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Rock And Roll Essay

1802 words - 8 pages

Rock and roll is a style of music that has roots traced all the way back to the 1800s. It is made up of jazz, blues, folk, country, and rhythm and blues. The rhythm and blues contribution to rock originated from the African American culture (??). Performers like Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and Little Richard aided in the formation of rock and roll music. The generation that was highly impacted by this new sound was the baby booming population that arose after World War II ended. Black and white teenagers loved every aspect of rock and roll and listened to the music together at the staged concerts Alan Freed created. These young adolescents played a major role in the desegregation movements of ...view middle of the document...

24). As this teenage population began to grow rapidly, the barrier between African Americans and whites started to slowly fade (p. 24). As schools and other public places were desegregating, rock and roll was gaining popularity and the cross-racial boundaries allowed for a wider audience. One of the main contributors to desegregating audiences and breaking the social barrier was Chuck Berry. Berry was considered one of the founding fathers of rock and roll (BRC). He broke the color barrier by integrating country music into rhythm and blues (p. 28). His songs Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode were big hits that brought the energy and style of black blues music to mainstream white audiences (BCR). Berry was able to bridge the gap between “race music” because of his incredible ability to write, perform, and sell a song (BCR). No recording artist before Berry was able to reach out to white audiences with such success. Without Chuck Berry rhythm and blues may never have been embraced by a mass audience or reached the heights it did in the 1950s (BCR). Another contributor to desegregation, from the rock and roll era, was disc jockey Alan Freed. Freed staged live concerts that featured both black and white performers that in return created a black and white audience (BCR). The integrated concerts brought black and white performers and audiences together enforcing the movement of desegregation. Rock and roll was not the reason for desegregation but it played a role in integrating whites and African Americans. Music was a way for people to come together and share a common bond, especially the baby booming population that was emerging during the 1950s.
The emerging baby boom population fully grasped rock and roll. They loved the music, artists, style, lyrics, and everything about the new era. Parents labeled the theme of rock and roll as “an illness or psychological disturbance rather than just a new kind of music” and they thought rock and roll “was a demon that had stolen their children” (p.40). To the parents or grandparents of the baby boomer population, they considered rock and roll to be a deviation from traditional values and they thought it was inspiring inappropriate things like wild dancing and sexuality (p. 40). Teenagers on the other hand had a completely different take on rock and roll. They felt inspired by the music and felt freedom with rock and roll. Teenagers loved the dance moves that came with rock and roll. Adolescents across the country “wiggled and shook to rock and roll” (p. 40). The music changed how teenagers thought and expressed themselves; they finally had an outlet. Their anthem was the song “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets from the movie Blackboard Jungle (p.41). Whenever this song came on teenagers went crazy and danced in the aisles. As mentioned above, disk jockey Alan Freed staged lived concerts of both black and white performers. Freed created the rock concert which tapped into young Americans. These...

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