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History of Rock N Roll Notes

by: Khatren Reed

History of Rock N Roll Notes Music 262

Marketplace > Washington State University > Music 262 > History of Rock N Roll Notes
Khatren Reed
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About this Document

These notes cover materials leading up to Exam
Music 262 Rock Music: History and Social Analysis
Brian Carter
Class Notes
Art, history, History of Rock and Roll, Rock and Roll




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Khatren Reed on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Music 262 at Washington State University taught by Brian Carter in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 135 views.


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Date Created: 02/14/16
History of Elvis • Born January 8, 1935- Tupelo, Mississippi • An only child (twin brother died at birth) • Poor/blue collar family, but given much love • Painfully shy and introverted • Revered his mother and respected his elders • Gospel music was an early important influence • Gospel remained a part of Elvis’ repertoire throughout his career The Sun Studio Years of Elvis • Phillips saw promise in Elvis through the recordings done in summer of ‘53 • One year later- hooked Elvis up with Scotty Moore and Bill Black • Sun recordings reflect discovery for Elvis • Dubbed the “hillbilly cat” Presley/ Important Observation • Remains the most indelible image of R&R • The first rock hero (THE King of Rock and Roll) • Elvis was the singer, not the song • The model for many.. an idealized image • First to battle the mainstream • Forced R&R down the mainstream’s throat • Made it R&R more than a passing fad for R&B • Opened the gates for black R&B artists Elvis with RCA • Bought Elvis’ contract for $40,000 • Col. Tom Parker became new manager • Reached national status with Heartbreak Hotel • First TV appearance was January 28, 1956 • Appearances sent shock waves through the country • Defined the rock image of the fifties • Brooding sensuality defined the male ideal • First fully televised ascent to stardom • Helped link R&R with television • Elvis dominated 50’s- Beatles dominated 60’s • Created an acceptance for black music • Interesting Fact: Presley never wrote any songs- he covered other artists or the songs were written for him The Army: 1958-60 • Was drafted • Could have served in Special Services but chose not to • Salary cut from $100,000 to $78 a month • Parker saw this as a good PR (the value of “GI Elvis”) • Win over the parents • Army was a popular destination in 1958 Hollywood after the Army: 1960-69 • Earlier pictures were his strongest • R&R had gone soft in his absence • Industry was trying to make it safe and controllable • Saw himself as a movie star, not a R&R star • Strong desire for mainstream and “all-around entertainer” • Opted to turning out harmless ballads and forgettable movies • Lost the edge that he has prior to the army The 1968 Comeback Christmas TV Special • Brought back the “Elvis Rocker” • Memphis record yielded a group of hits • In the Ghetto and Suspicious Minds • Became the basis for his return to the stage • Made the mistake of going to Las Vegas The Decline • Flopped in Vegas in 1956 • Leather jacket replaced by glitter jumpsuits • Concerts became more circus-like • Burning Love last major hit in 1972 • Divorced from Priscilla in 1973 • Led a lonely life- no friends • Fought obesity with prescription drugs, which led to abuse • Died August 16, 1977 Carl Perkins- 1932/1998 • Known as the “King of Rockabilly” • Grew up in dire poverty • Loved the Grand Ole Opry, blues and gospel • Wrote his own songs (unlike Elvis) • Remained true to his style • Encouraged by Phillips to full the void at Sun after Presley left • “Country music needed the black man’s rhythm” Jerry Lee Lewis (b. 1935) • From Ferriday, Louisiana • Hell-raiser of the family • First cousin is Jimmy Swaggert • Deep religious background (Pentecostal) • Expelled from the S.W. Bible Institute for playing hymns w/a boogie-woogie bass • Carried conflict between music and religion throughout his career • Influenced by the great barrelhouse piano players New Orleans Lewis’ Success • Became known as “The Killer” • Great showman • Pianos played in concert always took a beating (similar to Little Richard/very enthusiastic) (Great Balls of Fire) • Viewers shocked at how he mistreated the instrument • Lewis was viewed as Elvis’ rival • Outlandish image was a perfect foil to Elvis’ increasing respectability Lewis’ Failure • Married hisrd3 year old cousin in December 57 (22 at the time) • Was his 3 wife • Status of one of his previous marriages questioned • Branded a “baby snatcher” • Forced to cancel his European tour due to outrage he experienced • Revitalized his career in the mid 60’s as a country star • While Elvis invented rockabilly and Carl Perkins gave it a defined dignified form Jerry Lee Lewis gave it its very soul- the soul he solf for Rock and Roll • Million dollar quarter- Perkins, Presley, Cash and Lewis Rock Styles Expand: The Push Toward Pop (1958-1963) • Late 50’s transitional period between initial R&R and teen idol period • A “second wave” appears in 1957 • Elvis (at RCA) brought R&R to a much wider audience • Newcomers had clean-cut images- broadened the appearance • Sexual overtones of the music was fading- replaced by hummable tunes • But the beat was not gone Three Transitional Rockabilly Artists • Ricky Nelson • Buddy Holly • Eddie Cochran Ricky Nelson • Grew up in front of the nation as “Little Ricky” • The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet • His actual family in the sitcom • “America’s Darling” before he even sang a note • Talented musician- knew what he wanted • Made consistently good records from 1957 to 63 • Singing worked into the plots of the show • Put R&R music in America’s living room • “LA Rockabilly” style in some of his music (not from the south) • Career overshadowed by the British Invasion • Ozzie and Harriet went off the air in 1966 • Formed the Stone Canyon Band in 1969 • Did not want to be an oldies act • Rock revival show in 1972 Madison Square Gardens (-jeered by oldies crowd) • Wrote Garden Party- his last top 1- hit- 1972 • Killed in plane crash December 31, 1985 Buddy Holly • Last of the 50’s giants • Similar interest in combining country with pop • Pointed the music toward the first Rock Band • Not fully realized until the Beatles • First major white artist to write/produce his music • First to use the studio as an instrument • Explored the techniques of sound and production • Vocal techniques: stretched syllables and hiccups • Popularized the Fender Stratocaster • “Boy Next Door” image (not sexy!!.. geeky looking) • His music was simple and pure The Beginnings • Born in Lubbock, Texas- September 7, 1936 • Early love of C&W and western swing • Influenced by black music from the radio airwaves • Embraced rockabilly and imitated Elvis as best he could The Crickets • Prototype for the self-contained rock band • A Band of equals (co-wrote the music and all arranged the music) • The two guitar/bass/drums combination- set the standard for British Bands • Revered in England • The name inspired the Beatles (?) and Hollies • Beatles recorded That’ll Be The Day in ’58 in a small studio in Liverpool • February 3, 1959 The Day the Music Died (All 3 Band Members Died) Eddie Cochran • b. Oklahoma in 1938 • Gained major fame in England than America • Major influence on British guitar players • Early development of the power chord sound • Style (musical, vocal, fashion) strongly influenced by Elvis • Appeared in The Girl Can’t Help Ot (big-budget “rock-ploitation” film) • Biggest American hit- Summertime Blues • Died in a car accident in April of 1960 (age 21) The Everly Brothers • Nashville finally has inroad to the R&R market • Brothers, Don and Phil Everly- calming sound compared to Memphis market • Updated tradition of country and western • Brought a soft melodic beauty to R&R w/ broad appeal • Featured a duo voice-unique in the solo voice market • Influenced others such as the harmonies of John/Paul • Direct descendants : Simon & Garfunkel/ Peter & Gordon/ Chad & Jeremy • Buddy Holly & Everly Brothers- “Ancestors of California Country Rock” The Beginnings • Like Nelson.. grew up in show business family • Parents were country singers • Connections with guitarist Chet Atkins • Recorded in Nashville RCA studios • Created a tight polished sound


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