2The eras…The breakdown of music history at this point is done in decades.Popular music has developed more quickly than most other styles of music and our task over the next few months will be to study this development.
4Life in the 1930sThe 1930s was a decade of hard times in the United States and Canada.the stock market crash of 1929 caused an economic depression throughout the world,terrible drought occurred ~ ‘The Dust Bowl’Agriculture failed for several years, and many people were forced to leave their jobs and homes.But, in spite of the hardships, the 1930s was a great decade in popular music. Anyone with access to a radio could share in it.
5Jazz, the Swing Era, and Big Bands Big Band jazz became popular in the 1930s.Big bands consisted of 15 to 20 players who were heard throughout the country at dances, on the radio, and in movies.A style of couples’ dance called “swing dancing” went with big band jazz. One such dance called the “jitterbug”, features partners throwing each other over the head and through the legs.Legendary bandleaders of this era include:Count Basie,Tommy Dorsey,Duke Ellington,Benny Goodman,Woody Herman,Glen Miller,and Artie Shaw.Most bands featured singers, and many vocal recording artists of the period got their start with a big band.
6Country and Western Music The first recordings of country music were made in the 1920s in a style that was then called “hillbilly music”.By the 1930s, the media – radio and recordings – had begun to popularize a new style called “country and western”, named after its eastern (Nashville, Tennessee) and southwestern (Texas) roots.It included:gospelthe beginnings of bluegrassmale and female duetsand western swing.Gene Autry, Patsy Cline, and Jimmie Rodgers are a few classic country and western artists.
7Other things to think about… Very few of these artists recorded songs they had written themselves.While men did not dominate the charts, they did outnumber women.Women often made the charts as singers with all-male swing bands accompanying them.Many songs were incorporated into a variety of media:RecordsSheet musicFilmsBroadway revuesand radioMany of them were revived or re-recorded, often several times throughout the century.The 1930s was a decade when definitively American musical genres took root. Even though times were tough in the United States during the 1930s, the era provided new innovations in folk music, jazz, popular songs, musicals, and country and western music.
8Benny Goodman (1909-1986) “the King of Swing” Benny Goodman was born into a large, poor family.He began playing the clarinet by the age of 11 at the local boys club.By the age of 12, he had already performed onstage and recorded with a group lead by Ben Pollack, a leader in jazz at the time.After moving to New York, Goodman became a successful and popular free-lancer for theatre bands and for other musicians like Billie Holiday.Goodman’s glory years were between 1935 and 1939; however, he did spend the next fifty or so years recording and touring the world with various ensembles, including the period through World War II.Goodman also dipped into the classical style of music.Many claimed that Goodman was ‘cheap’, and was usually very dishonest when it came time to paying the rest of the band.Sing, Sing, Sing – recorded July 6th, 1937~ this piece received Grammy Awards
10Life in the 1940sThe 1940's were dominated by World War II and the production for the war pulled North America out of the Great Depression.Women were needed to replace men who had gone off to war, and so this decade brought the first set of women working out of the home.Rationing affected the food that was eaten, the clothes they wore and the toys that children were able to played with.Radio was the lifeline for North Americans in the 1940's, providing news, music and entertainment, much like television today. Programming included soap operas, quiz shows, children's hours, mystery stories, fine drama, and sports.The government relied heavily on radio for propaganda.Like the movies, radio faded in popularity as television became prominent.
111940s MusicAt the beginning of the decade, Big Bands dominated popular music.Glenn Miller (trombone player), Tommy Dorsey (trombone player), Duke Ellington (piano player) and Benny Goodman (clarinet player) led some of the more famous bands.Eventually, many of the singers with the Big Bands struck out on their own. Bing Crosby's smooth voice made him one of the most popular singers, competing with Frank Sinatra.Musicians like Dinah Shore, Kate Smith and Perry Como also hit the charts.This style of music was a distinctly African-American sound, represented strongly by musicians like Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Woody Herman.
13Life in the 50sOnce World War II was over, many of young servicemen returned home to pick up their lives and start the rest of their lives – new families, new homes, new jobs, etc.With a renewed energy, the American and Canadian industrial developments allowed expansion to meet the peacetime needs.Society was buying goods that were not available during the war, which created corporate expansion and jobs. Huge development and growth was apparent everywhere. And the baby boom was underway…
1450s Music and MusiciansThe term rock and roll was invented to describe a new kind of music that captured the energetic spirit of the 1950’s.As with the development of music to this period, rock and roll borrowed elements from many styles of music.It took vocal styles from county music.It took blues scales and rhythms from the style rhythm and blues.Early rock used electric guitars, and boogie-woogie style piano, drums and traditional instruments.Modern rock has gone away from these traditional instruments and doesn’t use them as much.In the 1950’s rock took off for the first time. Elvis Presley led the rock soloists with his two hit songs “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog”.
1550s Music and MusiciansMost rock stars were white but one very important African American star was Chuck Berry. Chuck Berry was the first guitarist to reach the charts. He brought lead guitar to the forefront of the band.Many other artists were striving for the top of the charts and created some of the best chart topping hits of this period. For example:Fats Domino began making the charts first with R & B hits then onto the Pop charts.Nat King Cole’s records were the top of the best-seller listMuddy Waters assembled the greatest collection of electric blues recordingsOne of the great pioneers of this style was Little Richard from Macon, Georgia.Willie Dixon was able to shape postwar Chicago blues through the label Chess records – he was the composer, producer, arranger, bass player, recording artist, session musician, talent scout, and bandleader for this company.
16Elvis Aaron Presley “ Some people tap their feet; some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ‘em all together, I guess.” - Elvis in 1956, talking about his way of moving on stage.Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8th, 1935 to Vernon and Gladys Presley. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, and Elvis grew up as an only child.Influenced by the pop, country, gospel and black R&B music, Elvis was an international sensation by 1956.Elvis was exposed to a vast array of music while growing up wandering the streets of Memphis, and all these styles were shown through his music and his performances.
17Elvis continued…Elvis was also a star of 33 successful films and he made many television appearances and specials.Elvis has sold over one billion records and has received 14 Grammy nominations (3 wins), the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (which he received at the young age of 36).Elvis did not perform outside of the United States, except in 1957 when he performed five shows in three Canadian cities (two shows in Toronto and one in Ottawa.)
18And finally… Elvis died in his home, Graceland, on August 16th, 1977. Listening:All Shook UpHeartbreak Hotel
19Johnny CashJ. R. Cash, an American country and rock-and-roll singer-songwriter, was born on February 26th, to Ray Cash and Carrie Rivers Cash.The name ‘Johnny’ was given to him by his producer Phillip from Sun Records to use as a stage name.Cash was surrounded by music during his childhood. His family sang while at work, he was influenced by the gospel he heard at church and the Irish songs he heard on the radio.Cash’s mother enrolled him in voice lessons, but was quickly told not to change anything about his voice – to leave it as it was naturally.
20Cash continued…By 1946 he was entering talent shows and competitions in attempt to begin his singing/entertaining career.Johnny took on several jobs unrelated to music, including one at a local sawmill where his older brother Jack would die in a tragic accident.As his career was taking off, Cash became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates and began drinking heavily.This addiction would lead to erratic behaviour and many nights in jail, and many of his friends and loved ones would ignore the behaviour, attributing it to ‘nervousness’.
21Cash again…By the early 1970s, Cash was dubbed “The Man in Black”, performing regularly in a completely black outfit, including a knee-length trench coat.Cash is often considered one of the most popular artists of American music history. He wrote thousands of songs for dozens of albums. He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in Johnny Cash died in 2003 from complications from diabetes at the age of 73.Listening:Walk the LineMan in Black
22Ray CharlesRay Charles Robinson was born on September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia.Suffering from glaucoma from the young age of five Charles was blind by the time he turned seven.When his mother decided she was unable to look after him, she shipped him off to the Institute for the Blind, Deaf and Dumb in St. Augustine, Florida.It was at this school where Ray Charles learned to play the piano, organ, clarinet and saxophone and to read music in Braille.Charles moved around, finding gigs playing the piano and sax and arranging music – he would work for whoever would hire him.One group he played with even required that he learned to yodel with a country outfit on (The Florida Playboys).
23Charles continued…Charles’ sculpted his style after jazz great, Nat ‘King’ Cole.On November 18, 1954, Charles recorded I Got a Woman. This song is based on a gospel song, but was sung in Ray Charles’ raunchy ‘churchy’ way – this laid the groundwork for soul music.Ray Charles continually searched for another record label that would give him more control over her career and contract. He ended up creating his own record label and which lead to chart success.Ray Charles passed away on June 10th, 2004 at the age of 73.
24And finally…Over his lifetime he was awarded 12 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the President’s Merit Award. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll and the Jazz and Rhythm and Blues Halls of Fame.This great man was able create chart topping hits in the R&B, country, jazz, soul and even funk genres.Listening:Georgia on My MindUnchain My Heart