The history of rock and roll. You probably think its an extravagant story, when inreality it was all so simple.

It’s the 1950’s, at time when pop music and rhythm andblues(R&B), boogie, jazz, gospel, and country and vocal groups. Most of thesethings were only targeted towards certain groups of people. That was until a man inthe south from cleveland ohio name Alan Freed, a radio disc jockey with hismoondog show where he would spin R&B records and others but instead of justtargeting african american audiences he “hit a note with black and white teenagers.Freed eventually named the crossing of the influences and styles rock and rollThe 1950’s are also what people would consider the “big band era”. In 1953, BillyHailey and the comets are the first group to earn a hit on the charts with a true rockand roll song, with their single “crazy man crazy” jumping to number 12. BlackR artist such as the orioles a doo wop group received success on the pop chartsin 1953, a hit aptly named “crying in the chapel.

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Another influential figure was theenigmatic and hip swinging Elvis Presley, the only artist to ever have nine hitsingles on the Hot 100.Now roaring into the sixties Elvis still continued to gain success with hits forthe previous decade and in the early sixties but the time period also dawned a riseof folk revival, phil spector’s wall of sound, girl groups and surf music. Anotheraspect of this period is that labels like atlantic and motown were bringing africanamerican artists and groups to pop charts.

Also by 1964 the american charts werebeing shared by UK artist as well such as the beatles and the rolling stones. In theU.S. garbage bands emerge, influenced by the british invasion sound. Not only didthis era bring new artist but a new direction.

The artists went for love songs tosocial awareness touching on subjects such as war and politics. Later in the decadea more psychedelic sound hit and birthed hippie style music. bubblegum music hadbeen created to get radio friendly pop singles and other hand harder rock emergeswith artist such as black sabbath and plants the seeds for heavy metal.

The sixtiesalso used television to connect with younger audiences. There were two shows thatdid that the best. American bandstand in the afternoon with a clean cut teen idolformat while shows like Ed sullivan premiered rocks bands in the prime timewhich birthed weekly shows focused mainly on dancing and new music forteenage fans.

Later into the sixties outdoor music festivals begin to gain popularitystarting with 1947’s monterey music festival with 55,000 people a day to a threeday concert, which pales in comparison to 1969 woodstock’s 500,000 people a day.The 1970’s, an era that seemed to be struck early with shortcomings andtragedy seeing as the beatles group disbanded and took to solo careers and threeinfluential artist being jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim morrison had passedoddly all at the age of 27.this decade also depicts the decline of of psychedelicmusic and changes into hard rock, progressive rock and heavy metal. Touring alsoevolved from playing clubs and theatres to selling out whole arenas and also madeway for big time band to gain popularity such as The Rolling Stones, The Who,Pink Floyd and many more. These groups would often fly in private jets and playfor thousands in arenas and outdoor stadiums. The 70’s also paved the way formultiple mediums. Car stereos become common, first with FM stereo radio, then 8-Track tapes, followed by cassette tapes.

Another change is the distinction of top 40radio and FM album oriented rock radio stations. The diversity of distributionchannels expanded rock allowing new styles to emerge. The early part of thedecade was dominated by sing songwriters and soft rock. The first half belonged toglam or glitter rock, live albums(made popular by Rare Earth, Peter Frampton, andkiss), and reggae from jamaica becomes recognized as a worldwide genre.

The late70’s were dominated by disco hitting the radio and dance floors and a new wave,punk rock where bands moved past guitars and drums and begin utilizingsynthesizers for their music. Elvis Presley dies at the age of 42 in 1977.Although Pop punk was essential to the the late 70’s but even more soimportant and influential to the rock movement on the 80’s even though it was nota commercial success.

Many band such as Devo and the Talking Heads broke offfrom the punk movement in the U.S. and took a more artsy and commercialapproach.

These bands incorporated keyboards to give their music a more modernfeel. New wave bands were beginning the same time that MTV did and alot of theirvideos were getting airtime on the young station. MTV first aired on August1,1981. It was first intended for record companies to promote their artist new music.Getting your video shown on MTV swiftly became a standard and practically arequirement for band to get their music known.

At the beginning of MTV theirwere rarely videos from black artist shown because the network’s material waspredominately rock. This all changed when michael jackson’s thriller album in1983. Even though it was popular , the executives refused to play his videos, so inturn CBS threatened to not allow their artist on MTV, so the y caved in and allowhis videos to be shown. The 80’s also showed glam bands starting to make songsdealing with sex, drugs and alcohol. Bands like metallica mixed a punk britishmetal with hardcore punk to create thrash metal that often deals with anger, socialissues,and death.

This also paved the way for more extreme metal like death black.Now into the 90’s, the genre alternative rock and its sub-genres grunge andpop punk were on the rise. during the early 1990’s these genres started to explodeinto mainstream view. Big companies would lure artist from small labels, but theseartist were resistant to demand the big companies had and would not change theirstyles to appeal to wider audiences. Nonetheless alternative groups like Smashingpumpkins, Red Hot Chilli Pepper and grunge bands like nirvana and pearl jamfound success with mainstream audiences. Even though hip hop was innovated andintroduced in the 80’s by Run DMC and Aerosmith with their single “walk ThisWay”, the genre of music really boomed in the 90’s.

Hip hip continued to grow indiversity and expand in influence. With a large swell in sales, hip hop soon gotradio airplay which led artist like NWA, Public Enemy, Tupac Shakur and manyother to success. Other than genres like alternative and hip hop, another was on therise. Pop and teen pop was introduced to appeal to a younger audiences. Groupslike The Backstreet Boyz, NSYNC, and THe Spice girls popularized this genrewith their coming off age love songs and campy lyrics. Lastly but most importantlymajor advancements in computer software allowed for digital music creation, andbeing able to record on home computers. Sound compression and the internetallowed for a improved mass distribution thus rendering the need for labels to havealbum releases and makes music easily and readily available for listening.

Now done with our time traveling adventure into the rugged and enigmaticworld of rock and roll. Stepping into the new millennium of the 2000’s rock androll was still on top, the music television station known as MTV started to go on adecline with the founding of others like VH1 and BET which all served the samepurpose which was to show music but they all did different genres. MTV had popand pop punk, VH1 took over rock and roll and BET with hip hop and R&B. thesechannels later on into the decade showed less music videos and started dealingwith reality shows.

With rock highly in the mainstream light it was easy to spreadand drift to video games. In recent years during the introduction of microsoft’sXBOX 360 also brought a hit game created by MTV and game developerHarmonix called Rock Band. this game came with a microphone,full size plasticdrum set controller and two guitars. This was pivotal because it gave fans andfamily to feel like they’re actually performing their favorite artist’s song. Lastly astime went on rock music began to decline and was thought to be dead around 2012but recently now in 2017 there is a rise of a new genre of rock, emo rap.

“Youthought unwarranted, trendy teen depression was left in your local mall back in themid 2000s?” said Michael Gursky from This style often show artistwith face tattoos and colored hair. With a yelling sound or a lot of auto-tune. Thelyrics often deal with drug abuse or deep depression like sadness.


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