A Brief History of Rock and Roll and The Woodstock Music Festival of 1969
Throughout history, major social transformations have taken place that has changed how people perceive themselves and the world around them. With each social reformation, cultural forms and institutions also change as well as their meanings. For Example, the development of recording and electronic communication within United States capitalism spurred the unique coming together of music traditions in twentieth century United States society. The development of these technologies allowed music to reach beyond regional boundaries, which led to the clashing of vastly different cultures of all parts of the United States. The most influential form of music spread across the nation is unarguably Rock and Roll.
The first coupling of the words "rock" and "roll" on record came in 1916, in a recording of a spiritual song, "The Camp Meeting Jubilee", by an unnamed vocal quartette. Some of the lyrics include "We've been rocking and rolling in your arms / Rocking and rolling in your arms / in the arms of Moses". In 1922, blues singer Trixie Smith recorded "My Man Rocks Me (with One Steady Roll)", first featuring the two words in a secular context. Twelve years later, The Boswell Sisters had a hit with "Rock and Roll" (1934). These were the first artists to be said to have helped influence the beginning and spread of rock and roll music.
However, for many years and probably centuries previously, the term "rocking and rolling" had been used as a nautical term to denote the side-to-side and forward-and-backward motion of ships on the ocean. This meaning was used metaphorically in such records as Buddy Jones' "Rockin' Rollin' Mama" which was produced in 1939.
Rocking was a term also used by gospel singers in the South to mean something referencing to spiritual rapture. A double meaning came to popular awareness in 1947 in blues artist Roy Brown's song "Good Rockin Tonight” in which "rocking" was about dancing but was in fact a thinly-veiled allusion to sex. Such double-images were nothing new in blues music (which was mostly limited in exposure to jukeboxes and clubs) but were new to the radio airwaves. After the success of "Good Rocking Tonight" many other rhythm and blues artists used similar titles through the late 1940s including a song called "Rock and Roll" recorded by Wild Bill Moore in 1949. These songs were mostly played as part of rhythm and blues, but at the time was called “race music”. and were barely known by mainstream white audiences.
Rock and Roll emerged as a defined musical style in America in the 1950s, though elements of rock and roll can be seen in rhythm and blues records as far back as the 1920s. Early rock and roll combined elements of blues, boogie woogie, jazz and rhythm and blues, and is also influenced by traditional folk music, gospel music, and country and western.
One example of the success and power that Rock and Roll inflicted on our nation was the...