The origin of rock and roll comes from many roots that date back in the nineteenth century. African-American slaves brought by the early American Celtics during the 17th and 18th century in America brought along with them their native African music which was later influenced by the music of their masters. With the passing of decades, gospel music, blues and country music began to evolve from the mixture of African and American music and later were adapted to become the musical genre of the African-Americans.
Before the onset of the Second World War, gospel music transformed into rhythm and blues and eventually into Jazz. The war broke up the popularity of Jazz and so in 1942 and 1943, Jazz bands migrated from south to the north to stage their performance and resurrect the popularity of jazz. Unfortunately, Jazz has never regained its reputation because of the lack of support by recording companies. The groups of African-American Jazz Bands staged a massive strike against these recording companies and ask for support for the already dwindling music industry of Jazz. But conditions were not met.
In the long run the recording companies without any other alternative music in place of jazz tried to experiment with solo performers, vocal backings and small groups of singers. Since gospel songs were still sung by black’s religious group, the word “rock” has been in constant use with most of the songs they created. Examples of these songs are the Rock My Soul, Rock Me Lord, Rock Daniel and so on. Although the word rock has occasionally been misconstrued during the 1920s describing it as a connotation for sex in slang word, it was in 1947 when Roy Brown changed that meaning.
Brown did a blues called Good Rockin’ Tonight and then it was followed by Wynonie Harries’ song that was derived from Brown’s blues. The word rock became fad among the rhythm and blues (r&b) songs and recordings. From there on, musicians have begun to experiment on vocals and guitar away from jazz By the late 1940s, groups like the Orioles were already performing rock music with the style of African-American dance music of boogie-woogie. Louis Jordan who was known then to be the most popular r&b performer had embarked on playing rock music and made 18 records that remained bestseller for years.
His dance music of lively dance called “jump blues” or “jumpin’ jive” had inspired the spirit of early rock’n’roll. Jimmy Preston, Bill Haley and Chuck Berry were only few of the early rock and rollers who were also inspired by the music of Jordan. But prior to the introduction of rock and roll into the music industry, this musical genre have already been created by other bands unknown in the industry. The Muddy Waters in 1943 made their own style of combining amplified vocals, guitar, drums, harmonica and piano to create music much the same as rock and roll.
The music was only to become a hit when Jordan made his music backed-up by recording companies. Although it seems now that rock and roll was also introduced by the revolutionary evolution of African-American music, its arrival also influenced county and Western music. The Western music absorbed the tempo of rock and roll particularly the boogie-woogie dance and style of songs. It was understood that the first rock’n’roll recording was Rocket 88 by Ike Turner and His Rhythm Kings in Memphis under Sam Phillips studio. Phillips is soon to discover Elvis Presley, B.
B. King, Jerry Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash in the world of
The late 1940s have popularized the doo-woop and boogie woogie as the progression of rock and roll in its early stage. During the 1950s, however, music of different genre with mixture of early rock and roll, country, blues and jazz has made the world of music livelier. This became the era for Presley, Haley, Holly and Little Richard. In the 1960s, America has begun to merge their music with the British. The Beatles has arrived and invaded not only America but also the world with their most popular rock band.
Later, they overtook what Elvis and the other great rock and roll performers have ruled in the past decade. The Beatles have triggered a new age of rock and more astonishing genre of rock was about to come in the following decades. This will explain the relation of the early rock and roll to the music we have today. After years of Beatlemania we have created more colorful, livelier and intriguing bands in the world of rock. Pink Floyd, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix were only few of those who also conquered the world with their own style of rock.
Folk rock was one of the metamorphoses of rock and roll that has the traditional acoustic rock and blues undertone. Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin were few of the most popular musicians who are best in this genre. Heavy metal rock also emanates from the early rock and roll and it is emphasized with the use of a thick, heavy and highly amplified electric musical instruments to produce not only rhythm but with the accent of the real “rocking of instruments”. The Black Sabbath popularized heavy metal in our modern society. The 70s became a war of the heavy metal bands.
Led Zeppelin who was already known in the 60s became more popular as the dawning of heavy metal music continued. They created a perfect blend of hard rock and blues to create their original music. Other rock bands are mellower, however, with the emergence of bands like David Bowie, the Eagles, Queen and Yes. These bands does not follow the genre of hard rock but leveled more on soft rock, pop, soul and country music with the influence of rock. Before the closing of the 70s, a new wave of music that cast the shadow of rock and roll came into the scene.
The “punk rock” was a combination of anarchism and teenage rage with the musical bases of rock and roll. Originally introduced by The Ramones, other bands followed their style with the arrival of The Sex Pistols and The Clash. The coming of punk music influenced the new generation of music in the following years. As the 1980s became most popular with the reintroduction of different bands of different style, heavy metal bands dominate the music industry during this decade. Heavy metal rock bands are most notorious with their tight leather pants, electrifying guitar solos and colorful hair.
Guns and Roses, Van Halen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Motley Cue and Bon Jovi are good examples of these bands. These bands occupy the music airwave with their powerful ballads and guitar solos. Then during the mid 80s, another wave of music genre was suddenly introduced by the generation of young but jolly musicians. From punk into funk, the disco music has arrived. In the last years of the decade, alternative rock or better known as Indie music emerged. This is where the bands of U2, The Cure and Sonic Youth became most popular.
As the 1990s came, new bands of rock alternative musicians came packing a different form of music. It was known as “grunge music” and the most popular band in this genre was the Nirvana. Grunge music is emphasized by the playing of dirty guitar and strong guitar riffs that is distorted to produce feedback with other instruments. It originates from Seattle, Washington and expresses dark lyrics and torments which the generation adored. Peal Jam, Alice in Chains and Jane’s Addiction specialize in this type of music.
The coming of year 2000 up to the present became a mixture of genre of music that was broadest in its form. The passing of generations, however, have seen the transformation of music to the very simple gospel music to the lively rock and roll and to more daring musical adaptations of different musical genre. At present, Emo music is most popular among the young generations of today. It is an alternative rock sub genre that contains intense emotional lyrics mixed with the root of hardcore punk.
Bands like Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, From First to Last, Brand New and mellower bands like the Dashboard Confessional, and Bright Eyes are only few of the Indie bands that scattered their influence in our music industry (MeGsTeRl3, 2007). Technology has played a major role in the development of rock when Adolph Rickenbacker invented the electric guitar in 1931. Transistor technology was also improved as well as the microphones to capture the distinction of voice.
Guitars became louder and vocals with the shuffle beat of blues drumming revolutionize the making of drum kit assembly best fit for the tones. Country, folk and all-American music originates from diversified forms of music but they all fall under the influence of rock music. The decades of influence by different artists have saturated the consciousness of the public that focused on rock music. Developing it into an artform exploded into many genre of artist, style, media and tools that have alternately altered, distorted or even improved the level music preferred by the public.
What is more amazing is that from time to time there were bands that would shock us, amaze us or even bring us to high level of consciousness with their presentation of music. However, with all the music, song, tunes and composition we had and still have every bit of it have roots of rock and roll into it. Rock ‘n’ roll inspired us to become daring and experimental with our music and so we learn to realize our freedom to make music according to the preference of the existing generation (Productions, 2004).