Unit 1: pg 1-15, 16-33
- Elvis came on the scene in the 1950’s starting a shocking movement that the Beatles, Madonna,
and Prince continued in the coming decades
- Term “rock and roll” is generally used to describe the first wave of Rock from 1954-1959
o Others term “rock” as music after 1964
Rock History in the Media
- Magazines such as Rolling Stone and Mojo, books, and cable networks such as VH-1 and MTV
take the history of rock and bring it to the general public, promoting interest in rock history
- In many cases, information found in the popular media is designed primarily for entertainment
and can be skewed and unreliable due to the majority of revenue for these outlets being
brought in through advertising
The Fan Mentality
- Fans of rock music listen frequently to the music of a particular artist, group or style and gather
interesting facts about both the artists and the music
- When it comes to studying music, it is important to keep the “fan mentality” at bay, as fans tend
to ignore artists they do not like, which create an imbalanced learning curve
- Charts help us draw general conclusions about the general popularity of a song or album at the
time it was released
- Charts can also be useful to compare certain songs on the way they fared on different charts (ex.
Song may be #1 on country music chart, but only #5 on Billboard chart)
- Charts help to avoid the fan mentality
- However, charts are not precision instruments for measuring a song or albums success, and they
do not accurately reflect the influence of some songs
- They are the best instruments to judge listeners changing tastes, even if they are flawed
- Record Industry awards gold records for sales of 500,000 units and platinum awards for over 1
million units sold which is a more accurate measurement of popularits of an album or single
Four themes of Rock Development
- Four themes (outlines throughout the chapters of the text):
o social/political/ cultural
o development of music business
o development of technology
- Music business has changed dramatically since the 1950s, as the rock element of business has
- Rise of radio in 1920s or TV after WW2 contributes to the development of music technology as
well as culture
- Race class and gender are essential to understanding the origins and stereotypes of rock
Tracking the Popularity Arc - In the 1970s few New Yorkers were aware of the emergence of the punk rock scene until it took
spotlight in 1978
- The rise of punk from a small, regional underground scene to mainstream pop culture, and its
subsequent retreat follows a pattern called “popularity arc”
o Most specific rock styles follow this template
How did this style arise?
When did it peak in popularity?
Does it still exist in culture somewhere?
What to listen for in Rock
- Musical Form: the structure and organization of different sections in a song or piece
- Instrumentation: the types of instruments used in a given recording can drastically change the
way a song sounds and allow for variation within a performance
- Rhythm: the ways musical sounds are organized in time
- Beat: regular rhythmic pulse
- Meter: the way of organizing rhythm and beats, how many beats per measure, how beats may
o Simple meter: when each beat is evenly divided into two parts
o Compound meter: when each beat is evenly divided into 3 parts
o Duple: meter grouped into 2 parts
o Triple: meter grouped into three beats
o Quadruple: meter grouped into 4 beats
o Note: if time signature has /8 it is compound, if it has /4 it is simple
o Quadruple compound time is thought of as “shuffle” rhythm (12/8)
- Verse: section with repeating music and non-repeating lyrics
- Simple verse form: employs only verses
- Chorus: section that repeats the same music and lyrics in each presentation
1. Rocket 88
2. Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
3. First rock and roll song
4. This song is in a quadruple meter; each bar is divided into four beats. You can count the
beats ONE-two-Three-four in time with the bass on the recording. Beat one is the strongest,
beat three is the second strongest and beats two and four are weak.
a. The meter is simple because each beat is divided into two parts; you can hear this most
clearly by counting along with the saxophones from 00:50.
b. The song is played with a shuffle rhythm; the beats are divided into two, but the two
parts are unequal: ONE-(and)-uh-two-(and)-uh-Three-(and)-uh-four-(and)-uh. The word
“and” in brackets is silent. This type of rhythm is also called “swing rhythm.”
5. The instrumentation of this song includes electric guitar, drums, piano, and saxophones.
Work to distinguish each sound in the mix.
6. Musical form: simple verse
7. Song features: first rock and roll song, actually written by ike turner, 12 Bar Blues
- Common structural pattern found in rhythm and blues, rock and roll, many styles of jazz
- Consists of 12 groups of 4 beat measures
o Falls into 3 groups of 4: measure length, phrasing and lyrics, chord structure
o First four measures: phrase; feature a lyric repeated in the subsequent 4 measures; the
lyric in the final four measures often complete the thought begun in the initial phrase
o First line in each verse is repeated in the second phrase, with the third phrase
completing the thought with a new line
- Doo-Wop progression: most often associated with doo-wop of 1950s
o Can form the underlining structures of songs line Sh-Boom, a chord on every beat
forming a harmonic pattern that repeats through the entire song except the bridge
2. The Chords
4. Quadruple meter, simple, shuffle rhythm
5. Instrumentation: drum, electric guitar, saxophone, bass, piano, solo vocals, lead vocals
6. Musical form: simple verse with interludes and a bridge
7. Song features: The record rose to #3 on the rhythm-and-blues charts and #9 on the pop charts
(#2 and #5, respectively, on the list of Most Played Jukebox Hits), an almost unheard of feat for a
crossover hit at that time. The Chords were also the first R&B group in the 1950s to put song in
the Pop Top 10
1. Heartbreak hotel
3. Genre: blues
4. meter/ rhythm: quadruple compound, shuffle in four
5. Instrumental: bass, piano, guitar, drums
6. Musical form: simple verse
7. Song features: heavy use of echo and reverb, elvis’ first ever gold record AABA Form
- Associated with mainstream pop before the birth of rock and roll
- 32 bar scheme, most common formal pattern in Tin Pan Alley songs
o First 2 bar phrases are similar (A-A), third is different (B), last is similar to the first 2 (A)
- When entire AABA structure is repeated: Full Reprise
- When only part of AABA form returns: partial reprise
Simple Verse Chorus
- Single musical pattern is used at the basis for both verses and choruses in a song
- Melody portion may change from verse to chorus, while the chords underneath stay the same
- Biggest difference between simple verse and simple verse chorus is the presence of a repeating
set of lyrics to form a chorus
Contrasting Verse Chorus
- The verses and choruses of a song employ different music
o May also include a bridge or section that provides a contrasting non-repeated section of
music and lyrics and turns into a verse or chorus
Great Balls of Fire
1. Great balls of Fire
2. Gerry Lee Lewis
3. Genre: rock and roll, country
4. Meter/ rhythm: quadruple simple
5. Instrumentation: piano, drums, bass, vocals
6. Form: AABA, full reprise
7. Song features: reached #2 on the Billboard pop charts, #3 on the R&B charts, and #1 on the
country charts, his first original recording, ranked as 96 greatest song in history
The Carter Family “Can the Circle Be Unbroken”
Words and Music by A.P. Carter, recorded in 1935. Released before the era of country charts in the
Form: Simple verse chorus
Time Sig: 2/4 with dropped beats
Instrumentation: Acoustic guitar, two female and one male voice, with one female voice taking lead
during verses and choruses sung in three part harmony The Crickets “That’ll Be the Day”
Words and music by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison and Norman Petty, produced by Norman Petty. Reahed
#1 on the Billboard pop Best Selllers in Sotres chart, and #2 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers in
Stores chart in 1957
Form: Contrasing verse-chorus with instrumental bridge
Time Sig: 12/8 shuffle in 4
Instrumentation: Electrical guitar, acoustic bass, drums, lead and backup vocals
Simple verse: - all verses based on same music, no chorus
Simple verse chorus: - verses and choruses based on same music
Contrasting verse-chorus: - verses and choruses based on different music
AABA: Verses and bridge based on different music; can employ full or partial reprise
- The rhythmic patterns drummers play work something like the gears of a clock, with some gears
moving quickly and others moving more slowly. The high-hat or ride cymbal is often used for the
fastest notes, played in a regular stream. The bass and snare drums are generally played at slower
intervals, and often seem to be in dialogue with one another.
-Most drummers will use one pattern for verse and another for bridges or choruses, and also break the
pattern to play “drum fills” that help lead the music from section to section.
-The bass player’s job is to “lock in” with the drummer rhythmically, and to provide the important bass
notes to the chord progressions played by the guitar and or keyboards. Within the rhythm section, the
bassist is a kind of bridge between the rhythmic and harmonic dimensions of the music.
-The distance between the tuning of guitar and bass strings is what musicians call an octave a lower
or higher version of the same note.
- the rhythm guitar fleshes out the harmonic dimension by playing full chords,
- the electric guitar produces little sound on its own, but can reach high volume levels when connected
to an amplifier.
- the rhythm guitar part complements the bass and drum parts
- the singer focuses on the melodic dimension of the music
- The singers job is to create melodic interest and deliver the lyrics in a convincing manner-one that
does not seem contrived or unnatural in comparison with normal speech.
- in order to create contrast in arrangements, an instrumental solo is often introduced somewhere
past the midpoint in a song. This might be a saxophone solo(the Coasters’ “Yakety Yak”), a guitar
solo(Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”), or a piano solo(Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls of Fire”). - Sometimes in arrangement can feature several solos, as in “Yes’s Roundabout” In all of these cases,
the instrumental solist is the central focus of the music for the duration of the solo, taking the place
usually reserved for the singer. The job of the rhythm section remains the same as it was during the
other sections of the song. In this regard the solo is itself subordinate to the sung sections of the
- horn sections often consist of compbination of trumpets, trombones and saxaphones used to give a
tune a little more punch
- strings can make an arrangement sound bigger and more elegant. Strings are often saved until late
in the arrangement and are employed to give the end of the track a convincing lift.
- Deep Purples “smoke on the water” is a prime example of how rock music from the mid 1960’s is
organized in terms of instrumentation. The track follows the contrasting verse-chorus formal pattern:
has a lengthy intro, then four verse-chorus pairs, then with a coda rounding the tune off.
- smoke on the water begins with the electric guitar alone play a four measure blues-inflected riff that
is then repeated. The third time through the guitar riff, the drums enter(0:17) first the high hat alone
and on the fourth time through, the snare drum as well.
- two principal approaches to thinking about what a recording represents. First is to think of the
recording as an “audio snapshot”. This is meant to reproduce a live performance as faithfully as
possible. This is used frequently with classical, jazz, and folk music. The second approach is to exploit
the possibilities offered by the studio. These sounds would be impossible to re-create in a live setting.
- the recording studio aslo allows instruments to be combined in ways that would not easily work in a
natural acoustic setting. This has been shown in the early 1970’s in shows for combining instruments
- snapshot approach, it is crucial to find a space with “good acoustics”
- artificially create a room sound-often referred to as ambience- via electronic means, and effect is
called reverb. Most commercially available electronic reverb units (or digital plug-ins) offer settings
that reproduce the sound of small rooms, medium-size rooms, large rooms, auditoriums of various
sizes, churches, and number of unnatural spaces
- echo occurs when sound bounces back to our ears to create two sonic images of the same event
-“Where Did Our Love Go?” offers an example of studio reverb when we hear the clapping.
- the most famous echo can be found on Elvis Presley’s Sun recordings
- the more reverb or echo, the farther away the sound seems to be
- Frequency also plays a major role in recording techniques, as equalizers are used to affect the
quality of most sounds. Each note played by an instrument is acalled its “fundamental” but along with
this note, every instrument also subtly produces otherm higher notes that help to form the tone, or
- Adjusting frequencies of sound is often called EQ which is short for equalization. A good recording is
“EQ-ed| to produce a balanced distribution of frequencies. EQ can also help to highlight certain
instruments, and keep instruments in a similar range from covering each other up, resulting in a
crisper, clearer, more defined sound.
- first decade or so, most rock music was recorded and realised in monophonic sound, mono,
meaning speaker playback and no possibility of stereo imaging. - Almost all the Beatles records, for instance were original released realised in mono, with later stereo
- 1960’s however, stereo was preferred format for albums and FM radio
- mid 1970s complex stereo mixes had become the norm
- music projects progressed in tandem throughout the late 60’s and 70’s , as listeners purchased more
sophisticated stereo equipment to get the full effect of the music
- “Sonic Landscaping” is controlling the way of hearing the stereo effect. Using the right left speaker in
- Mixing: combination of ambience, EQ, stereo placement and overall volume-are controlled from a
mixing board. This is used for one to record the sound to tape and secondly to playback
- in classical music the job is to capture the natural ambient.
- use of tape after WW2 allowed engineers to begin experimenting with multi track tape, creating
recording from multiple performances. Early recording tape could store three tracks of music. As the
60 and 70’s progressed more became available
- digital audio workstations became less needed when software such as GarageBand and ProTools
came out, which are now considered the older mixing boards
- “Josie” by Steely Dan is structured using compound AABA form, meaning that each sections of the
AABA is made up of smaller verse and chorus sections.
- Variuous forms of video based media-including television, films and music –videos have enabled rock
musicians to reach audiences visually as well as aurally. Images are formation of cultural tastes for
dance, fashion and behavior
- 1980’s, variety shows presented compelling rock performances on network television. Often
historical because they included real time (not lip synced) music performances.
- early dance shows included American Bandstand and the Arthur Murray Party. American Bandstand
ran till the 1980’s. During 1970’s disco oriented shows such as Soul Train and Dance Fever continued
this tradition, 1980’s audiences enjoyed programs like Solid Gold and Dance Party USA. MTV in 1980’s
and later TRL.
Learning Activity 1.1
1. Look up and memorize the following terms in the Glossary in your textbook. Listen to Rocket
‘88’ until you have been able to hear what is meant by each term. You will need to listen to
the whole song and read and follow along with the listening guide several times.
Simple Verse Form
- The verse and chorus sections employ the same underlying musical material,
though the lyrics and sung melodies of each section are different. The form
consists of these verses and choruses presented in alternation though more
than one verse may occur before the chorus Instrumental Verse
- A verse section that repeats the music of the verse, without the singing and
with an instrument soloing, is an instrumental verse. Guitar, saxophone, and
keyboard solos are common, though any instrument can solo in a instrumental
- The bar of music is the number of beats per bar. These bars usually have the
same number of beats in them throughout a song. Word bar is synonymous
- In the broadest sense, the owrd rhythm refers to the organised patterning of
the temporal dimensions in the music. More specifically we can refer to a
rhythmic figure in the music, which is usually a short segment with a clearly
defined profile of some kind. Meter and meter classification are aspects of the
broader aspect of rhythmic organization. And are discussed at greater length
in the Introduction.
- A meter classification classifies how we feel the organization of the rhythm for
a particular song or passage. In this book, meters are classified as either
simple or compound, and then as either duple, triple, or quadruple. A meter
classification can be notated using specific meter, and though there are
several meters than can be used with each classification, there are six meters
that are most common.
- The establishment of how we will notate music within a certain meter
classification. Each of the meter classifications discussed in the Introduction
can be represented with several meters, but some meters are far more
common than others, especially in rock music. Of the simple meters, 2/4 , ¾,
and 4/4 are most common, and among the compound meters, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8
are most common.
Duple Meter (Simple)
- When there are two beats in a bar of music, the meter is classified as a duple.
Duple meter is commonly notated as 2/4 if it is a simple feel or 6/8 if it is a
- Often a way of playing 4/4 that transforms it into something closer to 12/8.
The four beats in a measure of 4/4 are each divided into two equal parts,
making for a scheme that goes 1 & 2 &3 & 4 &. In 12/8, the same measure
would divide the beats into three equal parts, resulting in goes 1 & ah 2 & ah 3
& ah 4 & ah. A shuffle uses the second of thse schemes, but the & is ofeten silent, so we get it like this. This sound somewhat like the first scheme 4/4,
since it has two elements per beat, but unlike the first scheme, the elements
do not evenly divide the beat.
2. The instrumentation of this song includes bass, drums, piano, and saxophones. Work to
distinguish each sound in the mix.
3. This song is in a quadruple meter; each bar is divided into four beats. You can count the
beats ONE-two-Three-four in time with the bass on the recording. Beat one is the strongest,
beat three is the second strongest and beats two and four are weak.
4. The meter is simple because each beat is divided into two parts; you can hear this most
clearly by counting along with the saxophones from 00:50.
5. The song is played with a shuffle rhythm; the beats are divided into two, but the two parts are
unequal: ONE-(and)-uh-two-(and)-uh-Three-(and)-uh-four-(and)-uh. The word “and” in
brackets is silent. This type of rhythm is also called “swing rhythm.” Again, you can count this
along with the saxophones from 00:50. If the rhythm were “straight,” the sub-division of the
beat would be into two equal parts and would be countedONE-and-two-and-Three-and-four-
Learning Activity 1.2
Now let’s listen to a couple of more complex meters.
1. Look up and memorize the following terms in the Glossary at the back of your textbook.
a. Triple Meter (Simple)
- When there are three beats in a bar (or measure) of music, the meter is
classified as triple. Triple meter is commonly notated as ¾ if it is a simple feel,
or 9/8 if it is a compound feel.
b. Compound Meter
- When we subdivide the basic beat into three equal parts, this creates a
compound feel, which is notated using compound meters such as 6/8, 9/8, or
most commonly, 12/8.
2. For triple meter, listen to Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page.
a. Count along like this: ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three. Beat one is strong, beats
two and three are weak. You can hear the pattern most clearly in the opening bars,
before the vocals begin. The bass is heard on beat one and a strummed guitar is heard
on beats two and three. The result is a “BOOM-chuk-chuk” sound common to all
waltzes. The effect is lilting and dance-like.
3. For a compound meter, listen to What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
a. In compound meters, the bar or measure is divided up into two, three or four beats,
just like simple meters, however, each beat is then sub-divided into three equal parts
(in simple meters, the sub-division is always into two parts). You can hear the division
of the beat most clearly in the plucked guitar in the opening bars. Count the sub-
division of the beat in a fast ONE-and-uh-two-and-uh along with the guitar. This time,
the “and” is NOT silent.
b. The primary beat can be heard most clearly between the bass and a rim-shot on the
drum (the drummer hits the rim rather than the skin of the drum, it sounds a bit like “clack”). The primary beat in this case is duple. Count along with the bass and drum in
a slow ONE-two.
c. The effect of compound meters, because of the triple sub-division of the main beat, is
also rather lilting and dance-like.
Learning Activity 1.3
“Timbre” (pronounced TAM-burr) is a musical term that refers to the quality or “colour” of a sound.
For instance: consider the difference in the sound of a flute versus a trumpet. You can distinguish one
from the other easily because their tone qualities or timbres are different. We generally use rather
poetic and subjective adjectives to describe timbre: the timbre of a flute is bright, brittle, or thin,
while a trumpet’s timbre is bold, brassy, or round.
In popular music, timbre is most often considered in terms of the vocals or the guitar sounds. The
timbres generally change according to genre and can help you identify one from the other. The
timbres used in different genres also carry meaning within the genre, which we will discuss in more
depth in later units. For now, just practice listening for timbre. Try coming up with other adjectives
that describe each timbre to you.
1. For a thin, nasal vocal timbre, listen to Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson.
2. For a smooth, crooning vocal timbre, listen to White Christmas by Bing Crosby.
3. For a harsh, heavy, clashing guitar timbre, listen to God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols
4. For a light, thin, guitar timbre, listen to Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley
Learning Activity 1.4
1. Look up and memorize the following terms in the Glossary in your textbook:
o The 12-Bar Blues
- The twelve-bar blues is structure that forms the musical basis for many
verses, choruses and even bridges in rock music. It can be divided into three
4-bar phrases. The lyrics to the first phrase are frequently repeated in the
second phrase, with new lyrics appearing in the third phrase, creating a kind
of question/ question repeated/ answer model as the words unfold. The twlve-
bars blues also emplys a specific arrangement of chords, and this is explained
in greater detail in Interlude One. In the history of rock, the twlve-bar blues is
strongly associated with 1950’s rock and rhythm & blues. Even when this
structure arises in later rock, the reference to the 1950’s is often clear.
- A phrase is a short passage of music; often in rock music, phrases are four
measures in length (sometimes in eight measures). A phrase is akin to a
sentence in spoken language and divides the music into units that make it
easier to comprehend. Vocal phrases often correspond to obvious points of
division and articulation in the lyrics being sung UNIT 2 pg 34-50, 51-73
The Nineteen Twenties, Thirties, and Forties:
- The decades of the 1920s, 30’s, and 40’s in America were to a great extent shaped by three
crucial events: the end of World War I, the stock market crash of 1929, and World War II.
- When the war ended, Americans felt simultaneous relief and fear, therefore upheaval in world
politics was reflected in the arts, with the emergence of riotous new forms of literatures, dance,
- In this period, songs remained the dominant form of pop music in the 1920s, but the radical
sound of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and others helped define the decade musically. F Scott
Fitzgerald dubbed the 1920s the jazz age, and jazz’s strong rhythms, jagged melodies, and big
sound made people get up on dance, with female “flappers” dancing right alongside their male
- Then followed by Black Tuesday, million lost their jobs.
- Franklin Roosevelt was elected, which give jobs to people.
- At the same time holocaust occurred in Germany.
- Upon the surrender of the Japanese and Germany, American soldiers returned home as
- A bill signed by GI. Bill, allowed more Americans to attend college, creating a baby boom that
has a consequences in American Cultures. Since the children will have money and spend it on
The World before Rock and Roll
- In 1956, Elvis Presley appeared in a show which was the source of considerable controversy. On
one of the show, Milton Berle Show, Elvis had launched into an improvised ending to the tune,
grinding his hips suggestively as he sang. In spite of the protests form the parents. Elvis became
the central figure in the new kind of popular music intended for teens: rock and roll.
- Rock and roll developed out of three principal sources that preceded it: Mainstream pop music,
rhythm and blues, and country and western.
- It also tells that new technologies such as radio and television play an important role in critical
Building a national audience for music and entertainment
- Sheet music publishers and professional songwriters
- Newly development of technology such as television and radio made huge impact on
- In the first half of twentieth country, the primary method of distribution was by selling sheet
- Tin Pan Alley, is the place where songwriters and producers clustered to form the geographic
heart of this industry. - Many songs followed the sectional verse-chorus format, in which the chorus is the part of the
song listeners are likely to recognize awhile the verse is an introduction that sets the scene of
- Usually in a style of AABA form that is 32 measures.
- The sectional verse-chorus is rare in rock and roll, but it plays a central role in rock.
- In Tin Pan Alley era, the basic unit of trade was the song itself, not a specific recording of the
song. A successful song was recorded by a series of artists, each trying to tailor the tune of his or
her personal style.
- Professional songwriters composed songs, and publishers worked to get each tune heard by the
public. At the same time, the songwriters themselves were rarely performers, so publishers had
to “pitch” songs to artists who might consider performing them.
- With the rise of musical theatre in 1930s, broadways musicals became a prime vehicle for bring
songs to the public.
- When sound films became popular in 1930s, musicals were often released in film versions and
new musicals were composed expressly for the movies.
- Radio was the best way to promote a song during the 1930s and 40s, and was dominated by big
bands form 1935-45 and by star singers from 1947-55.
National vs. Regional
- By the end of nineteenth century, majority of Americans lived in a world very much conditioned
by their local and regional surroundings.
- Musical time is usually identified by the particular regions of the country.
- Usually play or hear performed in person, at a vaudeville show.
- Later, technological and marketing developments in radio and motion picture made the same
kinds of popular entertainment available throughout the country, in many ways breaking down
- The first technology innovation was radio, this allows some pope styles to become national
while others kept their regional identities.
- Mainstream pop targeted white, middle-class listening audience that is played on network radio.
However, low income listeners were most excluded since country and western and rhythm and
blues is what they listen, as a consequence they retained their regional distinctions.
The rise of the radio networks in the 1920s
- The radio broadcasters tried to get radio into every home in America by building high power
- The government also licensed a few stations for exclusive use of a particular frequency, which
could regularly reach entire multistate regions.
- The second way to reach a large audience was to link a number of local and regional stations
together to form a network.
- The network has a few advantages: programming could be run from a central location, and it
was possible to run live broadcast from member stations. - Live radio was also an important vehicle for music publishers, who had to convince bandleaders
and singers not only to perform a song, but also using the song in their live show would serve
their career interests.
- Through the medium of radio a song could become popular almost overnight, with radio a song
could be heard far and wide in a single performance.
- Radio in the 1930s and 40s performed their music live on the radio since before 1945 it was
considered unethical to play records on the air.
- It was a benefit to live musicians who took advantage to work opportunities afforded by radio to
fill the gaps between network programs and other contexts.
- Some stations employed a studio band for local programming.
Regional Styles of Country and Western Music
- “Country” Music in the Southeast in the 1930s. Country and western music remained mostly
regional until after 1945.
- There are many styles of music that come together as “country and western” kept distinctive
regional accents until the late 1940s, when Nashville became a hub for this type of music.
- The regional styles can be divided into “country” music from the southeast and Appalachia, and
“western” music from the West and southwest.
- Ralph Peer, a producer who roamed in South in search of what record companies called “hillbilly
music” which he recorded many of the earliest country performers.
- He travelled towns, setting up gears as he went, and local musicians lined up to record on his
“Western” Music in the Southwest and California in the 1930s
- Western music reflected the wide open prairie of the cowboys.
- Gene Autry was the first singing cowboy to be appear in the Wild West films.
- Patsy Montana made her mark as the singing cowgirl with “I want to be a cowboy’s sweet heart”
and featured a yodeling style influenced by Jimmie Rodgers.
- Historians may dispute how authentically western some of this music was, but for the national
movie-going public, these artists defined “cowboy music”
- Western swing also helped to define western music as a style that put a cowboy twist on the big
- In addition to rhythm section and horns, as one might expect of a radio dance band, western
swing featured fiddles, a steel guitar and mariachi style trumpet from Mexico, an example is
Will’s “New San Antonio Rose” .
Jimmie Rodgers: The first star of country music
- The historical and cultural context in which country and western music reached a mainstream
pop audience are essential element to understanding the overall development of these styles.
- Rodgers’s music and performance made him a national star, he was primarily a solo performer,
who sang and played the acoustic guitar such as “Blue Yodel”.
- He was later imitated by western singers such as Gene Autry, Ernest Tubb and Eddy Arnold. Rural and Urban Blues
Migration Patterns from the Rural south to the Urban North
- In the beginning, pop music played by black musicians and intended for black listening
audiences was called race music until Jerry Wexler coined the term “rhythm and blues”.
- During first half of the twentieth century black pop music was outside of the mainstream pop.
- This is a reflection of racial segregation in American culture; most white, middle class Americans
were simply unaware of most aspects of black culture.
- However, migration of the African Americans helped to integrate regional African-American pop
styles into the American cultural mainstream.
- After WWI, blues enjoyed several years of popularity with mainstream white pop listeners, in
particular the sheet music of W.C. Handy whose “Memphis Blues” and “St. Louis Blues” sold well
- The history of selling blues record can be traced to the 1923 million-selling song “Down Hearted
Blues” sung by Bessie Smith. However, her career began to fade as blues fell of the commercial
- Many blues recording exist because record companies scoured the South trying to find new
rural blues artists who might repeat Bessie Smith’s success. One example is Robert Johnson,
whose 1936-37 recordings become enormously influential on rock guitarists in the 60s.
- Johnson is also a performer who sang to the accompaniment of his own acoustic guitar playing.
- This allows the artist to add extra beats or measures as the spirit moved them. (ex. Cross Roads
- As African Americans migrated to urban areas, blue musicians moved into city bars and clubs
forming combos using electric guitars, bass, piano, drums and harmonica.
- While much of the development of the development of rhythm and blues during 1940s
remained regional and outside of the pop stream, Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five became
popular with mainstream listeners through a series of singles such as G.I Jive, Caldonia Boogie,
and Choo Choo Ch’boogie.
- He adopted fast tempos but pared down the instrumentation to only a rhythm section and
saxophone, a move that worked both musically and financially.
- He used humorous lyrics often touched on pressing social issues such as racism and poverty.
Regional Radio and the Black Experience in 1950s America
- In the 1950s, a new approach to radio disseminated rhythm and blues outside of regional black
- Advertisement is important as it support the radio station work financially.
- As black populations began to grow in urban areas, different programs and stations provided
black stations- or programs directed to a black audience on otherwise white stations- began to
pop up around the country.
Independent Labels Target Regional Audiences - As radio stations devoted to rhythm and blues arose across the country, so did record labels
specializing in black popular music.
- Most of the new record companies were independents- that is, they were not part of a larger
corporate conglomerate like the major labels that dominated the music industry at the time.
- Major labels had enormous financial sources, manufacturing plants and sophisticated
distribution that allowed them to get their newest records out quickly.
- The smallest independent labels were staffed by only a few people, which required driving from
store to store and distributing records out of the trunk of a car, this meant that they can only
- Since blue market is not as profitable as mainstream pop, as the major devote its resource to
pop, which leaves resources for small independent labels to survive.
The singer steps forward
The singers and the big bands
- As country and western and rhythm and blues are growing, large scale changes occurred to
mainstream pop, especially after WWII.
- During period 1935-1945, often considered the big band era, pop music was created by dance
bands that employed a rhythm section of bass, drums, piano, and guitar combined with a horn
section of trumpets trombones and saxophones.
- They created arrangement of Tin Pan Alley songs music that is appropriate for dancing.
- The celebrity in the band was its leader as the musicians and singers often changed frequently.
- Arrangement during the big band era emphasized the band, often allotting only one time
through the chorus of a song for the singer. And some does not have vocals at all.
- In big band music, the vocalist provide the variety. Because of the emphasis on instrumental
playing in the big bands, there was a close relationship between big band music and jazz.
- In this era, a number of performing artists developed careers independent from any particular
band. Such as Bing Crosby, whose relaxed, crooning made him a favorite in both U.S and abroad.
- He also acted in films and hosted his how variety show.
- He projected a wholesome friendly and paternal image.
The Singer Steps Forward
- The singers and the Big Bands
o 1935-1945: considered the Big Band Era
o Employed a rhythm section of bass, drums, piano, an guitar combined with a horn
section of trumpets, trombones, and saxophones
o Emphasized the band
o Many important jazz musicians played in big bands
o Despite the general focus on bands during the big band era, a number of performing
artists developed careers independent from any particular
o Most important pop singer in the 1930s and 1940s was Bing Crosby - Frank Sinatra
o Was a singer with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands (Sang an occasional solo
but mostly sang on the sidelines)
o Became a teen idol almost instantly
o Very dedicated to his craft and frequently acknowledged that much of his vocal phrasing
and technique was based on his study of the musicians he worked with during the big
o Sinatra encouraged more singers to take centre stage
o Financial pressure forced many big bands to break up
- The Sound of Pop in the Early 1950s
o Pop music in the first half of the 1950s is sometimes dismissed as being hopelessly corny
and stiff, especially in comparison to the rhythm and blues of that era
o Before rock and roll, mainstream pop music was produced for a family audience and
teenagers were expected to enjoy the same music as their parents and grandparents
Pop music mostly avoided topics that might be considered unsuitable for
Example: “I’m sittin’ on top of the world”
o Early Rock and Roll was directed primarily at young people
o Aspects of this music that might seem corny and naïve in retrospect resulted from trying
to create music for a well-rounded audience
o It is possible to detect elements of the rowdier, youth-oriented rock and roll that would
Recordings and Radio Further a National Sound for Country and Western Music
- Superstition Radio Broadcasts in Prime Time
o In 1922, Atlanta’s WSB went on the air featuring local country music
o WBAP in Forth Worth began a barn-dance program
o Within a few years, local and regional radio stations across the nation were programing
country music, especially WSM in Nashville and WLS in Chicago.
o WSM broadcast the popular country-oriented program the Grand Ole Opry, while WLS
produced the National Barndance
- Country Music during WWII
o Many listeners go their first sustained exposure to country and western music from
their fellow soldiers
o When the troops returned home, many retained their newfound affection for country
and sought it out in their hometowns
o Some soldiers voted Roy Acuff as being a more popular singer than Frank Sinatra
- Nashville Becomes Country and Western Headquarters
o Nashville became the centre of most country western music, recording, and publishing
o Had been home to the Grand Ole Opry since 1925, and by the late 1940s the Opry have
become the most highly regarded radio show in country music
The Broad Range of Rhythm and Blues
- The Influence of Gospel Music (Rural Southern Church Tradition) o One trait shared by most rhythm and blues styles during this era was a debt to gospel
o The vocal emphases and embellishments that rhythm and blues singers frequently
employed, as well as the call and response between the soloist and the chorus, were
drawn from typical gospel practices
- Chess Records and Chicago Electric Blues
o Ike Turner (scout for Sun Records) claimed he searched churches and bars for talent
o While gospel was clearly grounded in the sacred, blues was strongly secular
- Atlantic and Black Pop
o Atlantic Records in New York was an independent company that reached a broad
audience with recordings made by African-American performers in the 1950s
o Taken together, the music of Chess and Atlantic exhibits the wide stylistic range of
1950s rhythm and blues
o Although these were among the most prominent independent companies of the period,
there were many other regional labels that produced R&B records during this era
o Immediately following WWII, doo-wop groups began to emerge from urban
o The singers in these groups often could not afford instruments so they used their voice
as their instrument (sang “a cappella”)
o The songs were sometimes derived in the AABA form derived from Tin Pan Alley and
cast in a rolling compound rhythm pounded out as chords on the piano
o Example: Sh-Boom
The Big Business of Country and Western
- Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys
o During the 1940s, as country music began to thrive and Nashville became the hub of the
country industry, new styles emerged.
o Most prominent of these was bluegrass
o Sounds old-fashioned but actually developed in the late 1930s as a form of commercial
- Hank Williams: A Short Career the Cast a Long Shadow
o In the early 1950s, Hank Williams became an iconic figure in country and western music
o No one matched the popular appeal of this singer-songer from rural Alabama
o Williams’s singing style shows the influence of both Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb and his
many vocal inflections create an impression of sincere emotional expression
o Williams’s lyrics are direct and simple and his performances seem to come right from
Rhythm and Blues as a “Dangerous Influence” On American (White) Youth
- Stagger Lee and the Black Male Swagger
o Perception of racial differences influenced the way in which mainstream America
received rhythm and blues
o The Stagger Lee myth: the idea that some black men are especially defiant, and often
driven sexually o This type of swaggering black man was frightening to law enforcement due to his lack of
compassion and was though to be constantly on the lookout for virginal white women
o Convinced many white parents that rhythm and blues was a dangerous influence on
their teenagers, and many worked to have this music, and the rock and roll that later
developed out of it, abolished
- Hokum and Fun with Double Meanings
o Within black culture at midcentury, there was a well-established musical tradition of
songs called “hokum blues” that poked fun at various aspects of adult relationships,
mostly centered on sexual relations and the many situations that can arise in this in this
- First half of the 1950s: rhythm and blues, like country and western was in many ways very
different from mainstream pop
- Until 1955, the music business remained highly segregated into pop, rhythm and blues, and
country and western markets, with most of the media exposure and industry dollars dedicated
UNIT 3 pg 74-95, 96-111
- With the creation of the suburbs in the 1950’s a rise in the ownership of
automobiles sky rocketed as people lived further from the city centers
- With the rise of the automobile came the rise of the AM radio that they
usually came equipped with. This helped to fuel the rise of rock and roll
which was developed in the fifties and gave teenagers a chance to listen to it
away from their parents control
- During a time where sexuality was kept in severe check, playboy magazine
was released which caused a great stir because it is was out of norm for that
- It is believed that in the year of 1955 rock and roll began to develop into the
musical category it is in today. Believed to have grown from the rhythm and
blues genre, the believed primary rise to rock and roll was the rise of youth
culture and emergence of independent radio along with record labels.
- The beginning of rock and roll was difficult it was viewed as something just
for white teenagers, a genre separate from their parents and grandparents,
unfortunately it was viewed by the older generations as bad influences on
young minds so it was difficult for labels to be successful
- The fifties saw the rise of the disc jockey (DJ) as white teens become
fascinated with rhythm and blues which was believed to be a black genre
labels wanted to get this music on the air. So a man named Leo Mintz from
OHIO sponsored a late night radio show hosted by Alan Freed for teenagers
to listen to.
- In order to get your music heard it was crucial to have it played on
jukeboxes in restaurants and bars as this was the main area people were
introduced to records - PAYOLA- is the term used for paying disc jockeys to play your music on
- Most important magazines in music history are “cashbox” and “billboard”
with the charts that these magazines included it would help labels, store
owners and business determine what music was popular today
- One of the most successful early rockers to crossover from rhythm and blues
was “Antoine “Fats” Domino”, who had giant success in the pop charts
while his close associates would say he was more of a country and western
- Chuck Berry was another large artist in the late 1950’s who had success
crossing over from rhythm and blues to pop and reaching the top 50 on both
charts with his first hit “Maybellene”
- Berry was known for making “story songs” like his song “school day” which
was chronicling the daily events of an average teenager
- Most of Berry’s songs were in simple verse chorus form, often employing a
chorus structure influenced by the 12 bar blues
- Little Richard was the next big artist in the 1950’s to crossover between
rhythm and blues to pop. He was said to create to the “wild man” persona
around rock and roll for his on stage antics and flamboyant style. This
unfortunately made it difficult for him to generate fans in the older age
groups as his music was too sexual to some people, Berry and Fats both had
strong country western backgrounds so older white people still listened to
them but Richards music was too much for them.
- WHITENING OF RYTHEM AND BLUES- many early rock and roll songs
referred to sexuality in their lyrics this was not a very big selling point in the
1950’s so many remakes would be done changing the sexual parts to
dancing. William John Clinton Haley Jr. was a disk jockey and also part of a
country swing band in Philadelphia, his version of rhythm and blues didn’t
include the sexual lyrics but was still quite popular across all demographics
- With all of the success that these early artists were having it become habit to
watch a song rise of the rhythm and blues chart and cover it with a more pop
version. Unfortunately this did not allow the crossover of the original song
or the original artist who was quite often black and they felt “ripped off”.
When artists would sign contracts with labels they often signed away any
future royalties or rights to music so they could be paid up front for shows.
This then gave the record companies all of the power to use the songs and
allow for white artists to take the songs and then use that version for cd’s,
jukeboxes and radio.
- The main concern this raised was artist covering songs only a week or two
after they were released, and justifying it by saying rhythm and blues versions would not play on white radio so they had to remake it to get out to
the white culture on pop radio
- Pg 96-111 not received
Unit 4 pg 112-126, 127-153
The Demise Of Rock And Roll And The Promise Of Soul
Chapter Study Outline
Splitting up the Market:
Brill Building and ALDON Publishing
- 1960s return of pre rock and roll
- Brill Building - Both place and stylistic label
o The brills building is an actual place (located mid Manhattan) however “brill building” is
also a style of music of early 1960s, But it is also a stylistic label and refers to set of
- Brill Building approach:
o Song chosen for appropriate group- in this process the actual recording artist is not the
center of the process
o No unpredictable or rebellious singers, this returned power to publishers, a return to the
way business was done pre rock
- Aldon Music – Practices in Brill Building; by Nevins and krichner- aldon offices contained musical
instruments songwriters etc
- Best known professional at aldon: Barry Mann, Cynthia Weill, Gerry goffin, Carole king, Neil
sedaka, Howard Greenfield
Teen idols page 115 - 116
- The rise of Pat Boone & Elvis during the first wave established 2 distinct types of teen idols:
o The good boy – clean cut
Elvis- respectable boy from the army
Good boys were cast as ideal boyfriends: well groomed, attractive,
sensitive and not interested in anything more than hand holding and an
o The Bad boy- tough, sex -obsessed hoodlum whose parents tried hard to keep
their girls away from
- Teen idols recorded for both independent and major labels with almost equal success
between 1957 and 63
- Philadelphia produced an especially high # of hits including… o Frankie Avalon – “ DedeDinah” and “Venus”
o Bobby Rydell – “wild one”
o Freddy Canon “ Palisades Park
o Paula Anka, Bobby Darwin & Neil Sedaka- wrote many of their own songs
- Although mostly white, found popularity amongst black audiences, with Bobby
Rydell,Freddy Cannon,Neil Sedaka: all scoring top 20 R&B hits during this period
- Let loose by Bob Marcui Philadelphia based chancellor label is a good example of
musical problems that the teen idol adaptation of rock and roll could produce for the
first wave rock fans- song written by brill building producers
- The emergence of teen idols in late 1950s inaugurated the “bubble gum” music
- Paula Anka, Neil Sedaka and Bobby Darin all got their starts as teen Idols, each
translator their careers into songwriters and performing for a broader audience
- 1960 teen idols marketed on radio and special television shows devoted to teen pop, the
most important of which was American Bandstand
The dance CRAZE, AMERICAN BANDSTAND, AND THE TWIST (116 – 118)
- 1960s teens in habit of running home after school to watch American Bandstand
o Reinforced idea of national youth culture
o Familiar radio show adapted to television
o Best known host- dick Clark
o Performances were lip synched
o Spurred interest in dancing
o Reinforced youth culture
o Dick Clark introduced “the twist” in 1960
o Bandstand responsible for teen dance craze and representing American youth
- While American bandstand was responsible for igniting 1960s dance craze, its greater role came
to play in Americas youth- having a network dedicated to youth reinforced idea of national
youth culture- unifying teens by a common bond
- Movies played by well known music sins also played a role in this sense of community and
- Elvis- huge teen idol of this time, was making family-oriented films and Frankie Alvan jumped
- Paved way for Beatles to come in
- Bandstand also helped make rock more acceptable for adults- the twist lead to adults admitting
they liked rock and roll for the first time
The Rise & Fall of American Bandstand
- Page 120-121- by john Jackson
- During first 3 years of American bandstand, Clarke clobbed together a pop music dynasty of his
- By 1959 he owned scores music
- 1960 chubby checker recording of the “twist”- dance fads arrived more rapidly than ever
while bandstand increased so did ABCs stature, leading them to reduce
after President Kennedys assassination- two events effected the future of
Bandtsand: Clark relocated his show to Los Angelas while the following Sunday CBS launched Toast of Town where the Beatles were introduced – marked
begiinging of diminution of American Bandstand
Folk music and Putting Away Childish Things (118 – 126)
- College-age listeners
- Seemed more "real" than commercial pop
- Long history of addressing problems in society such as poverty, while singing and
advocating for social change from a left wing political position- this lead to problems for
ex, weavers blacklisted for being accused of siding with communist party
- Folk had Popular appealthrough 1940s
- During the first half of 1950s, the Weavers (with Seeger) had a series of pop hits “On
Top of Old Smoky”, “So Long”, “Goodnight Irene”
- Folk had a long history of addressing problems by the less fortunate
- Advocacy for social change– left wing
- During Red Scare (1950), folk artists ran into problems as the u.s government attempted
to identify communists within its borders
- For instance, the Weavers Career was cut short when they were blacklisted for reported
having sympathy for the communists
- By mid 1950s folk singers were forced onto pop mainstream and only later returned by
1960 back into pop mainstream- by this time artists were once again political, aligning
themselves with civil rights and later opposition of Vietnam War
- Key component of folk that attracted many listeners was it marked populist culture;
greater sense of community, with performance made by regular people
- Although the description of folk music during folk song movement (1958-65), much of
the Untutored quality of folksingers was studied and self conscious
- A big part of Folk cultures, to college people, appeal was the Break with the norms of
- The Rise in folk lead to brief fascination with Calypso music
- “Jamaican Farwell” and “Banana Boat” by Harry Belafonte are the best examples of this
easy going, soft pop style featuring Caribbean folk inflections that seemed exotic at the
- Dave Guard, Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds began performing folk to college audiences and
adopted a named inspired by Belafonte’s Jamaican hits
- The Kingston Trio version “ Tom Dula” climbed charts until reaching number one in
1959- initiating folk revival in mainstream pop
Kingston Trio – #1 in pop in 1959, in many ways defined folk music for most general
- Importance of album sales
- In the years that followed the first hit records of Kingston Trio, Two sides of the folk
revival were developed:
o Those who explored rich literature of documented folk music
o Commercial, pop-based acts
Kingston Trio – began to climb charts in 1958, group had 10 singles
Highwaymen, the Rooftop Singers, & New Christy Minstrels were
oriented much toward pop culture Formed in New York’s Greenwich village in 1961, Peter, Paul, and Mary
eclipsed eventually Kingston trio – most successful folk group of 1960s –
group had strong commitment to civil rights protest movement
Their lasting popularity was a result of the groups ability to represent
both strands of folk revival, Constructing an image of maintaining and
believable sense of authenticity and sincerity and approachable
performance style- this was largely constructed by music industry
- A comparison of Peter, Paul, & Mary’s version of “blowing in the wind”’ with Dylan
illustrates the important difference between folk music of this period
- Dylan makes no concession to pop sensibilities, while the Peter, Paul, Mary version is
professionally sung, played and arranged (by Milton Kun) – increasing its likelihood of
appealing to a pop audience
- At the time Dylan’s performance would seem rough and amateur, until later on in the
- 1960s folk music – sincerity and authencity- constructed by pop industry
- Such constructions of authenticity bear out the notion that no matter what sort of image
a performer projects, he or she is still apart of the entertainment business
- Even if the performer was actually sincere, it would never be enough to simply show up
and be oneself, these qualities of sincerity is projected onto the stage and those know
how to do so
Similarities to Brill Building pop
- Similarities between folk music and brill pop are striking; these styles were 2 faces of the
same business in early 1960s
- Each carefully crafted to appeal to distinct age group within youth culture
- The images of these 2 styles contrasted strongly- pop was superficial and cute, while folk
was serious minded and intellectually engaging But their business mechanisms that
marketed the music often the same
- Both polite in comparison to first wave of rock and roll and much of this is family
orientation can be attributed to the control being exercised within the music business
during this period
Page 122: Kingston trio “Tom Dooley”
o Simple verse chorus, beginning with the chorus
o Entire song repeats same 8 bar music for verses & choruses
o Verses presented in same way each time with lead vocal supported by two part
o The chorus is presented first in unison then in 3 part harmony, then in a more
complicated arrangement for 3 voices that introduces the new melody over the
o the last 2 bars of the chorus are repeated 3 times, a technique often used to close
out a tune called “tag”
- Time signature
o 12/8, a gently rolling four beat feel
Instrumentation: acoustic guitar, banjo, acoustic bass, lead vocal, and 2 backup vocals Ambitious Pop: The Producer
- Major companies usually hired A&R Men (Artists and Repertoire), who organized and
coordinated the various professionals involved with making tracks
o Early version of the producer
- The producer was vital in shaping the sound of a record
- Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and Phil Spector are among the most important emerging
producers of the 60’s pop scene
- Leiber and Stoller – Vital team of songwriters in the first wave of rock in the 50’s
- Vital team of songwriters in the first wave of rock in the 50’s
o Created “Hound Dog” among others, later worked on writing many more songs
o Formed Spark Records in LA in 1953
o Artists often had to work around the sort of sound the duo wanted to communicate
o Offered position producing at Atlantic
Strongly rooted in R&B and complex arrangements
Retained the right to work with other labels and musicians, largely
Worked closely with the Robins making a number of hits but later had
troubles moving them to Atlantic. The group renamed to the Coasters and
had many hits
o Playlets – Songs revolving around mini-narratives infused with drama and humor
Wide range of influences, but were particularly rooted in black culture and
struggles of the time
- Phil Spector – Important to the revolutionizing of the pop sound, the “wall of sound” and
in particular his work with girl pop groups
o Worked under Leiber and Stoller in the 50’s as a teen
o Demanded total control over production and direction of the record, seeking to
infuse each recording with his signature sound
He often crammed a massive amount of instruments into small places
Gold Star Studios in LA
Sounds from one instrument would be picked up by several microphones,
often linked to other instruments.
All of these were combined to make one monophonic backing
Also used doubling of different versions of an instrument playing
the same note or passage to get a unique sound for each part
HEAVY use of reverb to meld all the sounds together
o All this served to make one overarching sound that was
difficult to separate or break down o Frequently used the same group of professional studio musicians known as the
“Wrecking Crew” to accompany the vocal elements of a track
Used a recording machine that could take 3 distinct tracks
1) Guitar, bass, piano, and percussion usually on track 1
2) All vocals on a second track
3) Extra string accompaniment on the last track
These 3 tracks would then be mixed to make one mono track that would
make the record
Developed a reputation as a perfectionist, often rerecording sections until
it matched his specific vision
o Ex. “Be My Baby” by the Ronnettes, became what Spector referred to as “teenage
symphonies” as they were heartfelt pop ballads with lush instrumentation and an
Mono recordings made it very difficult to cover, gave a unique sonic
o Girl Group pop as opposites
Blatantly commercial, with formulaic structure giving off a “wholesome”
Still they provided a huge basis for artistic experimentation from
producers like Spector, which had not really been afforded to rock and roll
in its previous incarnation
Later would become much more incremental to Rock recording,
especially to the psychedelic sound
The Rise of Soul
Leiber and Stoller produced many hits in the genre of “sweet soul”, more aligned with the soft
pop elements of R&B
o Nat King Cole was one of the leading soul artists of the 60’s, alongside Johnny
- Sam Cooke – Had 29 singles place in the Top 40’s between 1957 and 1965.
o Came from the pop side of the gospel sound
o In the similar vein as Ray Charles who had a number 2 R&B hit in 55
o Based around much sweet vocal crooning marked by melodic flourishes
- The Drifters – Had a number of hits under Atlantic but the group wasn`t together strongly
and the label was reluctant to let them go
o Started working with Leiber and Stoller to redefine the sound
- Ben E King – Influenced by Sam Cooke, worked closely with Leiber and Stoller
o Lead vocals backed by the Drifters o Fired from the band in 1960, complained that the members weren`t being paid
o Music greatly influenced by a number of cultural backgrounds, particularly Latin
- Influenced by the Southern sound and the recording sound of the Brill Building
o More geared towards teens and parent-pleasing
- The Everly Brothers – Easygoing country infused sound
o Scored hit with ``Bye Bye Love``, placing on all 3 charts
o Signed to Columbia in 1955 but dropped later
o Later signed to Cadence with the help of their manager Wesley Rose, where they
scored 15 additional Top 40 hits
Scored 7 more around 1964 at Warner Brothers
o Their early career relied on songs from Boudleaux and Felice Bryant
They later wrote more of their own hits
o Relied heavily on harmony and lush melodies over sweet-country guitar
Steel String acoustic guitars
Higher end vocal range without much vibrato, straight forward tone
- Roy Orbison – From Wink Texas
o Finally released his first single ``Ooby Dooby`` on Sun in 1955
o Didn`t have much chart success in the 50`s
o By the 60`s he had signed to indie label Monument and released 19 hit records
o Had a country infused sound but also turned to more general pop numbers and
Heavy use of Falsetto, much like Elvis
Influenced extensively by doo-wop
- Ricky Nelson – The son of two musicians, he had extensive experience with radio early
o Signed early to Imperial where he scored 26 Top 40 hits
o Clean cut image and good looks similar to Elvis
Didn`t write on music
First Wave Surf
- Most rock in the 1960`s was focused in the area east of Mississippi (NY, Philadelphia)
- The Beach Boys – From suburban LA
o Took cues from black doo-wop, mainstream white vocal groups, driving rock and
roll, and the wall of sound techniques
o Proponents for the surf genre: idealized view of teen summers on the beach
o ``Surfin`` as their first hit in 1961 o Signed with Capital in 1962 and scored 26 hits
o Competing with the British invasion and the Beatles, especially in 1964
o marked by Wilson`s falsetto
greatly influenced by Chuck Berry, even copying his songs
o Wilson later demanded production rights on all recordings
- Other important figures in the scene include Jan and Dean, Dick Dale, and Duane Eddy
o Dick Dale came from actual surf backgrounds and focused on quick picking
guitar and mostly-instrumental tunes
o Quick slides down the fret board reminiscent of a `crashing wave`
Splatter Platter – Songs with a narrative focus on teen death
UNIT 5 PG 154-175, 176-191
- NOTHING SENT
UNIT 6, pg. 192-202, 203-221
- The term “Beatlemania” had been coined in the UK in 1963 to describe the reaction of British
fans to the Beatles’ music
- British bands did not erase all American pop acts from the charts; many groups who had hit
records during 1963 continued to have success
- By the summer of 1965, new musical styles in American pop were emerging as a result of the
cross-fertilization of American styles with the Mersey beat – folk rock being the most obvious
- Folk rock took the east strumming-and-singing texture of folk and added electric guitars, bass,
drums and occasionally keyboards to create an American music-stylistic reaction to the British
- Emulating the Beatles’ and Stones’ guitar-dominated sound, a slew of garage bands formed
across the country, most with only minimal musical skills
- NY (New York) was the centre of the American pop music scene in the early 1960s, but after
1964, much of the most popular new music emerged from LA (Los Angeles)
Dylan Plugs In
- In 1960, a young folksinger arrived in NY from Minnesota and within a few months, Bob Dylan
was playing in Greenwich Village and becoming increasingly active in the city’s folk scene – by