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MU 227 Week 4 Class Notes

by: Emily Notetaker

MU 227 Week 4 Class Notes MU 227

Emily Notetaker
Cal Poly
GPA 3.175
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About this Document

These notes cover MU 227 Week 4 lectures.
Popular Music of the USA
Dr. Kenneth Habib
Class Notes
Music, cal poly, popular, mu, 227




Popular in Popular Music of the USA

Popular in Music

This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Notetaker on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MU 227 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by Dr. Kenneth Habib in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Popular Music of the USA in Music at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.


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Date Created: 01/28/16
Key: Vocabulary Term MU 227 Point Emphasized Winter 2016 by Professor Dr. Habib Week 4 Lecture Notes I. Pete Seeger Continued a. 1947/48: The Weavers i. No Woodie Guthrie ii. More commercial in nature while still making some political statements iii. Bridged the gap between leftist beliefs and commercial appeal 1. Marked the beginning of commercial folk 2. The Weavers were blacklisted as a delayed response to leftist political commentary from Almanac Singers II. Listening: “Goodnight Irene” by the Weavers a. Released around 1949 b. Cover of a Ledbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) song (ca. 1943) c. Sold over 5 million records III. WWII and Post-WWII Politics a. Unions leaned towards left/social of politics b. Figures like Pete Seeger were targets of McCarthyism i. McCarthyism: Practice of making accusations of disloyalty or unpatriotism, especially of pro-communist activity, often with little or irrelevant evidence ii. Negatively connoted – You can’t be a good American if you’re Communist iii. Joe McCarthy was a congressman at the center of targeting communism and socialism c. Seeger was targeted and blacklisted i. He was indicted and brought before congress but acquitted in 1962 1. Middle of Vietnam War d. The Weavers were blacklisted from airways even though they were largely nonpolitical and commercial in nature i. Huge freedom of speech issue e. Weavers broke up in 1953 – no one would hire them f. In 1963, Seeger appeared on popular television program Hootinanny i. Hootinanny was a TV show featuring mass mediated folk IV. Folk Boom and Revival: 1958-1964 a. Weavers led up to the commercial folk boom and revival b. The release of “Tom Dooley” by the Kingston Trio was the official start of the boom V. The Kingston Trio i. Formed in San Francisco in 1957 ii. Clean cut image and groomed stage manner iii. Commercial, not political music iv. “Tom Dooley” was a remake of an old murder ballad called “Tom Dooley” from the southeast USA 1. Remake: A “cover” of an old song where the author is unknown VI. Listening: “Tom Dooley” by the Kingston Trio VII. 5 Factors Leading to the Folk Music Boom a. There was a vacuum in rock n roll b. Urbanization i. Many people moved to cities and missed simpler, better country life 1. Things that were once restricted to country life were moved into the city ii. Hootenannies: Gatherings of people playing and sharing folk music together 1. Held at coffee houses, parks, homes 2. Coffee houses were incredibly important to folk music – it’s where artists were discovered iii. Folk artists were scoped out and discovered at hootenannies c. Folk festivals emerged where new artists were discovered i. Newport folk festival in Rhode Island d. Media and Industry Promotion i. The radio played more music ii. Press, Sing Out! published in 1950 iii. Hootenanny is on television iv. Stores are selling old song books and instruments e. Institutions for preservation or promotion i. For example, Smithsonian Institution, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) ii. Institutions could be elitist because they are making decisions about defining genre and folk VIII. 2 Phases of the Folk Boom a. Phase 1: Commercial Folk i. Kingston Trio ii. Clean cut and polished b. Phase 2: Folk Protest or Political Folk i. Joan Baez, Buffie St. Marie ii. Less emphasis on being clean cut and polished iii. Emphasis on political statements 1. Civil rights and anti-war IX. Folk Protest a. The civil rights movement played a major role b. Songs often borrowed from African American participatory and congregational styles (Gospel) i. Congregational styles symbolized unity and strength c. Chicano/Mexican-American movement and Cesar Chavez d. Native American Movement or American Indian Movement (AIM) i. Symbol was an upside down American flag ii. The American flag didn’t symbolize the same thing to Native Americans that it did to white Americans e. Asian American Movement (East Asia): General movement, while their histories have differed they are now coming together to better their lives i. For example, the Japanese Americans in WWII X. Joan Baez i. Born 1941 in New York ii. Could sing very well iii. Became a hit at the 1959 Newport Folk Fesitval iv. Best known for her covers but also wrote originials v. Folk protest activist XI. Peter, Paul and Mary i. Formed in 1961 in New York ii. Combined solo singing with three-part harmony iii. Performed originals and covers iv. Commercial and political v. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” discusses the endless cycle of war XII. Bob Dylan i. People listened to him for his message, not his singing voice ii. Guthrie was a huge influence iii. Went to NY to find Guthrie and found him very ill iv. Grew up in the 1950s playing rock n roll and learned the electric guitar v. Picked up folk music in the late 1950s vi. Consumed published folk music with acoustic guitar vii. Went to Greenwich Village and finds clubs and coffee houses where folk artists were 1. Copied those artists viii. Dylan’s first album was only covers ix. After a few albums, he became a well known, clever artist x. He was great at hooks 1. Hook: Usually the opening or refrain of a song, you feel a sense of arrival, something that hooks the listener xi. Became one of the most covered artists in American popular music XIII. Folk Rock: 1964 – Present a. 1964: Folk rock starts with the Animals release of “House of the Rising Son,” a remake of an old folk song i. Part of the British Invasion ii. Song had organ iii. Tells a tale about a brothel in New Orleans iv. White people typically did not sing in the style that the Animals did b. 1965: The Byrds cover Dylan’s “Mr. Tamborine Man” with a jangly electric 12-string guitar and in 4 instead of 2 i. This “rock-ified” Dylan c. 1965: Dylan performs at Newport Folk Festival with Paul Butterfield Blues Band – heavily booed for going electric, betraying folk music and selling out i. Dylan confused the idea of folk authenticity ii. What is authentic? iii. How could folk and rock meld together? It was inevitable d. The major electronic development paved the way for politically significant lyrical content in rock music and electric in folk music i. Big recipe for change e. Simon and Garfunkel: i. Paul Simon (songwriter, singer and guitarist) and Art Garfunkel (singer) ii. “Sounds of Silence” in 1965 was their first hit single 1. Electric guitar and rock style was a big deal! XIV. Listening: “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round” by SNCC Freedom Singers a. Remake of an old spiritual with new lyrics b. Call and response – huge in African American music styles Folk Wrap Up and Country Introduction I. Listening: Allison Cross – band with a fiddle (violin) a. Jerry Douglas, guitar player i. What did we hear? 1. Playing guitar with a slide and resonator 2. Virtuoso: An expert who is not easily followed 3. Blue Grass genre – virtuosity doesn’t typically come from country or folk music Country Music I. Introduction a. Deliberately commercial b. 1920s: Developing recording industry became interested in vernacular music c. Vernacular music was defined along color lines i. “Hillbilly” and “Race” ii. Hillbilly à Country d. Listening: “Jordan’s A Hard Road to Travel” i. String band and ballad 1. String bands will create country music e. From Anglo-American vernacular music (folk musics) f. Largely by whites, but exceptions include Charley Pride who signed to RCA Records in 1964 as the first African-American country music performer on a major label g. Filled with realism, sentimentality, nostalgia h. Performance and the song writing are highly regarded II. Commercialism a. Became popular through radio and the recording industry as well as people selling songs b. Radio stations hired rural musicians to perform live on banjo, guitar, fiddle c. Localized “country” became mass mediated “country” d. Industry increasing sought rural performers to discover and exploit III. WSM Nashville a. 1925: hosted “WSM Barn Dance” radio show b. 1927: Show renamed “Grand Ole Opry” c. Over years became a live event in various auditoriums (like Ryman Auditorium), moved to Opryland outside Nashville d. Grand Ole Opry came to epitomize country music and culture i. Opry – “Opera” is the epitome of musical culture e. Influence of the show helped make Nashville the center of country music i. Many musicians moved to Nashville to be at the center of the music scene f. Artists perfected acts to present at Grand Ole Opry i. The Grand Ole Opry was the big time – the aspiration of many artists IV. OKeh Record Company a. Label helped to define country music b. Recorded Anglo-American and African American artists c. Ralph Peer i. A&R Agent for OKeh Records ii. Recording director, talent scout, producer iii. Went town to town advertising for local talent and recording them iv. First to use “hillbilly” for a musical style V. Early Influences in Country a. Contrasting trends take off around 1927 VI. The Carter Family a. Trio from the mountains of Virginia i. Were genuine, not from LA or the big time ii. Truly a family iii. Wholesome, easy music to let into the home b. Alvin Pleasant, Sara (wife), Maybelle (sister-in-law) c. Maybelle’s daughter June married Johnny Cash d. Conservative trend of country tied to Appalachian mountain traditions e. Discovered by Ralph Peer f. Famous, influential, performed locally, did not tour g. Built a huge repertoire of folk, religious and sentimental songs h. Three-part vocal harmony influenced by southern, white hymn singing i. Maybelle’s thumb-brush style of guitar playing is still popular i. Melody with thumb on bass strings, accompaniment with downward brush of fingers across treble strings j. Also used autoharps VII. Listening: “Gospel Ship” by Carter Family a. Very evident thumb-brush VIII. Jimmie Rodgers a. 1897, Medidian, Mississippi to 1933, New York b. Learned banjo and guitar when young c. Dreamed of being an entertainer d. Discovered by Ralph Peer e. Worked in medicine shows at 13 years old i. Medicine Shows: Traveling entertainments fairs where one could buy “potions” and “medicines” f. Worked on the railroad with his father, retired in 1925 from ill- health g. Worked as a black-face minstrel h. First big name country star i. Set the standard for country being especially commercial j. Cosmopolitan, eclectic and worldly k. Outside Influences: i. African American Blues: learned from railroad experience in Mississippi, called the “singing brakeman” ii. Swiss Yodeling: learned from Swiss yodelers in medicine shows that included “ethnic” and “exotic” performers iii. Hawaiian Steel Guitar: set on thighs, plucked with one hand whole the other slides with a metal bar on strings 1. There is also the pedal steel guitar that makes the classic “country” sound (We watched Youtube videos of the instrument in class) l. Image: costuming attire, his behavior established the romantic, western, drifting cowboy image m. Stylistically diverse n. Toured in the South o. Became known as “the Breakman,” “Blue Yodeler” i. Wrote 12 songs called Blue Yodels p. By 1930s, earned $100,000/year IX. “Blue Yodel No. 6” by Jimmie Rodgers a. Thumb-brushing guitar b. Yodeling c. Simple form X. Cowboy Music a. During the Great Depression, country music developed into different styles b. Association with lonely cowboy, drifter image reinforced by the movie industry i. A melding of music and movies just as we saw with Tin Pan Alley c. Singing cowboys became popular d. Movies sold music, music sold movies and both were tied to Hollywood e. Music became highly produced and professional f. Clothing, other cultural artifacts entered the economic equation XI. Gene Autry a. Born in 1907 in Tioga, TX, and died in 1998 in Studio City, CA b. Singer, songwriter and actor c. One of the most famous singing cowboys d. Appeared in nearly 100 cowboy movies/westerns e. Introduced county music to a national audience more than anyone before him XII. Listening: “South of the Border” by Gene Autry a. Slide guitar/steel guitar b. Professional orchestra in the intro trying to sound folk-y c. Brass instruments XIII. Bluegrass a. “Folk music in overdrive” – Bill Monroe b. Developed in 1940s c. Bill Monroe originated, first performed at the Grand Ole Opry with his group Blue Grass Boys d. From Monroe’s group came important players, Earl Scruggs (banjo), Lester Flatt (guitar) e. Name comes from Kentucky grass in Monroe’s home state, NOT FROM THE BLUES f. 4-7 acoustic stringed instruments in a band: i. Fiddle, ii. Banjo iii. Mandolin iv. Guitar v. Steel Guitar vi. String Bass g. Combines elements of dance, home entertainment, religious folk music of the rural south h. Virtuosic – You had to be good at your instrument i. Improvised soloes j. Fast tempo k. High vocal character called “high lonesome” i. There are not always vocals in songs l. Mostly sentimental songs, spirituals, revival hymns, instrumental numbers m. In 190s the influence of other styles gave rise to “newgrass” groups i. Where the line was drawn between acoustic and electric bluegrass XIV. Listen to “Randy Lynn Rag” a. AABB form i. Also AB form XV. Listen to “Blue Moon of Kentucky” by Bill Monroe a. High voice b. Mandolin XVI. Honky Tonk a. Migration to cities during the Great Depression brought country music into working class bars b. Developed 1930s-40s in Texas c. Mostly men in bars; women there sometimes known as “honky tonk angels” and conceded of ill repute - there were often prostitutes in bars i. And vice versa ii. Honky Tonk embraced the bar life, including discussing women in poor taste d. Music was male dominated in performers and audience while women were sung about e. Used electric guitar and bass to be heard over noise i. Electronic instruments overpowered the noise of bars ii. Electrifying changes the timbre of the instrument and voices iii. People liked electronic alteration f. Loud with a heavy beat g. Origin of the name “Honky Tonk” unknown, maybe modified from an out of tune, upright piano h. Sobbing vocal delivery i. Lyrics are about work, love and working class themes XVII. Hank Williams Sr.: i. Born 1923, n.r. Georgiana, AL, and died in Oakhill, WV in 1953 ii. Honky tonk singer, guitarist and songwriter iii. Influenced by African American music 1. A black street musician taught him his first guitar chords iv. Addicted to alcohol and drugs, died at 29 b. Women not completely removed from leadership in Honky Tonk XVIII. Kitty Wells: i. Born in 1919 in Nashville, TN, and died 2012 in Madison, TN ii. Singer, songwriter iii. First female superstar of country music iv. Responded to Hank Thompson’s popular song “Wild Side of Life” with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” in 1952 1. Song perceived as a mild expression of women’s liberation, response to a male-dominated scene XIX. Listen to “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams Sr. a. Slide guitar b. You can hear how his voice changes with the use of a microphone


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