Rock ?N? Roll Essay, Research Paper
Rock ?n? roll is, and will always be, here to stay. The frontier spirit of rock ?n? roll is an attitude that is common among American Pioneers and includes style, originality, and a willingness to push the limits. From Elvis to the Beatles and Buddy Holly to The Doors; bands have been astounding us with new and inventive sounds of rock ?n? roll. But rock ?n? roll wasn?t always around, so how did it start?
Part one: 50?s and early 60?s
Ever since the 20?s, and the introduction of Jazz, young people became interested in different types of music. A different type of music came around in the 50?s, rock ?n? roll. A new style of music for a new generation. The style of rock ?n? roll was a mix of two older forms of music, Jazz and Blues. A type of style that you could get up and dance too. It was a type of music listened to by both ?preps? and ?greasers?. A style also enjoyed as much by females as males. This was the style that brought appeal to the young generations for years to come. It is still listened to today, and I guarantee it will be listened to tomorrow. With new types of music you need more spectacular, brilliant, and young artists. You need a singer with a sense of style and originality that can affect those of years to come.
Not only was rock ?n? roll a completely new and original genre. It possessed a sound that had never been heard before, but the singers themselves were quite astounding. This is a matter of opinion, but the two greatest singers in rock ?n? roll history would be Buddy Holly and THE KING, Elvis Presley. Behind his thick framed glasses, Buddy Holly sang his heart out. He put all his emotion behind his songs, and it paid off. Buddy Holly quickly became a legend with his original songs , such as ?That?ll Be the Day?, ?It?s So Easy? and ?Peggy Sue?. In his early twenties Buddy Holly joined Richie Valens ( a new rock ?n? roll sensation with hit son ?La Bamba?), and the Big Bopper on an ill fated airplane ride that killed the three and left rock ?n? roll bereft of major talent. This event in time is known in the song ?American Pie?, which Madonna ruined in her remake, as ?…. the day the music died.? Then there was Elvis Presley. Elvis? full name could have been Elvis ?Original? Presley. With original lyrics and an original way of singing his lyrics, Elvis became popular with the young generation really fast. Some of his songs, like I need to mention some, are ?Can?t Help Falling in Love?, ?Heartbreak Hotel? and ?Hound Dog?. Men wanted to be Elvis, and women simply wanted Elvis. Elvis took advantage of the moving picture being so popular and got into that too. Two of the most known of his films are ?Jailhouse Rock? and ?GI Blues?. With around thirty-one films Elvis had the best of both worlds, and Americas youth was hooked. Even though the youth was hooked, rock ?n? roll wasn?t too popular among adults.
If anything pushed the limits to the line halfway through the 21?st century it was rock ?n? roll. With its new sound and new lyrics, adults couldn?t take it. In fact in many music stores the manager would band any rock ?n? roll music. It was destroying America?s youth by giving them bad ideas. It?s not like sending our young men over seas to fight in a war could make them rebel, it was that rock ?n? roll. If it took courage to bring the sounds of rock ?n? roll out it the open, it took guts, and a willingness, to sing it. Even though it is hard to believe it, but at one time Elvis was considered the Devil. It was hard for the adults to listen to it, but seeing Elvis sing was ghastly. The way he gyrated his hips and made young girls pass out was disgusting to the older folks, but the teens dug it. It was ?cool?. Elvis once said that when you love rock ?n? roll as much as he did you can?t help but move to it. To the older generation hearing and seeing rock ?n? roll in the 50?s and early 60?s was taking it to the line, but what they were about to see would push all of it across the line and down a cliff.
Part two: The mid 60?s to early 70?s
Remember earlier in the paper it said the youth looked for new types of music, well it was that time again. A new form of rock ?n? roll had to be created to keep up with this young generation. This new type of rock ?n? roll would be much like the old but it would be bigger, louder, and something that would make the older generation go completely insane. It would be called rock and it would be based around one powerful substance, drugs.
Rock would have a style all to its own. A style that would have to keep up with new ideas and one of the most tragic losses of America?s youth, but that?s later. Around sixty-three a new band peaked around the corner with eyes that were hidden behind their hair, the Beatles. The Beatles started off as a rock ?n? roll band with many hits like ?Love Me Do?, ?She Loves You? and ?Money?. Then times started to change, and so did the bands. The Beatles made their transition slowly into drug related songs, with secret meanings to songs. One of these songs was ?Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?, a song about LSD, a ?mind-expanding? drug. This style of music opened the doors to many other bands. Bands such as The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, and Led Zeppelin. The style of music has much to do with the style of the times, and the style of the time was peace, free love and drugs. So sense this was the style of the times, this is what most songs were about
Not only was the lyrics and singers original, but also the sound itself was quite astounding. One of the first bands with the ?acid? sound of music was The Doors. With their first self-entitled album, Jim Morrison, lead singer, and his band had three hits. The hits were ?Break on Through?, ?Light My Fire? and ?The End?. The Doors made a total of six albums and Jim Morrison would set a new original trend for many singers, dying at a young age by the way of overdose. If there was any guitar player who was the most original, it would be Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix would play things on the guitar that no one would have thought possible. It was also very original for a female rock star to be as big as Janis Joplin was. It was definitely an original style of music, but not an original sense of war that was looming over the youth?s head.
In the year 1965 the United States of America was thrown right in the middle of Vietnam, which would soon become a tragic lose of life. While young men where fighting for our country in a different land, a battle was going on right here in the states. During the time of war a group of people that believed in love not war immerged. These people would be given the name ?hippies?. ?Hippies? would practice free love and experiment with drugs, and right in the middle was the music. All these things the youth was practicing was definitely going over the line, what could be worse.
The year 1969 was a big year. We first set foot on the moon, Vietnam was still going, and a little event in Woodstock, NY took place. The music of the 60?s was a music of protest, both towards civil rights and Vietnam. In 1969 500,00 people attended a three-day rock concert, starring some of the biggest name in music. Some bands included Joan Baez, The Who, Joe Cocker, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix. During Woodstock all the youth stood for was present, and this angered those who didn?t believe in the same thing.
Rock ?n? roll was big when it started and it will remain big. As it did in the 60?s rock ?n? roll has changed, but it still remains. Traces of rock can be found in every type of music: Pop Rock, Alternative, and even Rap. Rock had to struggle and break through boundaries but it?s here to stay. Music will continue to change, and it will continue to upset people who don?t understand it. New types of music will continue to come and find its place in the heart of America. The Kinks, a rock band in the 70?s, once said, ?Rock and Roll bands come and go, but Rock and Roll will go on forever.?
Part three: Writers note
During this paper I found that it started to run a little long so I regret I had to cut some stuff out. I would like to mention right now two of the founders of rock ?n? roll, and that would be Little Richard and Chuck Berry. I also regret that I couldn?t talk more on other forms of music inspired by rock, such as Heavy Metal, 80?s music, and 90?s music. During the making of this paper I listened to allot of my CD?s and found a new love of rock. I would just like to say that I am very glad that rock did break through the boundaries and gave the younger generation a voice.