tThe progression of music from the 1940’s to the present has seen extremes,it has been controversial at times, traditional at times and inspirational attimes, but never have the American people turned away music in its entirety.There have been times when parents did not approve of the music that theirchildren chose to listen to, but the parents had never turned away music. Musichas been criticized and promoted. Since the 40’s music has progressed fromBallads (which were still lingering around from the 30’s) to blues (popularamong Blacks) to rock and roll, to pop, and back again.
In the 1940’s ballads were popular. Ballads were dancable musicperformed by big bands. They were composed of stringed instruments, windinsteruments, and a singer or two. This was the time period when music startedto be broadcasted live over television and record albums were entering the home.(Hays)The 50’s marked a beginning for a new era of music to be known as Rock ;Roll. Many of the artists took advantage of the Electric guitar, developed forpopular music in the 1930’s but never really became popular until the 50’s.Rock ; Roll was a combination of many music styles in an upbeat sort of fashion.
One example of when country had an impact on Rock ; Roll was with Bill Haley andJerry Lee Lewis. Jerry’s career was huge, with his hits like “Whole LottaShakin’ goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire”. That is, his career was huge,until the it was made public that he fell in love with a married his 13 year oldcousin. In 1957 Rock ; Roll had been turned upsidedown when Buddy Holly hit theairwaves with “That’ll be the Day.” Buddy Holly rolled out hit after hit afterhit. That is, until his plane went down in Iowa. He died at the young age of 22.
That night his music was playing non-stop and has not stopped playing to thisday.The blues and gospel of James Brown and Jackie Wilson was popular with theblack community. “Someday, maybe someone will discover the reason that ChuckBerry, Do Diddley, Fats Domino, and Little Richard never connected with blackaudiences” (25 years,p15). This may be because they might have almost beenembarrassed from their blues roots.
In the 60’s such stars as Chubby Checker became popular through DickClark. Chubby Checker also became popular though his dance called “The Twist”.Folk music was among popular music for a brief period time. Around 1962 Surfinmusic started in California when the Beach Boys were formed. The Beach Boysreleased hit after hit starting with “Surfin USA” in 1963 and “Fun, Fun, Fun” in1964. Along with The Beach Boys were a group of two known as Jan & Dean.
Theyalso produced Surfin Music hits such as “Sidewalk Surfin'” and Dead Man’s Curve.The sixties also introduced the British Invasion to America. Groupslike “The Yardbirds” and Zombies could be heard everywhere. At the head of thisBritish invasion was a group known as “The Beatles” There hits like “I want tohold your hand”.
They broke up in 1970 and all pursued solo careers or in theirown band. Many people requested that they have reunions, but those requestsbasically stopped with the death of John Lennon, a member of the Beatles, wasmurdered in 1980.”The Rolling Stones” were formed in 1962 and very muchcontrasted the Beatles softer sound. The Rolling Stones were a more energetictype of American rhythm and Blues.In the 70’s The electric guitar became more experimental with thedifferent sounds that it could produce. “The change began in 1968. By 1970 thechange in direction of rock music was cemented.
No longer were life-or-deathrock riffs the order of the day. Groups like Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Band,and Creedence Clearwater Revival suggested a return to country roots, a searchfor a simpler time.” (25 years,p60)Disco returned in 1974. Everything went wild when ” Saturday nightFever” introduced a new type of dancing and music. The new form of disco hitthe floors with “The Bee Gees” They kept the anger of original Rytheme andBlues and created very upbeat material. Very popular among disco was GloriaGaynor.
She sang the message of the new movement: I won’t crumble, I won’t lay down and die, I will survive.During this disco period Rock & Roll is some how still staying alive.When the mid 70’s rolled around disco fell behind and new type of rockbecame popular. This new type included artist such as Alice Cooper andAeroSmith.The new rock had a punkish industrial twist to it and always put onlarge extravagant concerts.In the 80’s the synthesizer became big with such groups as “TheEurythmics”.
The new groups of the 80’s revolutionized disco and transformed itto todays techno. Synthesizers are insteruments usually in a piano format thatcan manipulate sounds into any desired fashion. The 80’s also brought aroundmany teen idols such as Bon Jovi, Madonna, and Paula Abdul.
In the 90’s or present day, the synthesizer is still being used in danceand techno music. Also introduced into the 90’s was the computer. The computerhas been around a while, but not been used in the music industry. Today justabout anyone can produce their music using this tool. Also metal has becomemore aggressive, popular and contains political lyrics.
Lite rock has alsodeveloped and has captured the ears of many listeners.Music has progressed from fun to an industry in itself. People can nowearn a living off of music, often luxurious life. Along with the musicprogressing the American people have progressed. The world of music continuesto change and may never stop progressing until the world stops progressing.Footnotes25 Years of Rock & Roll (USA:Lorelei Publishing Co. Inc.
,1979)William Hay, Twentieth-Century Views of Music History (USA:BerneConvention.,1972)Bibliography25 Years of Rock & Roll. USA:Lorelei Publishing Co. Inc.,1979Ewen, David.
American Popular Songs. New York:Random House, 1966Hay, William. Twentieth-Century Views of Music History. USA:Berne Convention,1972Wilder, Alec. American Popular Song New York:Oxford University Press, 1972Category: Music and Movies