 2 years
the record companies were responding to a moral panic, songs that originally appeared on
the rhythm and blues chart is now appearing on the pop chart, cross over, because white
kids were going out and buying it after hearing it on BA radio. A week or two after the song
came out by the black artist it would them come out by a white artist. Completely legal, anyone can go a record a song that was previously written and try and sell it, can‟t claim
that you wrote it, have to send a percentage of the money to composer or composers
estate, can‟t change the song in any significant way, anything that devalues the copyright.
original came out in 1952, written and performed by a group called The Chords,
crossed over very quickly, signed to a minor label, Cat Records
a couple of weeks later a white version came out by a Canadian group called The
Crew Cuts, signed to a major label, Mercury Records
Chords Version June 1954
Intro A Interlude A B A Interlude Solo (A) A A out
4 8 4 8 8 8 8 16 8 8
Crew Cuts July 1954
Intro A A B A Sh-bm (A) Sh-bm (A) B A Interlude A Tag
4 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 8 8
Get AABA form twice, very clear cut, not obscured with other sections, very
reassuring sound, Sh-bm section replaces sax solo
Shows difference in perceived values. A lot of people afraid
Chords Crew Cuts
Form 1 x through AABA with interludes 2 x s though AABA clearly stated
Voice Distorted – use of lower octave in B Clean, no use of lower octaves
Backbeat Prominent Minimized – stressed beats 1 & 3
Solo Sax – distorted timbre, sexual No solo – repeats of “sh-boom” group
Won‟t let the Chords near your daughter, much closer, deep voice, unsafe, can hear the
physical proximity, less sexually threatening
The use of timpani in the Crew Cuts version is genius, used in orchestra, playing a gesture
from a children‟s cartoon
The Chords: #3 R&B charts, reached #5 on pop chart
Crew Cut: no R&B, #1 on pop chart, stayed there for 9 weeks, most popular song of the
Record companies didn‟t care about black and white but green, and only until 1956, because
by then a whole new generation of musicians were performing in the style of west African
culture, rock „n‟ roll Pop Music Lecture 5 9/12/2012 3:37:00 PM
Brett‟s Email: [email protected]
, Tuesday and Wednesday 5:30-6:30
Readings Chapter 3-4
New music targeted at kids being attacked, map of cultural values can be seen through
Not a racist practice by music industry, it was who could make the most money, played into
racist feelings, the same this is happening in country and western music as happened wit
the pop the way R and B did. Jimmy Rodgers one of the biggest cross over artists, did the
same thing to white artists here, in this case it was a class division, this C and W was for
low class Pop for middle.
Focus no on the artist, but on the song, people went out a bought the song they liked but
not the artist.
Singers didn‟t write songs yet, still TPA practice, 54-56, point where we see R and B and C
and W cross over, cover versions took out elements that made it specific to original genre
and make them white.
By 56 distinction of low and middle class pop music disappears. By 56 a new style
emerging, C and W and R and B and pop mashed together to create new sound, being
performed by white and black artists. The old genre title simply didn‟t fit, none of these
style, One other element that is new, songs were targeted at adult audiences in the past,
but now it will be focused on middle class teenager, a new niche market.
Rock „n‟ Roll – Alan Freed, a disc jockey who was very important to this genre
Not the first time term used, had been used as a term for partying,
Born in 1925
Originally “Billy and the Saddlemen” – had originally played western swing. Was
one of the first to catch onto new music style
Changed to “Billy Haley in the Comets” 1952, started covering R and B songs,
covers of songs from a few years previous
Early Hits with “Crazy Man, Crazy” and “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”
Rock Around the Clock (1954)
Becomes popular in 1955
How do we know its R and B
o Prominent drums
o Improvised solos
o Division of labour
o Electric guitar, very prominent
o 12 Bar blues is the typical chord pattern, no AABA
“Blackboard Jungle” stars Sydney Poitie, about an inner city high school which
was over run by juvenile delinquents, mixed race, the thing that united them was
there listening to rock „n‟ roll. Smash classical music records. This song started
This song was the peak of his career, not incredibly successful. By 1956 a new group of Rock „n‟ Roll musicians come around, he was nearly 30 though, by
targeting teenagers, they were more drawn to artists more similar in age. National Success
was coming to a younger generation.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977)
Tupolo, Mississippi, across from Memphis, born of twins, but brother died. From lower
economic class, but parents worked, got along and were loving caring parents, not dirt poor
as some believe.
Poverty brought people together, it didn‟t matter if you were black or white, had both
friends, went to both types of churches, listened to every type of music.
Was very busy, with music, auditioning, when he graduated high school got a job driving
Sam Phillips/ Sun Records (a white singer who could reproduce the sound a black singer
could produce)– 1958, 18 years old, walks into Sun Records, wants to record a record for
his mothers birthday. Marion says to Sam that se thinks she found the person, looses
number, comes back to months later to record for mom‟s bday, says yeah he‟s alright
Spring 1954 – Records with Scotty Moore (Guitar) and Bill Black (Bass), Sam doesn‟t hire a
drummer because he is white, figures her will be playing C and W, wasn‟t working as they
start recording, on break starts playing Blue Moon of Kentucky, had been a C and W will in
1947 by Bill Monroe, ¾ time, this is a country Waltz, Elvis, 10 years later, changes the
song, sounded more R and B, Sam sends Scotty and Bill back in to work on it, the moment
that changed everything, as the end, says that a pop song just about, important because
Elvis is changing the song, it is now in 4/4 time, songs were not in ¾ on the pop chart
generally, Lyrics remain the same at this point. A couple of days later they released
another version, a totally different song, improvised electric guitar solo, percussion is kind
of in this version, not a drummer, but uses the double bass, strings slapping back against
the fingerboard. Changes the words, not singing all the words, deliberately changed, huge
contract between 1 section and then the contrasting section. Beginning is totally new.
Extra syllables added, called vocables, purpose is to allow singers to sing more like
drummers. Words don‟t matter anymore, the sound itself expresses the feeling of the song.
What Elvis did through this piece was taking a song and fused it with R and B elements, but
it is not R and B and not C and W and it created something new.
Proceeded to do this with more music in both directions, once the record was finished Sam
sent it to a friend of his Dewey Phillips, Had a radio show, Red, Hot and Blue show, first
person to play Elvis, played the same record 20 times that night, the next day Elvis went
into the radio show and was interviewed on the air, First question was “Where did you go to
high school?” Why would he do this? Wanted to let listeners know if he went to a white or
black high school, this way people would know his race. People couldn‟t tell his race, people
were confused, because that Is how new this sound was, how linked they were to the
sound. This launches his career, for the next 18 months Elvis records for Sam Phillips at
Sun records, recorded 12 songs, did not record albums, recorded 6 singles, all of the songs
were covers, he never wrote a song, all artists he respects from years previous. Had a
cover of R and B on one side a C and W on the other. Had been fused with elements of the
one that they were not. Became known as Rockabilly. One of his nickname was “The Hillbilly Cat” Doing well but
not yet the Elvis that we think of, was a regional star, very famous in Memphis, and known
in the cities around it. Having hits on regional charts.
As 195 comes to a close starts to have national hits, clear he is about to become a national
stars. Sam Phillips dumps Elvis as fast as possible, at this point in time the worst thing
that can happen to an independent label is a national hit, don‟t have the money to be able
to create and distribute singles. Would result in bankruptcy. Sells contract to RCA, first
major record label to sign a Rock „n‟ Roll Star, gets $35 000 for Elvis, was able to launch
careers for people like Jerry Lee Lewis (Godness Gracious Great Balls of Fire), Carl Perkins
(Blue Suede Shoes), Johnny Cash, etc.
1956 – New manager for Elvis was Colonel Tom Parker, gifted promoter, could sell anything,
turned Elvis into a major star through media, got him on National television 11 times in one
year. Only 3 channels at that time, meant 20-30 million viewers. Everyone knows who he
is. Most famous popular musician in history.
Heartbreak Hotel – April-May 1956 first #1 pop/country/ #5 R and B
August to December 1956 – Hound Dog, Don‟t Be Cruel, Love me Tender #1 pop, Hound Dg
is the first song to hit #1 on all three chards simultaneously, is at number one the entire
time, never knocked down, everyone is listening. Great deal of controversy, still in midst of
A few months after first national performance Texaco Star Theatre, Milton Burl was host,
suggested that Elvis put down the guitar, has a drummer, D.J Fontana, playing Hound Dog,
get to end of song, sings much slower, sexually charged performance, all hell broke loose,
people protesting PTA upset churches furious, should never be allowed to be on national
2 Weeks later Elvis went on the Steve Allen Show, another prime time show, a performance
designed to try and calm the moral panic, Young white teenagers loosing control on
television. Had to purify image, no gyrating.
Original version of Hound Dog released in 1954 by R and B artist Willie Mae Thornton.
1956-57 Elvis is a phenomenon, becomes so obsessed by new sound that he looses R and B
hits, Colonel Tom is controlling everything he does, wants to maximize Elvis‟ earning
potential, by 1958 he is very focused and controlled by those around him
in 1958 he enters the American Army, serves 2 years, it was mandatory service. Didn‟t
fight, spent 2 years in Germany, Cold war had started. After WW2 Soviets in from East A, B
and F from west, looked at each other and said who will leave. both sides worried that the
other was going to vacuum up Europe, built huge army waiting for WW3 to break out, sit
their and wait, it didn‟t.
Came back in March of 1960, The world is very different and so is Elvis. Plays a few concert
between 1960 and 1961. March 1961 plays last public performance until end of the 1960‟s.
Colonel Tom realizes e can only make so much money with Elvis if he stays in music, puts
him in movies.
Focus on gospel music because Colonel believes he can get forgiveness for what happened
in the 1950‟s, it worked, but you can tell he is not happy. In 1968 filmed 4 hours of television, for an hour special, the 68 “Comeback Special”, can
still tell he is not really into it, but there is a moment when he comes out in a black leather
suit, comes out with Scotty and D.J. Fontana played a box, and a new bass player, the one
moment you see that guy again. Having fun.
Didn‟t work though, got an offer to do a bunch of shows in Las Vegas. 1970-77, never
leaves. Became more withdrawn, unstable. Loaded up on prescription drugs, forgets
words, laughs in the middle of songs, slurred speech, etc.
August 16 1977 he died, was 42 years old. The King died.
If it weren‟t Elvis it would have been someone else. There were others who were very
Chuck Berry – the black man who sounded like a white man
Guitar Hero – Guitar is as important as vocal – no covers
Elvis was a guitar wearer, Chuck Berry is a guitar player, it was part of him. Is the
definitive player in what the new style of rock „n‟ roll. No one tries to do covers of his
music. Can‟t remove the guitar, it would fall apart. First hit in 1955 in height of cover
Born in St. Louis, born to a middle class family, father is a handy man. Decides at an early
age to be a millionaire. Everything is done with this in mind. Decides to be a musician,
realized that as and R and B stay he won‟t be rich, he needs middle class white people to
listen to him. Sets off to get this audience, goes along with his father, looks at record
collections, wants to know what African American artists are liked by middle class white
audience, what do they like. WORDS! Want to be able to hear what you are saying.
Joined talent shows, won them all, he stood out, all his competitors were playing R and B,
but he was C and W, sings words harsh with a strong nasal qualities.
Tries recordings but doesn‟t really get anywhere, ends up at Chess Records.
Want him to do R and B, same thing that happened to Elvis happened to Him, started
playing a C and W song on break “Ida Red” say lets go in there and record it. Chess
brothers say you only make half the cash, you didn‟t write it, write new lyrics. Writes them
in the studio there, changed name to “Maballene” July 1955. First hit song, had lots of
words, is a text heavy narrative, Lots of words and tells a story. Launches into new style
that Elvis is making popular, see a lot of the themes that will become central in his own
music and rock musicians for the next 3 decades.
Cars – represent freedom
Girls – becomes more prominent, girls as objects, things to be acquired and
displayed. Still limited options for women in music. Split between mind and
body. Singing is body, Guitar is mind. Body is ok for women. Piano, Guitar, but
not synthesized instrument. Very small instruments allowed to play.
No School - Freedom
Rock „n‟ Roll – celebrating the music itself
Berry is deliberately writing for young white audience.
No covers – Why?
The words, lots of them
Guitar Already appealing to white audience because of the words, no one needs to
cover, no one will buy covers, already buying his
Johnny B. Goode (1958) #2 R and B/ #8 pop
Fuses elements of both white and black culture
Does it deliberately. Pop Music Lecture 6 9/12/2012 3:37:00 PM
Blue Moon of Kentucky – Elvis‟s is faster, style of voice different, change in melody (Elvis is
standardized), lyrics change, now aimed for younger audience
Hound Dog, Elvis loved it, wouldn‟t be allowed to sing it though because of lyrics, heard his
lyrics in Las Vegas and realized could do those. All the changed were made on purpose to
fit pop audience
Flip side of Elvis
Made a conscious effort to pay attention to what a white audience wants and learning how
to perform that way, wanted to be rich
Whites already liked what he was doing so no one felt a need to cover him
Johnny B. Goode (1958) #2 R & B / #8 Pop
New he needed to reach pop world for money and #8 on the pop chart is worth more then a
#2 on R & B
12 Bar Blues with a “text heavy” narrative
Close to New Orleans, lives in a log cabin made from earth and wood, not so
good in school except for music. This is the first verse, Hound Dog tells us
nothing about the song. Has “Text Heavy” narrative. Berry had figured out that
White people like words.
o Text heavy narrative
o Clear enunciation
o Groove is straight 8ths
o Swung 8ths = Gaped triplet, all R & B uses gapped triplets Willies Mae‟s
o Straight 8ths more common in white culture
o Country Guitar Sound – Bright sound (not the typical lower bass sound)
nasally sound, doesn‟t signify R & B with this sound
o Blues Chord Structure
o Added 6th (boogie woogie – related to R & B attitude, but played on piano
not guitar, Robert Johnson did this) Uses this pattern to accompany
himself, but uses straight 8ths, standard Rock and Roll accompany pattern
to this day
o Call and response between voice and guitar
o Guitar solo is structured on timbre and rhythm, not the notes that he is
planning but the way he playing. Play same note on different strings, the
shorter an thicker the strings get though the less bright they sound, Berry
uses this to his advantage, uses the different strings to make the brighter
sound more obvious, also warps the sound by bending on of the strings
into it. Sound sense not note sense
Combines all of these elements, the way Elvis did but did it deliberately
Chuck Berry was more influential then Elvis, Elvis never wrote his own music, did all covers,
guitar disposal, not a necessary part of his persona, and acoustic only rock and roll artist signed to a major record label, this is because he still fit the division of labour process, he
was a voice and a face. Chuck Berry was not okay with this, he played electric guitar,
important to R & B, wrote own music, this is why no R & B artists got signed. A new wave
is coming though, where people play instruments, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, these people
when looking at Rock and Roll don‟t relate to Elvis, because he doesn‟t write his own music
but Chuck Berry. The idea of self contained bands that write own songs and play own
instruments will become popular. Berry will be the model of the music industry until Hip
Hop, without him you don‟t get the Beatles, and eventually Rock. Could move around while
you played with electric guitars.
The Golden Age of Rock and Roll: This time period, 1954 (55)- 1958 (59), new sound
emerges aimed at teenagers, by 59 it was over, like they went extinct….
The Great Extinction:
Elvis – March 58 – Army, never again a character of innovation, rest of career is
Chuck Berry – driven by money, Chuck Berry‟s favourite Chuck Berry song was
My Ding A Ling, made him the most money, invest his money, by the late 50‟s he
owned a string of night clubs. Had a family friend asked about a family friend of
his, asked is there something in one of these clubs that this girl could do, drive
her over the river to club to be coat check girl, gets pulled over, girl was 14 and
white, first red flag, bridge was also a state line, Mann Act, written in 1800‟s,
designed to protect white women from being brought over state line to be sold
into prostitution. Charged, appealed, but had to go to prison, 2 years. Never
again truly famous
Jerry Lee Lewis – May 58 – Marriage to 13 year old cousin becomes public,
Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire most famous song. On tour when it
became public, worse because he wasn‟t out of divorce from his wife. Judged on
a different standard, from small southern rural community, was common,
common around most of the world. Everything pulled, tour cancelled, could
never again be an innovator
Little Richard – October 57 – Tuity Fruity is most famous song, Quits Rock „n‟
Roll and enters Bible College, thought he was doing Satan‟s work by playing Rock
„n‟ Roll, also Bi sexual, continually plagues by his two passions, constantly going
back an forth between the church and rock „n‟ roll, never had that sane level of
Buddy Holly – solid bodies electric guitar, Peggy Sue is most famous song,
major force in song, on tour February 59 and gets a chance to fly to the next gig,
pilot, Big Bopper, Ritchie Valans and Himself, plane crashes, every one dies,
becomes known as the day the music died
Created a space, almost a vacuum, industry having trouble, need a chance to get
back in the game and this gave them the chance.
The In Between Years (1959-1963) The end of the “Golden Age” of Rock and Roll, to the arrival of the Beatles (February, 1964).
In Between suggests we are in a holding pattern but not the case
The return of Tin-Pan-Alley based musical production, How to make Rock and Roll
in the system of division of labour
Changes in technology – go back to WW2, but we will now see them come into
Reaction against the perceived integration of youth – pulled the race card to a degree,
morals, ideas that had been stuck in the closet, rock and roll dangerous, experts making
extraordinary claims, about rock and roll being linked to juvenile delinquency, lead to
cannibalism, connections with Satanism, communist plot meant to undermine the American
youth, European countries (Russia) say it was America doing this, worst was that is lead to
Have figured out how to produce rock and roll, but we need to figure out how to make
people buy theirs over what is already out there
Birth of Rock and Roll coincides with the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement
May 1954. Brown vs. Board of Education, most cited and best Supreme Court
decision. African American student tired of separate but equal education, not the
same though, White schools had better buildings, newer text books, better
teachers, had opportunity. Some students took educators to board, demanding
that racially divided school to be eliminated. Supreme Court agreed to dissolve
them. Did not happen easily, in some states the Governor called the national
guard and blocked the entrance of the school to stop the black students from
entering, Federal government calls in army to stream them in, these were kids
with hundreds of adults screaming at them, just children, going to school with
December 1955, Rosa Parks – Montgomery Bus Boycott, sits at the front of the
bus, illegal in Alabama, if you were black you sat at the back, there was a line
and a sign, she went and sat down in her half of the bus, there was a white
passenger, no seats left at the front, demands she leaves her seat, despite the
fact that there was an empty seat, she says no, starts screaming at her, she says
no I am behind the sign, bus driver comes back, starts screaming at her, takes
sign and moves it behind her, says move now, she says no, gets arrested. The
entire black community said they would not ride the bus until the signs to be
taken down and she was released of all charges, it took a year, but people would
not budge and the bus company, in part because of the embarrassment this was
causing, but also because they realized how much revenue was from them and
they decided to take down the signs. Rosa Parks lived long enough to see Barack
Obama elected, a courted a great honour, body was laid in state for a day after
death, only done for presidents. Rosa was one of a group of people who were
looking for an opportunity to do something, seized the moment when it came.
That group was lead by her pastor, a young man with extraordinary ideals, Martin Luther King Jr. She was well respected and needed a moment that would seize
the attention of others.
A flood of civil right protests takes place, starts with black, but others join in.
Freedom Riders – illegal for people of different race to sit beside each other
when crossing a state line, a group of whites and a group of blacks would do this
at any chance they could. In one case, a group blocked a state line, pulled them
off the bus and beat them, the police did it
Lunch Counter Sit Ins – there were lunch counters in the department store,
whites only, black kids would go and sit ask to be served, said no, would just sit
there all day, do homework etc. did it day after day until the embarrassment
resulted in change, happened in movie theatres, with drinking fountains, non
Martin Luther King Jr. – Non Violent Protest
Was in the middle of the Golden Age of Rock and Roll, they came hand in hand
Major labels attempt to reassert control over popular music
Put music back into the hand of the professionals (ASCAP)
1954 $200 Million/year, 1959 $600 million:
Pop Top 10: 1955 – 15% Rock and Roll, 1959 – 42% are Rock and Rill
Independent share: 1955 21%, 1959 66%
The industry is becoming worth a lot, but the majors don‟t get rock and roll as they want
division of labour, Attacked it
Attacked on the grounds of “good music”
Payola Hearing (bribery) – Say that the only reason rock and roll on the radio is because
they were bribing radio stations. Alan Freed became main target of the hearing.
Government hearings occurred, senators getting involved. Alan Freed accused of taking
bribes, the problem was that he was taking bribes. Every one was and it didn‟t start with
rock and roll, but with the music industry, since TPA. Bribery and intimidation has been
going on as long as there was a music industry yet this was the way to get rock and roll out.
Alan Freed played the independents, no covers, lost job, chased out of New York, hounded
by government, by 1962 that he became chronically ill and died in 1963, because he
supported rock and roll.
Major Labels now creating there own brand of Rock and Roll, no matter how dirty they were
they were given a pat on the back.
Dick Clark (American Bandstand) – inherited it, essentially a show where they played
music and you watched teenagers dancing, very popular
By 1957, weekly audience of 20 million
Played records and kids danced, usually white kids, occasionally black kids at the
back, Ideal clothes, loose skirts, collared shirts, slacks, etc. Would dance,
modestly, then Dick Clark would come and interview them, where they give the
ideal answer, the point was that there were kids dancing to rock and roll and the
weren‟t bad, they were dressed appropriately and answering questions to fit the
social norms, therefore rock and roll is safe But there was a catch, as we move
into the in between years, the rock and roll they are listening to are not from the independent labels. Major labels had figured our how to create it in the form of
division of labour. Half the audience was adults, showed that it wouldn‟t destroy
culture, had to listen to that one. Dances created by major record companies
The Dance Craze
Would feature an artist singing a song whose title was the man dance of the song
and the song would include instruction on the new move, would tune in to learn
these new dance. And at the dance on the weekend you would know the new
dance. This was all from the major labels, but not the street
The most famous is “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, received his name from Dick
Clark‟s wife, she loved Fats Domino from the Golden Age, Dick Clark owned him. Pop Music Lecture 7 9/12/2012 3:37:00 PM
Television to 9 tonight
Don‟t worry about 5 guys named Mo??
Beginning of British Invasion, often viewed as a dull or boring period
Major Record companies screwed up in the Rock „n‟ Roll era, but the universe interceded
and the labels got a chance to get there hand it. ASCAP managed to get government
hearings to question how rock „n‟ roll was getting on the air, Payola, bribery was always
there but this but a new light on it. Alan Freed, lost everything, brought on criminal
charges, tax invasion, made him sick and he died.
Dick Clarck, doing even worse thing, but was on T.V., could see that kids were not turning
bad, his music was not the product of independent label companies, a new type of rock „n‟
roll, was written by TPA, new era of TPA.
Had exsisted for a while, but took time to figure out how to use
Magnetophone: end of WW2
Nazi‟s should not have lost, had the smartest people working for them, created the rocket.
May have had nuclear weapons a year before the U.S., but it was designed by Einstein who
was Jewish and Hitler said no, etc. etc. etc., Hitler was a control freak and said NO. When
the Allied forces were pushing them back found all sorts of cool stuff that they had to
abandon, one U.S. groups job to find cool stuff. Jack Mullin, Sergeant in US Army. Goes
into radio station and finds a Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder
Allies were trying to murder Hitler but to hard to find him. Would do a radio show, and then
be some where else the next day, etc. this was way, was previously recorded and couldn‟t
tell, until they found it.
U.S. army didn‟t have enough time to research all the stuff they found, government would
pay the people who found it to try and figure it out. He realizes that it would be good for
music industry. In 1947 demonstrated tape recorder to Bing Crosby. Was a pop star, radio
star, etc. Radio shows done live, was a problem for Bing as he was all over the place, so
when his radio show was on he had to find a studio to do it live, it was a pain, problems
were always arising. Saw the magnetaphone and though in 2 week I can set up an entire
seasons shows in 2 weeks, not distorted, reliable, etc. He was the first person to prerecord
a network show. No dead air, can edit out what you don‟t want heard. Allowed for stuff like
prerecorded laughter. Bing had a musician friend, more of a techy then him, but gave up
music because he hated recorded.
Gives one to Les Paul (1915-2009). Known as TPA pop star in the 1940‟s and 50‟s, has a
TPA show. Invented most of the foot pedals for guitars. Made one that would echo guitar
Les Paulverisor. Les Paul and Mary Ford show, all about technology, Mary Ford very
talented Guitar Player. Les Paul dappled in Jazz and country music. His real obsession was
sound. Guitar, figured out early on that you no longer needed the whole in the guitar if you
were amplifying it. Would make sound sustain for longer, in 1941 puts theory to the rest,
“The Log” Took a railway tie, through some pick ups on it and a neck, took it to a gig and it
worked, looked weird, people were like WHAT, dejected to carved a body and attached it
and everyone said OMG that‟s amazing. By end of the decade enters agreement with Gibson guitar company, 1952 Gibson Les Paul. What makes it special? It is a solid body
electric guitar, not acoustic in anyway, changed what you can do with a guitar and an
amplifier. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Ace Frely (Kiss), Slash (Guns „n‟ Roses) all use this
Les Paul brings over reel-to reel and realizes it‟s exactly what he is looking for, will allow
him to layer parts on top of another, one instrument at a time, new there wouldn‟t be a
problem with sound distortion. Took it apart and when it was done he have an early
multitrack tape recorder. Make the take wide not skinny, as it travels from one reel to
another it is imbedded and if it is bigger then you can add more tracks separately recorded
one at a time. Can listed to it after he has recorded and then play another track with it, etc.
etc. etc. Allows for editing music, can replace part of one performance in one section from
days, weeks or months earlier. Can shape music through technology. Can sped stuff up,
slow it down, run it backwards. Makes performances that are humanly impossible to
recreate on a concert stage.
1953: Sitting on top of the World (with Mary Ford)
Only had 2 people recording it.
Had distortion, parts played at a slower speed and then sped up
When did this performance take place? Cannot identify that, occurred