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Rock & Roll: Its Effects On Our Culture

1666 words - 7 pages

Rock & Roll:Its effects on our cultureMany Rock historians have a difference in opinion on who really started the Rock movement. Some say that it was absolutely Elvis Presley. While other historians say that the Beatles truly started the revolution. When I think of the beginning of Rock and Roll the following names come up: Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley. Yes, it is true that Chuck Berry seems to be the most well renowned artist in that list for starting the Rock revolution but who really came up with the idea. Of course Chuck Berry was the one doing the actual guitar playing and ripping out all of those well known riffs in AJohnny Be Good,@ but it was Johnnie Johnson who actually came up with the idea to play those types of guitar riffs. Johnson was born in West Virginia and started playing the piano at the age of 5. He amazed his family each time he sat down to play. A lot of Johnson=s musical influence came from jazz bands and musicians such ast Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. Johnson played a radio gig at the age of and joined ABlue Rhythmn Swingsters@ shortly after and the rest is history.(Graff, 2nd link)Johnnie Johnson was the piano player in a band that he lead. Back in 1952 on New Year=s Eve, Johnson=s saxophone player called in sick so Johnson called in Chuck Berry, a young guitarist, to sit in with the band. Johnson had the idea to take some of the riffs that he played on his keyboard and transpose them to his bandmate=s guitar. Berry played the songs and the crowd went nuts for it. Johnson didn=t realize that Berry was getting the credit for this new type of music and could frankly care less. He was just happy to be playing each show, state to state. Johnson was finally recognized for his influence and accomplishments in 1986 when film maker Taylor Hackford was composing a video on the beginning of Rock music. Hackford discovered that it was Johnson who originated the idea for those types of guitar riffs.(Graff)Ok. Now that we know the AFather of Rock and Roll@ we can move on the other bands that had a major part in starting the Rock revolution. When Rock music first appeared on the scene it was not accepted as a true style of music. If you used the word art when you were talking about Rock and Roll it would be considered sacrilegious (Wick, 1). Calling Rock and Roll an art form was comparing Rock and Roll to Beethoven which didn=t register in the minds of the parents of the generation. Even today if you state that Rock and Roll is an art form most people will give you a look or want to start an one sided conversation about how Rock and Roll can=t be an art form. Rock and Roll is considered to be a lifestyle which it rightly is but most people overlook the music aspect of it. Michael London hits it right on the head when he states that, AThere=s a million theories about rock=n=roll, what it is and what it means, but what is most obvious is most overlooked: it=s music@ To understand rock and roll in a cultural dimension...

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