Rock and Roll is rock music in its earliest form. Rock and Roll is rock music in its earliest form


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Rock and Roll is rock music in its earliest form.

  • Rock and Roll is rock music in its earliest form.

  • Rock and Roll is a combination of blues, country, jazz, and gospel.

  • Early Rock and Roll music was characterized by saxophone and piano, later the electric guitar became more prevalent.

  • It is hard to label one song as the “birth” of Rock and Roll, but two songs in particular get the most attention:

    • “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets”


In 1954, Elvis Presley recorded a song for his mom at a studio in Tennessee, almost overnight he is a sensation.

  • In 1954, Elvis Presley recorded a song for his mom at a studio in Tennessee, almost overnight he is a sensation.

  • Also at this time, other important artists are recording songs that will become legendary. Some of these artists include:

    • Chuck Berry
    • Little Richard
    • Carl Perkins
    • Jerry Lee Lewis
    • Fats Domino
    • Buddy Holly


Rock and Roll’s decline was triggered by a series of events in the late 1950s.

  • Rock and Roll’s decline was triggered by a series of events in the late 1950s.

    • Little Richard gave up singing and became a preacher.
    • Chuck Berry was arrested
    • Elvis Presley was drafted into the army.
    • Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, and Richie Valens all died in a plane crash.
    • Payola Scandal


The popularity of rock and roll music did not reach England until the late 1950s and early 1960s.

  • The popularity of rock and roll music did not reach England until the late 1950s and early 1960s.

  • The music soon exploded there due to American artists touring throughout the U.K.

  • Groups began to spring up everywhere and dominated the British radio stations.

  • One group in particular went by the name of the Quarrymen. Who are they?



The Beatles debuted in the United States in February of 1964.

  • The Beatles debuted in the United States in February of 1964.

    • It is estimated that 73 million people watched the debut that night.
    • Following their debut, in April of 1964 the Beatles held the top five spots on the Billboard charts.
  • The Beatles amazing success paved the way for other British acts to enter the American music scene during the 1960s.

  • Some of these acts include: the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Zombies, and the Hollies.



How and why did the Beatles become the most important band of the 20th century?

  • How and why did the Beatles become the most important band of the 20th century?

  • The Beatles formed in 1960 in Liverpool, England.

    • John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
    • They built their reputation through playing live shows in Liverpool and Hamburg Germany.
  • Their first major hit was a song titled “Love Me Do”

    • By 1964 “Beatlemania” had swept up most of the world.
  • The Beatles popularity was hurt a little bit after a controversial comment by John Lennon in 1965.

    • Following the backlash they refused to tour and focused more on working in the studio.


The Beatles studio work quickly became some of the most ground-breaking in history of music.

  • The Beatles studio work quickly became some of the most ground-breaking in history of music.

  • The albums that pushed the music scene in particular are:

    • Rubber Soul (1965)
    • Revolver (1966)
    • Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
    • White Album (1968)
    • Abbey Road (1969)
  • Their incorporation of different styles of music and advancements in songwriting and production changed music forever.



Although the British invasion dominated the radio during the early 1960s, American artists continued to make important records.

  • Although the British invasion dominated the radio during the early 1960s, American artists continued to make important records.

  • Music production began to become very important.

    • More songs were being made to listen to on an album rather than at a live show.
  • Some of the artists that were important during this period were: the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, the “girl groups”, and Phil Spector.



During the mid-1960s, artists began to experiment with different types of sounds, instruments, and drugs.

  • During the mid-1960s, artists began to experiment with different types of sounds, instruments, and drugs.

  • The music began to deal with heavier subjects like the Vietnam War and psychedelic experiences.

  • The Hippie culture became popular amongst the youth in America.

  • Some of the dominant artists of this time were: Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Cream, the Who, Love, and Santana



Rock music became the most dominant form of music by the 1970s, artists began to sell out huge stadiums and arenas for concerts.

  • Rock music became the most dominant form of music by the 1970s, artists began to sell out huge stadiums and arenas for concerts.

  • The music began to get louder and more ambitious as a result.

  • Some of the artists that were important during this period were:

    • Led Zeppelin
    • The Who
    • Pink Floyd
    • Queen
    • Rush
    • Bruce Springsteen
    • Elton John


Heavy Metal can be traced back to the early 1970s with bands like Black Sabbath, Van Halen, and Deep Purple.

  • Heavy Metal can be traced back to the early 1970s with bands like Black Sabbath, Van Halen, and Deep Purple.

  • During the late 1970s young artists began to rebel against the “emptiness” of pop music and played faster and louder. (Metallica and Moterhead)

  • During the 1980s metal music became the most popular form of rock music.

    • It was characterized by big hair and decadence. (Motley Crue, Poison, Guns N’ Roses)
  • At the same time that “hair metal” was gaining in popularity, other metal artists played a faster and heavier form of music. (Slayer, Anthrax, Pantera)



In the late 1980s, young musicians began to rebel against the glamour of hair metal and played a much heavier and dirtier type of rock music.

  • In the late 1980s, young musicians began to rebel against the glamour of hair metal and played a much heavier and dirtier type of rock music.

  • Nirvana’s song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” broke onto the music scene in 1991 and the band’s popularity exploded along with similar sounding artists.

  • Artists who were part of this movement included:

    • Pearl Jam
    • Soundgarden
    • Alice in Chains
    • Mudhoney
  • Sadly, Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994. Which triggered a decline in the popularity of grunge music.



Grunge rock influenced nearly every rock band that followed it.

  • Grunge rock influenced nearly every rock band that followed it.

  • Many bands have taken the sound created by bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam and put their own spin on it. (Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters)

  • During the late 1990’s there was a movement to combine hip hop and hard rock. (Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine)

  • In the early 2000s, many bands sought to bring back the grunge sound. (Nickelback, Seether)

  • Rock music still is one of the top selling forms of music in the United States. Some of the main artists of the present include:

    • Kings of Leon, Black Keys, Muse, Imagine Dragons)



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