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Where rock music all began….

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1 Where rock music all began….
1950s Rock’n’Roll Music Where rock music all began….

2 Rock music A new kind of music developed in the 1950s which was first called rock’n’roll music and then later simplified to rock music. Though there are many different styles, rock music tends to be a vocal music that has a hard, driving beat, usually using bass, guitars and keyboards/pianos with a heavily amplified sound. The origins of rock’n’roll music came from jazz, blues and ragtime which had all developed from African music. Before the 1950s rock’n’roll music had already been created and was being played by black musicians, although it wasn’t until white musicians began to play this music that it was accepted by parents, and not just dismissed as ‘race’ music. Little Richard video

3 Music before the 1950s Music prior to the 1950s had predominantly been jazz music which during the 1920s – 1930s was mostly swing and big band music. In the 1940s jazz music began to change to a more fast paced and harder to dance to style of bebop music, that was very unique and contentious music. During the 1940s, rhythm and blues was the dominant style in the popular music scene. This was a rhythm and blues that didn’t include the electric guitar and didn’t always have a saxophone. There was also a large country music scene in America prior to the introduction to rock’n’roll music

4 What was happening socially in the 1950s
Racism was a major problem during the 1950s in America, Britain and South Africa in particular. There was also a ‘White Australia Policy’ which was a restriction on immigration and treated Aboriginals as second class citizens Throughout the 1950s a new threat of war was present through the mistrust of East and West, and this was known as the ‘Cold War.’

5 The world was beginning to settle down after World War II and the world had divided into 3 groupings: the West (comprising the victorious allies from the War), the East (being the Communist World) and the Third World (independent nations).

6 The consumer society had begun and many were interested in buying homes, cars, record players and electrical appliances. The 1956 Melbourne Olympics also had a large effect on many different aspects of life in the city, in preparation for the Games, and it was this year that saw Television come to Australia.

7 The Social emergence of the ‘teenager’
The ’50s was dominated with the emergence of the teenager. Young people were either at school and therefore children or at work and regarded as adults. There was no in between period where kids could establish an individual identity. Due to the trends of music, movies and fashion being set in America or Britain, and with a lack of rapid transport, Australia was always months behind the latest trends.

8 The Television and the rebellious teenager!
With the introduction of T.V in 1956 this was improved although there were no communication satellites, which still delayed overseas programs An Australian teenager wasn’t expected to rebel in Australia during the fifties – until rock’n’roll took off!

9 The beginning of rock’n’roll music
Rock’n’roll started in the USA. It combined the music styles of rhythm and blues and country music. This sound was being played by black American musicians such as Chuck Berry (who would later become famous for this music), but wasn’t being played to the radio-listening public by white American radio, and their CDs weren’t being bought, due to the racism problems in the world at that time. Leading black performers of this style were Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Fats Domino. Chuck Berry’s famous songs include Johnny B. Goode and Maybelline. All styles of rock’n’roll music were produced through minor and independent record labels.

10 Little Richard (below)
Chuck Berry video Back to the future video

11 Rock around the clock So it wasn’t until a white country musician came along playing this same music that the public caught on and took notice. His name was Bill Haley and he played with his band the Comets. Hayley popularised this style of music to the white American teenager.

12 In 1954, Haley and his comets recorded the song ‘Rock around the clock,’ which was used on the movie ‘Blackboard Jungle,’ which helped combine this new style of music with the image of teenage rebellion. (Rock around the clock video)

13 The emergence of Elvis Presley
As Haley and his comets kept rock’n’rolling throughout recording songs like ‘Shake, rattle and roll,’ his career took off, yet he severely lacked a teen appeal. Haley was 30 and wasn’t the image that teenage girls wanted to watch. As 1956 progressed Haley found himself playing second fiddle to a variety of rockers eager to cash in on the new style of rock’n’roll.

14 The most famous and important of these new rockers was Elvis Presley, who had an enormous appeal to females, whilst males had an idol whom they would try and emulate. (Elvis video)

15 Rock’n’roll between These would be the most exciting time in rock and roll’s history. There were many artists emerging onto the scene and each had a different contribution to make Independent record companies and broadcaster continued to record and play this music, and the more conservative record companies were forced to accept that this style was here to stay

16 Rock’n’roll had started a revolution.
Artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Fats Domino had all been recording prior to 1956, but their colour had prevented them from reaching mainstream white audiences. However all this changed with the emergence of Elvis. Black musicians began to have hits on the rock charts as opposed to the ‘r & b’ “race” charts. It is easy to see why parents and governments began to feel like they were losing control, and they blamed rock’n’roll.

17 Rockers losing their ‘roll’
1959 began to see the decline of some rock’n’roll superstars: Little Richard decided to abandon music for bible studies. Elvis had been conscripted to the army Jerry Lee Lewis found his career halted with the sensational press coverage of his marriage to his 13 year old third cousin Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper in a plane crash Chuck Berry who was jailed for 2 years, despite the set-up nature and racism of his trial

18 The Australian Rock’n’Roll Scene
1956 would become an important year in Australian rock history, as radio DJs, Stan Rofe and John Laws, began to play rock’n’roll records which they got from air pilots and hostesses that came back from overseas. This meant that Australia began to hear Elvis, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. This would inspire and create a demand for our own Australia rock’n’roll stars. And this demand was quickly met by artists like Johnny O’Keefe and Col Joye.

19 Music Shows on TV In , music programs began to be broadcasted on television. The first show of this nature was ‘Bandstand,’ and this was very tame and family oriented compared with ‘Six O’Clock Rock’ which was hosted by ‘the Wild One’ Johnny O’Keefe. Top of the pops video

20 International People of Rock’n’roll
Bill Haley and the Comets Chuck Berry Bo Diddley Fats Domino Little Richard Elvis Presley Jerry Lee Lewis (right)

21 Australians in the Rock’n’roll scene
Johnny O’Keefe Delltones Col Joye and the Joy Boys The Thunderbirds Lonnie Lee

22 Rockabilly Rock’n’roll music still developed into the next few decades of rock music. It began to combine with other elements of rock music such as punk, and there was a new style of music born, which began to be called ‘Rockabilly music.’ The biggest band from this style was the ‘Stray Cats,’ who were fronted by Brian Setzer. This type of music is still being played by bands to this day, and an example of this is ‘The Living End,’ which were definitely inspired by the ‘Stray Cats.’ Stray Cats Video

23 Group task In groups of 3-4, pick one of the following artists: * Elvis Pressley * Chuck Berry * Johnny O’Keefe * Bill Haley Then using the information and music provided, prepare a 5min presentation to report back to the class your findings

24 What to include in your presentation:
Biographical information about the artist (their musical influences, instruments, famous songs, etc.) What important events happened in their careers What was a key characteristic about their music, what could you hear. Choose one of the songs provided to show the rest of the class, that you think demonstrates the artists music What events seemed to shape the artists music (were they writing about particular themes in their music)

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