Music Essay

1056 words - 5 pages

Music has been ingrained in the American heart for generations. From African American slaves singing songs to boost the overall happiness of the people they worked with (Songs in Slave Society, 2009) to the Beatles performance on The Ed Sullivan Show that was seen by 73 million people, or 40 percent of the U.S. population. (Lule, 2012) With the explosion in the popularity of owning a home radio, it has further shaped American culture and its values. In 1922 there were 60,000 households in the United States with radios; by 1929 the number had topped 10 million. (David Marc, 2000) When radio stations started, creating programming, it started breaking down racial bonds, not immediately there were still white only radio stations, yet Black radio became more common on the AM dial. (Lule, 2012) With varying musical styles that could be picked up on any radio by any race, enabling people to gain insight into different cultures, bringing with it, acceptance of those differences. Early Black disc jockeys even began improvising rhymes over the music, pioneering techniques that later became rap and hip-hop. This new personality-driven style helped bring early rock and roll to new audiences. (Lule, 2012) Between the years 1960 and 1966, the number of households capable of receiving FM transmissions grew from about 6.5 million to some 40 million. (Lule, 2012) During the sixties music was a platform for artists to share their feelings on many different social issues, including civil rights and race relations; drugs, affluence, and consumerism; the Cold War; Vietnam and the peace movement; the sexual revolution; women’s liberation; and ecological and environmental concerns. (Ward, 2002)

For a woman in her thirties, most people who assume I am either a country fan, or a still holding on to my younger years listening to pop princesses like Brittney Spears and boy bands like Backstreet Boys. Not exactly, one of my favorite artists would be Frank Sinatra. There is something about his lyrics, about his velvet voice, you can just hear his smile in his music, and picture his drink in his hand. Frank Sinatra debuted on a popular radio program of the time Major Bowes and His Original Amateur Hour. A show that featured unknown entertainers trying to gain fame through exposure to the show’s large audience. Major Bowes used a gong to usher bad performers offstage, often contemptuously dismissing them. (Lule, 2012) Frank Sinatra had a fabulous solo career gaining a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1965 (Grein, 2013) as well as when he when he was head of the Rat Pack, in Las Vegas. I grew up in Las Vegas, and even though his last performance was in the 90’s he was a current artist listed in most easy listening, and oldies stations. I still have many Frank Sinatra records I get them out to amuse the children. There is nothing like Ol' Blue Eyes belting out “My Way” on my record player hearing the scratches and imperfections to take the day’s troubles away.

Frank...

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