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Music 262 History of Rock N Roll 2/1-2/12

by: Khatren Reed

Music 262 History of Rock N Roll 2/1-2/12 Music 262

Marketplace > Washington State University > Music 262 > Music 262 History of Rock N Roll 2 1 2 12
Khatren Reed

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About this Document

These notes cover what with be on exam #2
Music 262 Rock Music: History and Social Analysis
Brian Carter
Class Notes
Music, history, History of Rock N Roll
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This 8 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 35 views.


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Date Created: 02/14/16
Doo-wop • 50’s fans saw doo-wop as rock and roll • Emphasizes melody above • Reflected the increased (though still limited) commercial possibilities for black music • Doo-wop groups were more anonymous and less threatening • Groups were better able to sidestep the racial issue • The name “Doo-wop” did not come until the 1970s • Star groups of the time: The Platters, The Coasters, The Drifters • Grew out of urban settings (mainly East Coast) • Only a handful made it from the street-corner to stardom • Manly “One hit wonder” groups • Direct influence from early 50s R&B vocal groups and gospel group singing • Catchy melodies due to their simplicity • Use of the I-vi-IV[ii]- V progression (Heart and Soul) • Form follows the AABA pop standard formula • Doo-wop was the domain of innocent teenage love The Roots of Doo-Wop: 1930’s- Mill’s Brothers • Sound of the pre-rock era • Smooth romantic ballads • Wide-range appeal • Inspired younger groups to a polished sound in a more R&B direction 1940’s- The Ink Spots The Orioles and The Ravens • Early R&B Doo-wop • Important transition groups • Recorded many crossovers • Led to more dance oriented R&B vocal groups The Platters • The Ink Spots of the rock era • Recorded remakes of Ink Spots hits • One of the most successful crossover acts in the 1950’s • Rivaled only by Fats Domino in terms of recorded sales • Group sound appealed to older audience but retained dance feel for younger audience • 1955-60 had 18 top forty hits The Teenagers (Frankie Lymon) • Flipside of the Platters • Pure-street-corner doo-wop • Doo-wop sensation of 1956 • Featured 13-year old singing artist Frankie Lymon • Wholesome image to the public • Biggest hit: Why Do Fools Fall in Love The One Shots • Few doo-wop groups managed to make it oto the charts or sustain careers • Beyond a single hit… the Platters, Drifters, and Coasters achieved recognition • Many groups became the one hit wonders • In the eyes of the music business… they were expendable… new groups waiting • Pop market is always eager for new sounds • Individuality was erased by the group • Remember the songs… not the groups • Poor management and guidance • Signed with small record labels that had no intention of promoting careers Styles that began developing in the 1960s • R&B as pushing toward soul • Motown was rising in Detroit • Phil Spector on the west coast • Surf music rose out of CA • Teen Idols were created in the Brill Building in New York Neo-Doo-Wop (early 60’s) • Classic doo-wop and classic R&R dropped at the end of the 50’s • New vocal groups were shaping the music • Most neo-doo-wop is up tempo and fun • Parallels with the dance craze (The Twist) • Two Leading Neo-Doo-wop groups of the 1960’s: The Coasters and The Drifters • Both groups affiliated with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stroller Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller • Great songwriting team of the 50s • The “Rogers and Hart” of R&R • Paved the way for the Brill Building writers and Phil Spector productions • Updated Tin Pan Alley • Wrote hits for a wide range if artists/wide range of styles • Known best for music for Elvis and the Coasters • String of R&B successes by the time they were 21 • Had a street wise knowledge of black culture • Includes Kansas City and Hound Dog • First white writers to compose authentic R&B • Helped expand R&B’s range by incorporating a pop-style emphasis • Leiber wrote the words/ Stoller wrote the music • Revolutionized the music business- first independent producers • Not tied to any single record label- free agents The Coasters • Early name of group was The Robins • Encouraged Leiber and Stoller to join Atlantic Records • New personnel changes the name to The Coasters • Use of Playlets • “Playlets” story-song writing style that uses tongue-in-cheek-mini- dramas full of wit and insight The Drifters—“Uptown R&B” • L&S turned to more serious approach compared to the Coasters • Developed a high-tech production style • Produced the Drifters… did not write for them • Not the playlet style • Referred to as “Uptown R&B” • Enhanced the drama, romance, and urban realism of the Drifters songs • Many personnel changes during their tenure The Teen Idols—Rock and Roll’s Turning Point • February 3, 1959 (the death of Buddy Holly) is considered a turning point • R&R needed unifying leaders that would challenge the establishment • Would not happen until the Beatles in 1964 (Rock’s Renaissance) • Money to be made (not a passing fad) • Industry stepped in • Back to bland pop/ beat softened but still danceable • Lyrics were pasteurized but still aimed at youth • Audience moving toward young teenage girls • Young America brought what it was sold The Teen Idols • Bobby Valine was chosen to sing a tribute to Buddy Holly (next tour stop) • Frankie Avalon/Fabian were called to finish the tour • Most successful teen idol- Bobby Vinton • Good smooth voice • Three pre-Beatle hits: Roses are Red (My Love)/ Blue Velvet/ There! I Said It Again (knocked off charts by I Want To Hold Your Hand) Brill Building Pop • Country turned to Top 40 formats • Playlist dictated by popular demand not by money • Retained the playful spirit of rock • Exquisitely crafted songs and melodies • Tin Pan Ally’s teenage music • Songwriters dominated the industry not the singers • Brill Building was a real place (1619 Broadway in NY) Aldon Music Publishing • A symbol for the popular music in New York • Aldon Music Publishing formed in 1958 • Al Nevins and Don Kirshner assembled a group of songwriting teams • Started by Leiber and Stoller • Most successful pop enterprise at the time • Remained leader until the Beatles and Motown • Pop singers rarely wrote their own music • Made to order songs with teen themes • Songwriters were usually grouped in pairs (one/music- the other/lyrics) Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield • Wrote songs for Sedaka’s solo career in addition to others • First hit was Stupid Cupid (1958) for Connie Francis • String of 13 hit kept Sedaka on the charts through 1963 • Less varied in sound since they were writing for Sedaka • Pop music as a blissful escape from the realities of life Gerry Goffin and Carole King • Most prolific hitmakers at Aldon • Teen romance against urban landscapes • Rose above the cliché-ridden formulas • First hit was Will You Love Me Tomorrow (the Shirelles) • Their variety and ability to change with times kept them in business • King went on to revive her singing career- Tapestry (’71) Philadelphia and American Bandstand • City was the most successful teen idol “machine” • Created the stereotype of the neatly packaged pretty face • Groomed for instant success • Engine of the teen idol machine was American Bandstand • Began as a local televised dance party in 1952 • Picked up nationally by ABC in ‘57 • Dick Clark-host of Bandstand The Payola Scandal/ Alan Freed • Payola defined: Bribery of an influential person in exchange for the promotion of a product or service, such that of disc jockeys for the promotion of records The “Girl Group” • Most successful avenue for young black singers in early ‘60s • A sound and style rather than an individual voice or image • Firmly entrenched in the pop system • Success usually linked to a specific producer • Producer wrote and/or picked the songs for the groups • Projected HIS vision rather than the groups vision • Flourished and made some of the best music in the early ‘60s • Perfect for that era of music (less rebellious) • Not considered a threat to decency (pre-liberation era) • The music often has an underlying current of sexuality behind the innocence • Guys wanted sex- girls dreamed of love • Roots traced back to the doo-wop groups • Nearly all the girl groups were from New York area- same as doo- wop • Different than male doo-wop: 1) simpler vocal interplay 2) more room for bigger instrumental arrangements 3) more lead vocal with back-up 4) more full-voice unison (less 4-part harmony) The Chantels • Basically a one-shot group • Maybe was their big hit in 1957 • Important model for the girl groups that followed • Their sound reflects a return to simple sound of earlier doo-wop • Arlene Smith- lead singer The Shirelles • High school students from Passaic, New Jersey • One of the most successful acts between 1960 and 1963 • 6 singles in the top 10 during this time • Patterned themselves after the Chantels • Instrumental in defining the girl group sound • Bridged doo-wop and uptown New York pop-soul Groups that followed • Shirelles caused a second wave of white girl groups to follow • Like doo-wop, there were many one-shot groups • Many solo singers came and went • Songs varied between noisy celebrations of and tender ballads to THE BOY • Males were idealized images of adolescent romanticism • HE was so fine, an angel, my dreamboat, my one true love, etc. • The misunderstood rebel had a heart of gold - only girlfriend knew him The Chiffons • High school friends from the Bronx formed in 1960 • Singer/songwriter Ronnie Mack asked them to sing on a demo tape of some of his songs • One song included He’s So Fine • Mack died of cancer shortly after the release The Marvelettes • Motown’s only true pop girl group (the classy Supremes outgrew the image) • One of the early successes for Motown • Their biggest hit - Please Mr. Postman • Covered by The Beatles • Motown reached its peak during and after the British Invasion The Angels • My Boyfriend’s Back • One of the white girl groups of the early 60’s • White groups lacked the gospel-derived emotion of the black groups • Relied heavily on the melodramatic spoken interludes • The brazen tough girls was a challenge to the sugary girl group image The Shangri-Las • The Leader of the Pack • Last of the girl group era bands • Series of teen angst epics / mini teen dramas • Plays out like Romeo and Juliet in 2:45 • Shangri-Las played the bad girl image to the hilt • Covered by Twisted Sister, Bette Midler, Melissa Etheridge Phil Spector / Spector Records • Made the grandest pop records of all • “Little symphonies for kids” • Work with Ronettes/Darlene Love/Crystals represent the peak of the girl groups • Rock’s first self-conscious foray into the realm of Art • Invented the role of the modern producer • From knob-turner / contractor to artistic director • First producer to become a star in his own right • Groups / singers were secondary in Spector’s studio • A true eccentric (iconoclastic, long-haired, outrageously dressed) • “First tycoon of teen” The Wall of Sound • Use of many instruments • Sessions could use up to 6 guitars, 3 pianos, 2 basses, brass, winds • Percussion: tambourines, castanets, bells, marimbas, etc. • Anyone around the studio may have ended up on the recording • Take after take of layering to create basic tracks • Overdubbed strings followed with the voices at the end • Gold Star Studios in Hollywood / use of echo chamber • Large list of studio musicians were used - became known as the “Wrecking Crew” The Ronettes • Inspired Spector’ best work • Go-go girls in New York’s Peppermint Lounge • Sisters Ronnie and Estelle Benner with cousin Nedra Talley • Became the “Bad girls of pop” • Ronnie had a voice like Frankie Lymon (from the Teenagers) • Spector married Ronnie Bennett The Righteous Brothers • Spector’s last great success • The Beatles arrival and decline of girl groups- needed something different • Soulful duo Bill Medley (Ray Charles style voice) rich baritone • Bobby Hatfield used a wailing falsetto • Spector arrested on suspicion of committing murder and later claimed that she committed suicide but he made a 911 call saying “he might have killed some” so ended up guilty/ diagnosed himself as insane R&B and the Push Toward Soul • Rock & Roll was another name for R&B • R&B itself was changing • Artists tailored music to fit the trend • Doo-wop was the mot successful market • Chuck Berry/ Fats Domino/ Little Richard only three to gain mass appeal • Black performers kept R&B in the pop market during 50’s Atlantic Records • Premier R&B label of the 1950’s • Continued its preeminence in 1960’s with soul music • Excellent NY session players • Paid performance fairly • Top quality recordings • Polished sound The Soul Pioneers • Most significant development in the music of many African- American artists in early 60’s soul • Key element of soul: The influence of gospel music • Emotional intensity from gospel tradition • Blended with the influence of dance grooves • Soul mirrored the growing civil rights movement in America • Soul also functioned as a unifying “secular church” • Four leading soul pioneers: Ray Charles/ Sam Cooke/ Jackie Wilson/ James Brown Ray Charles • Not really R&R music • Had a great impact on pop music • Charted every decade since the 1950’s • Rise to popularity coincided with the rise of R&R • Singer, songwriter, arranger, pianist, and bandleader • Drew from the entire spectrum of music • A.k.a. “Right Reserved Ray Charles” • Major influence on both singers ad pianist • Church based music (influenced Aretha Franklin/ James Brown) • Ignited R&B with the impassioned testifying of a southern, Holy Roller revival meeting Sam Cooke • Known as the graceful voice in soul music • Very different from Ray Charles • Important to the development of soul music • Gifted singer/ songwriter/ successful businessman • Wrote many of the songs he recorded • Became a matinee idol- “the sexiest man in gospel” • Voice is a more floating quality compared to Charles • Shot to death in December, 1964 at the peak of his career • Major influence to many: Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, Steve Perry and others • Brought his melodic style of gospel to pop songs with graceful ease


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