Rock and roll history is very illustrious and it is one of the most followed and loved music genres in the world. It is a type of pop music that emerged and popularised in U.S in the late 1940s and 1950s. But its roots can be traced back centuries to Celtic and African folk music. This music was brought to America by the people who immigrated to America. After being exposed to the different styles of music in America, they began to mix in different styles in their music.
The phrase “rock and roll” emerged and was first used in blues songs as a secret code for sexual intercourse. 1922 was the first year when “rock and roll” would be seen on the label of a record for the first time.
A New Era Is About To Begin
The 1960s is the period in rock and roll history when the genre truly boomed. The rock music came of age and completely dominated all the popular music charts. Elvis Presley continued to score hits in the early sixties, but the music continues to keep diversifying with the revival of folk music. The Stax, Atlantic and Motown labels continued bringing African-American artist the front of the pop charts. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones lead the popular music charts. U.S. Garage bands starting to emerge. The songwriting in the sixties also moved beyond to include political statements and social consciousness.
The Beatles broke up in 1970, it is one of the major turning points in rock and roll history. Although the Beatles split up, they continued to impact rock and roll in the 1970s with their successful solo careers. The early 70s are marked by the deaths of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix who all died at the age of 27. Psychedelic music was on a decline, but it quickly morphed into hard rock, heavy metal and progressive rock. Touring bands moved from playing in theatres and clubs to playing in sports arenas. Big time bands, most of which formed in the sixties such as Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Grand Funk started to travel in private jets to play for thousands in outdoor stadiums and arenas.
John Lennon’s Death
John Lennon was killed by one of his fans in 1980, he was about to come back into the spotlight with his new album. This was another one of the major turning points in rock and roll history. MTV(Music Television) was launched on about 300 cable TV services in the USA. After 1983 it was available with 2,000 cable systems. VH1 was launched leaning towards classic rock. The music videos were used as marketing tools in commercials on radios, TVs etc. This influenced bringing of various new music bands and genres of rock music into the mainstream music. A resurgence heavy metal also took place in the same decade. Synthpop, rap, new wave and hip-hop started to emerge.
Alternative Rock and its sub-genres Pop Punk and Grunge expanded in popularity and exploded into the mainstream during the nineties. Independent bands started to be lured away from small record labels to big record labels. These artists showed resistance to the unfair demands of the big record companies which included changing of style to reach a wider audience. Heavy metal morphed into new sub-genres like rap metal, industrial metal and nu metal.
It will be interesting to see how rock music continues to evolve in the future.