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Musicology 120: History of Rock

by: Neel Notetaker

Musicology 120: History of Rock MUCO 120

Marketplace > University of Tennessee - Knoxville > Musicology > MUCO 120 > Musicology 120 History of Rock
Neel Notetaker
GPA 3.86

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About this Document

These notes consist of all of the material leading up to the first quiz in class.
History of Rock
S. McCollough
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Neel Notetaker on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUCO 120 at University of Tennessee - Knoxville taught by S. McCollough in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see History of Rock in Musicology at University of Tennessee - Knoxville.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
9/19/2016  Elvis in Las Vegas o In the late 50s (?), Elvis started on prescription painkillers and drugs; gained weight o Still people were crazy about him; they bought his merchandise, listened to his music o “Ultimately, I think Elvis Presley was the right man, at the right place, at the right time” o Teenagers were looking for new music; Sun Records in Memphis was the right place, and he was a great singer, very talented, charismatic, good-looking; also the right man because he was white o Elvis was the first BIG rockstar o Elvis was not a great songwriter; not very great at playing the guitar  Chuck Berry o Great songwriter; great at playing guitar o Black man o Listen: “Maybalene” (first single – Chess Records, which was under blues label)  Chess Brothers – were thinking why a black man was bringing a country song  Was sort of a mix of country and R&B o Guitar skills: people copied him, took inspiration; “Johnny Be Good”  “Million Dollar Quartet” – Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley o Carl Perkins – “Blue Suede Shoes” o Jerry Lee Lewis – from Mississippi; got kicked out of school; sold enough eggs on his farm to make enough money to make it to Sun Records  Was poised to be the next big thing  “Whole Lotta Shakin’”  Lewis vs. Elvis  Elvis was a rebellious figure playing black songs, but he was also known as a good southern boy who loved his momma  Lewis was a pure, unadulterated and I forgot what else because I looked into Harsh’s eyes and got lost in them…  Johnny Cash – married into what he called the “first family of country music”  Married June Carter, daughter of Maybelle Carter  “Folsom Prison Blues”  Eddie Cochran o “Summertime Blues"  Rockabilly World o Janis Martin (The Female Elvis)  Women had to fight to be included in the rock world  “Drugstore Rock ‘n Roll” o Buddy Holly and the Crickets  “That’ll Be The Day”  “The Death of Rock ‘n Roll” o Elvis joined the army o Little Richard joins the ministry o Chuck Berry was arrested o Jerry Lee Lewis marries cousin o Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens die in a plane crash o Other rising stars such as Eddie Cochran o Payola scandal (in the 1950s) – the intention of the creators of the scandal may have been to kill rock ‘n roll; pay for play  Payola o Since the beginning of radio in early ‘20s, the music on the radio was there because somebody paid someone to play it… and it continues to today o Royalty – getting paid whenever your song was played; some would do it just for royalties o Alan Freed had his career ruined because of this o Payola wasn’t illegal o Dick Clark’s American Bandstand (TV show)  Had (white) teenagers dancing to songs with lip-syncing  No one went after him for payola  Published people’s songs (because he got some rights, hence royalties, for it) o Advertising songs on radio – gives another sense of meaning to “hit”; when the song is played repeatedly, the audience ends up liking the song  After the death…  Teen Idols Frankie Avalon and Fabian o “Venus” o Were portrayed as ideal boyfriends  Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller o Caught an act at a club (Big Momma Thornton), so they wrote her a song o Wrote songs for some artists, including Elvis o Started mixing black musical elements after a little while o Playlets – The Coasters  “Down in Mexico” o The Drifters  “On Broadway” o Brill Building Pop (early 1960s)  In some ways, it was like new Tin Pan Alley  Brill Building was almost like a songwriting factory  Carol King and Jerry Goffin o Carol King was a teenage mom (married early) o Had 20+ hits as a teen o “Girl Group” the Shirelles – “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”  Phil Spector and the “Wall of Sound”  Producers sometimes had an idea of what they wanted the songs to sound like to increase audience appeal, disregarding the artist’s natural way of approaching the song/album  Some producers had the attitude “Do your thing. I’m here to help.”  Phil Spector was a very authoritarian record producer – he was good at making hits  Sometimes, the artists seeked out such record producers to get their songs to be hits  “Wall of Sound” – early 1960s; Phil Spector didn’t have many options to make lush sound; having all the instrument players playing in the same room, the sound from the instruments would bounce of the walls and go into other’s mic, which just created a big wall of sound; Spector recognized this as a money-maker  “Da Doo Ron Ron” o Written by Spector with Brill Building Songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Grenwich  Darlene Love with Phil Spector o Spector did not put much effort to push her music; maybe because she was more useful to him in other ways, such as a backup singer o “Today I Met The Guy I’m Going To Marry”  Ronnie Bennett o Perhaps Spector’s favorite; married her, but didn’t last long; produced great music together o “Be My Baby” 9/30/2016  Skiffle o Skiffle – term that musicians used to refer to their own music as o Lonnie Donegan  “Rock Island Line” o The Quarrymen at the Casbah Coffee Club o Had three of the Beatles o Casbah Coffee Club – home of skiffle in Liverpool; was in the basement of the Beatle’s first drummer (Pete Best);  History – always filtered through people; after Beatles signed a big contract, they fired Pete Best; the family held a grudge against the Beatles and never gave an interview about the Beatles o The Cavern Club  The Beatles loved Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, early rock ‘n roll  “Roll Over Beethoven”  Beatles play A LOT in the Cavern Club; honed their skills  Got noticed by a big manager, Brian Epstein – promoted the Beatles  Beatlemania in England – Beatles got instant success  Beatles got a huge contract under producer George Martin, who largely produced classical music (Beatles weren’t his cup of tea); George Martin loved the Beatles because they were charismatic and charming; at this point, Beatles fired Pete Best and hired Ringo Star o Beatles took inspiration from Buddy Holly’s band “Crickets” when they came up with their name o The Beatles were promoted a lot for six months so that they could go and perform in US o The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show (Feb. 9, 1964)  “I Want To Hold Your Hand” o Historical Background – JFK assassinated in 1963, Cuban Missile Crisis going on; everyone’s mood was down when the Beatles came and “cheered” them up o Beatles also put out a movie (promotional tool)  More of a “how to make a rock band” movie  “A Hard Day’s Night” from A Hard Day’s Night  They do not adhere to all elements of rock completely  Their rock music is “different” from what rock was known to be until that point o Paul McCartney wrote a song – “yesterday”  According to Guinness Book of World Records, McCartney was the most successful pop star o Album – “Rubber Soul”  Was the Beatles coming-of-age album – theme of the songs become more “adult” and deeper; suddenly there was no more formula, every song could sound different;  “In My Life” – more focused on lyrics  The Beatles started experimenting in the studio, something that they couldn’t do live o George Harrison with sitar player Ravi Shankar  Sitar became influential in rock  “Norwegian Wood” – first song with a sitar o “Eleanore Rigby” o


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