Origins Of Rock

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Rock music was derived from many black and white American music styles such as: black guitar-accompanied blues; black rhythm and blues, saxophone solos; black and white gospel music; white country and western music; and the songs of white popular crooners and harmony groups. Rock music first emerged in 1954-55, and was initially named "rock 'n' roll." In 1964 it was renamed "rock music." The change in the music's name shows that its popularity remained despite the changes in the music; rock music was no longer just for dancing. After 1964, The Beatles were a major influence on rock music.

The first rock 'n' roll record to achieve huge popularity was "Rock Around the Clock" made by Bill Haley and the Comets in 1955. Haley's music appealed to the youth of the time as he had combined an exciting backbeat and interesting lyrics. The melody was played by electric guitar; the lyrics were simple but captivating.

Haley succeeded in ending the love of the bland and sentimental ballads popular in the 1940s and early 50s. Haley also managed to translate black rhythm and blues into a new form that the adolescent white audiences understood and loved.

Blues, and rhythm and blues, were seen as to adult and solely identified with black culture to be acceptable to the youth without Haley's adaptation of it. "Race records," had been produced for the black culture of the time for many years. The arrival of rock 'n' rolls showed a beginning of the collapse in the resistance to black culture. The black rock 'n' roll that Haley transformed can be heard in the work of such artists as Hank Ballard and the Midnighters ("Work with Me, Annie") or "Big" Joe Turner ("Shake, Rattle, and Roll"), the last song was adapted by Haley for white audiences...