Progression of Music From the 1940's To the Present
The progression of music from the 1940's to the present has seen extremes,
it has been controversial at times, traditional at times and inspirational at
times, but never have the American people turned away music in its entirety.
There have been times when parents did not approve of the music that their
children chose to listen to, but the parents had never turned away music. Music
has been criticized and promoted. Since the 40's music has progressed from
Ballads (which were still lingering around from the 30's) to blues (popular
among Blacks) to rock and roll, to pop, and back again.
In the 1940's ballads were popular. Ballads were dancable music
performed by big bands. They were composed of stringed instruments, wind
insteruments, and a singer or two. This was the time period when music started
to be broadcasted live over television and record albums were entering the home.
The 50's marked a beginning for a new era of music to be known as Rock &
Roll. Many of the artists took advantage of the Electric guitar, developed for
popular music in the 1930's but never really became popular until the 50's.
Rock & Roll was a combination of many music styles in an upbeat sort of fashion.
One example of when country had an impact on Rock & Roll was with Bill Haley and
Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry's career was huge, with his hits like "Whole Lotta
Shakin' goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire". That is, his career was huge,
until the it was made public that he fell in love with a married his 13 year old
cousin. In 1957 Rock & Roll had been turned upsidedown when Buddy Holly hit the
airwaves with "That'll be the Day." Buddy Holly rolled out hit after hit after
hit. That is, until his plane went down in Iowa. He died at the young age of 22.
That night his music was playing non-stop and has not stopped playing to this
The blues and gospel of James Brown and Jackie Wilson was popular with the
black community. "Someday, maybe someone will discover the reason that Chuck
Berry, Do Diddley, Fats Domino, and Little Richard never connected with black
audiences" (25 years,p15). This may be because they might have almost been
embarrassed from their blues roots.
In the 60's such stars as Chubby Checker became popular through Dick
Clark. Chubby Checker also became popular though his dance called "The Twist".
Folk music was among popular music for a brief period time. Around 1962 Surfin
music started in California when the Beach Boys were formed. The Beach Boys
released hit after hit starting with "Surfin USA" in 1963 and "Fun, Fun, Fun" in
1964. Along with The Beach Boys were a group of two known as Jan & Dean. They
also produced Surfin Music hits such as "Sidewalk Surfin'" and Dead Man's Curve.