Rock music has come a long way since its development in the early 20th century. The genre, defined “as a merger between rhythm&blues and country” (Scaruffi, The History of Rock Music:1955-1966), started out more as an underground market, but ended up becoming a significant aspect of American popular music history. Rock-n-Roll music produce many legendary artists who will for ever be known as innovators of the genre. Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry were some of the many artists in Rock-n-Roll who will always live on in their music.Many teenagers were also to identify it due to its rebellious nature their disapproval of the cold war. Towards the end of the 1950s, Rock-n-Roll was ending on a particularly bad note, with a brief decline:
“Chuck berry was on the verge of being convicted for having transported a minor across state lines; Elvis was in the army; Little Richard had left popular music for the ministry, Jerry Lee Lewis had effectively been black listed for having married his 13 year old cousin, and Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper had died in a plane crash.” (Bracket, Pg 131).
On top of all of this, alarmists subdued rock labels and their performers. Blacks were also of their backlash, claiming that they were “poisoning white youth with “primitive” and “jungle music” and who were skillfully battling segregation “(Farber and Bailey,Pg 288). I agree with Starr and Waterman when they described the 1960s, as a “violent and controversial decade American History”. The assassination of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. shocked the nation. The decade was also going through the process of a great social change; the civil rights movement.
“Members of the first generation who grew up listening to Rock-n-Roll began to assume positions of shaping power in the music industry as writers and producers” (Starr and Waterman, Pg 238) This brought forth the rise in vocal groups, pop groups, and dance crazes. However, the 1960s was considered at a stand still when it came to popular music. In 1964, when the Beatles arrived to America, everything changed. I think this was the time when Rock-n-Roll was truly reborn as Rock music. “The changing of Rock and Roll terminology is illustative. “Rock and Roll” became simply “Rock”, connoting its new heaviness (seriousness)” (Cary, pg 31) The oncoming decade allowed for new developments within rock music and as a result, soared in popularity. The British invasion, a phrase coined by Walter Cronkite while reporting the arrival of the Beatles in the USA,and American folk singers were the causes of the rapid changes in Rock music. It was British bands that altered how Rock-n-Roll was played, and at the the same time American folk singers were in the process of changing how its audience, particularly the youth, perceived it.
The United states has always met with great success in exporting their own popular music to Europe. However, the impact that the Beatles had on our country started the...