History Day Project: Explore, Encounter, Exchange: The History of Rock and Roll Music
By: Jilly Smith
This year's theme is Explore, Encounter, and Exchange. I am not presenting a story of a particular person or event, but rather an explanation of how and why Rock music has gained an important place in history. Rock and Roll has affected society by bringing a new attitude to past generations; encouraging defiance and independence. The history of rock fits into the larger picture of modern culture in not only our country, but has spread throughout the world also. Changes that have come about as a result of rock music include new and different fashion trends, media, attitudes, lifestyles, and music, of course.
The most praised rock star to date is obviously Elvis Presley. He burst into the music industry in 1954. He is now known as The King... and was in all actuality the beginning of the new rock era. Though "rock music" was softer in those days, it has encouraged many generations to come. His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century pop culture.
The year 1957 was also a crucial time for rock music. Perhaps the most popular rock bands of all time appeared on the scene. These foreign imports caused a frenzied response across the world. To this day, people still worship the fathers of the rock band; The Beatles. This was the most chaotic following before any music artist before them. People were OBSESSED. This was still back in the days of calm, flowing softcore rock music. Then came the 60's; full of hippies, drugs, sex and the epicenter of it all: Woodstock.
Woodstock 1969. Originally intended to be a nice festival... Little did they know that over 500, 000 people would arrive, including the likes of Anti-War Protesters, Vietnam Vets, Black Militants, Rednecks, Anti-Gays, Gays/Lesbians, Legalize Drugs advocates, Ban Drugs advocates, Anti-Government advocates, Pro-Government advocates. Basically everyone and everyone they hate was there. It was pretty much just a big stoned drunken orgy in a park in New York. This concert was no ordinary event, though. Legends were gathered together. Such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Who, The Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane. 60's rock was basically music to get high to.
The 70's was mostly a decade of weird hairy freaks like The Bee Gees, and Simon and Garfunkle. Though there still was tolerable music back then. Even some good music. Some of my favorites are David Bowie, The Doors, Black Sabbath, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, Queen, and rock gods Led Zeppelin. THE founders of hard rock. Led Zeppelin was the first evidence of real rock music, the way it is supposed...