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Revolution Of Music Essay

1780 words - 7 pages

Music has continued to change throughout each decade, but the 1960s was the most influential decade in the history of music. Starting in the early 1950s, rock music was first introduced. Major record labels issued recordings of white singers performing renditions of songs previously released by African American singers (Rock and Roll). These renditions often altered the original lyrics to make them more appropriate. The most prominent star of the 1950s was Elvis Presley, the “King of rock n’ roll”. With the new addition of the “Baby boom” generation, a huge population increased following World War II, creating a new segment of youth searching for new entertainment (Rock and Roll). Music of the 1960s was the new entertainment for the baby boom generation and impacted America by: starting new trends in genres of music, opening diversity of artists, counterculture movements, and music festivals.
Music tends to follow the trends of its listeners; genres come and go with popularity. Rock and roll was considered to have its golden era in the 1960s. It peaked with performances by such artists as Sly and the Family Stone, The Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Grateful Dead, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Janis Joplin (Rock and Roll). The Beatles were one of the top rock and roll bands. “They combined the distinct sounds of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and others which shaped a sound that dominated the sixties with its creativity and style” (Holland 105). Jimi Hendrix introduced a new twist to rock and roll turning plain melodies into new unusual sound experiments which brought the genre called “acid rock”(Holland110). Another popular genre was folk music. The focus of folk music was its message. Folksingers of the sixties expressed their views on war, racism civil rights, justice, and the “establishment” which attracted the new generation (Holland107). It is said that chief among the creators of this powerful music were Joan Baez and Bob Dylan (Holland 107). Joan Baez was a prolific singer, songwriter, political activist, and known as the Queen of Folk music (Joan Baez). Bob Dylan created plenty of politically based songs that directly criticized specific areas of politics like congressmen and senators. Dylan also warned people about joining the military- industrial establishment in Only a Pawn in Their Game (Holland 107-108). Lastly there was the genre Motown which hit its peak of popularity in the 1960s. It brought a new rhythm called the “back beat” that was easy to dance to. Berry Gordy Jr. started the Motown Company in 1962 and launched the careers of such artists as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Little Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, and Diana Ross and the Supremes (Holland 109).
The racial diversity of mainstream music in the 1960s was widely spread, which is why this was such a significant decade for music. There was a so called “British invasion” that took place roughly between 1964 and 1966. British bands...

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