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MMC 1702
David Carlson

Rock 'N' Roll In American Society Exam I Labor Pains: The Origins Of Rock 'N' Roll Music  Rock 'n' roll has musical origins that trace back to the 1920s  Early rock primarily consisted of three of the most popular music genres of the time  Pop/Mainstream  Country/Hillbilly  Rhythm and Blues  Between WWI and WWII, recordings became more commonplace, musicians recorded music deriving from the music traditions of the south and record companies and radio stations targeted new audiences  What eventually became rock and roll developed in the subcultures of race and hillbilly music Rag Time & Scott Joplin  1900s  Syncopated rhythm for a authentic black audience Race Records & Music  Music performed by African-Americans artists for sale to African-American listeners  Never made it into the popular mainstream music and wasn’t heard by whites  Spirituals, field hollers, work songs, vocals, improvisation, "call and response"  Jazz, Gospel, Blues Blues  Began primarily in the South, it made its way into the urban North, particularly New York and Chicago  Developed almost completely outside the infrastructure created for mainstream pop  Consisted of very different and distinct styles  Doo-wop  Musical style conducted in an A capella manner  Black gospel music  Characterized by African-American singers with heavy sexual references  Never gained approval by national audiences  Listen to by white teenagers in order to defy parents in an act of social rebellion  Similar rebellious characteristic as in rock ‘n’ roll that would lead teens to later listen to Elvis Presley and Little Richard  Radio disseminated R&B outside regional black communities as black populations grew, programming and advertising to local black populations  W.C. Handy  Father of the Blues  Sold well nationally, leading to a temporary popularity of the blues after WWI among white pop listeners  Bessie Smith  Empress of the Blues, Classic Blues  “Down Hearted Blues”  Fell off the commercial radar along with blues at the end of the decade Jazz  Adapted blues sensibility, formed rhythm section, backbeat, use of riffs, new sounds  New Orleans - City of Jazz  Artists and listeners later migrated to Chicago, shifting the black audience to the north  Major Artists  King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band  Jelly Morton Roll  Louis Armstrong Gospel  Primarily African-American style of music performed in local and regional styles by churches  Influenced heavily in the development of African-American R&B styles  Developed the “call & response” between the soloist and chorus  There was reluctance and ambivalence in the use of religious music for pop  White gospel maintained its regional availability but never became nationally popular  Influenced in the development of hillbilly country music in the east Hillbilly Country Music  Music associated with the rural white South and Southwest  Western country was based on cowboy themes, prevalent with big bands  Southeastern country music was based primarily on the folk traditions of the white gospel community  These two styles eventually combined to form “western and country” genre  Small African-American audience  Songs reflect the values and traditions of the performers  Early radio played a major role in popularizing regional and local hillbilly music and spreading to all regions of the country after WWII  Based primarily on folk traditions of the white gospel community  Musical Elements  Clear, honest vocal style  Southern dialect or accent  Down-to-earth lyrics  Nasal voice timbre  Nashville became the center of country music recordings and publishing  By the early 1950s, country and western music had grown from a mostly regional music style to a national phenomenon yet separate from mainstream pop  Bluegrass  Merges Irish and British ballads into southern folk harmony music  Subgenre of hillbilly country  Grand Ole Opry  Nashville radio station which dominated country and western recording scene  Jimmy Rodgers  “Father of Country Music” & “Singing Brakeman”  First universally popular country star  Most important figure in the early history of country music Hank Williams  First country western star and an iconic figure in country and western music  Vocal inflections creating an impression of sincere emotional expression  Lyrics were direct and simple, and his performances seem to come straight from the heart, defined as “pure country” Folk Music  Introduced social commentary into music  Reverie of pastoral populism, untainted by vulgar commercial calculations  Woody Guthrie  “Jolly Banker”  First song with lyrical messages and social commentary  Critical of bankers and their greedy lifestyle Pop Music  Mainstream pop music was produced for a family audience and teenagers were expected to enjoy the same music as parents and grandparents  Big publishers and major record companies did not invest in R&B or country because they considered their profitability limited in these areas  Big Band Era (1935-1945) where pop music consisted of large dance bands  Eventually became too expensive to maintain and they disbanded  Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington Frank Sinatra  One of the first stars before rock ‘n’ roll and most successful post-WWII singers  Combined elements of Jazz, Broadway and Tin Pan Alley and created his own rendition of popular American songs, revolutionizing pop music  Cultural icon of the 1940s  After breaking away from his band, he began a solo career in a “new and mature” style  Released first concept album in the history of pop music  Wee Small Hours  Had a very negative response to rock ‘n’ roll  Created a new expanded taste for music on radio and television that would help in the development of rock ‘n’ roll Mississippi Ghosts Highway 61  “The Blues Highway”  New Orleans  Memphis  St. Louis  Chicago Mississippi Delta Blues  One of the earliest styles of blues music  Regional variation of country blues  Originated in Northern Mississippi on a folk instrument known as a “diddly-bow”  Work songs were popular in Delta Blues, associating with prisons gangs and field work Robert Johnson  The Great Man Theory  Rambling childhood, tragic early marriage  Disappeared and later reappeared with mastery in guitar playing  Faustian myth that he sold his soul to the devil  Meeting With Satan  “The Crossroads”  Where Johnson made his deal with the devil  King of the Delta Blues Singer  Album’s release was a key moment in rock ‘n’ roll history  Released after Johnson’s death in 1961  Ranked #27 in Rolling Stones  Fame and legacy comes from two recording sessions  Gunter Hotel, San Antonio in 1936  Brunswick Records Building, Dallas in 1937  Posthumous recognition, never gained fame while alive  Influenced Eric Clapton strongly, even writing an entire album cover  Died at the age of 27*, after being poisoned by a juke joint owner Charley Patton  “Father of the Delta Blues”  Known for showmanship  Played the guitar with his teeth, behind his head and on his knees th  Jack-of-all-trades – played white hillbilly, black blues, 19 century ballads, etc  “High Water Everywhere”  Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 Son House  Emerged from gospel music  Although he had a brief career in the 1930s, his peak was in the 1960s after the rediscovery while working at the New York Central railroad  Covered by Eric Clapton, Depeche Mode and Steve Miller Band Lead Belly  Huddie Ledbetter  Emerged from folk and country music, best known country blues artist  Discovered by John Lomax, contributor to American musical literature  Covered by ABBA, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana Sound Of The City: New Orleans Louis Armstrong  One of the best known and most universally famous jazz musicians  Ambassador of Jazz  “Hello Dolly” Jelly Morton Roll  Helped make piano a rock ‘n’ roll instrument  Cla
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