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Chapter 5 – Teen-Styled Rock Music

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1 Chapter 5 – Teen-Styled Rock Music
“Phil Spector, he was everything. There was nothing to compare. He was it. The biggest inspiration in my whole life” Brian Wilson McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 Performers Late 1950s/early 60s performers whose careers were ended (temporarily, or permanently) Deaths: Buddy Holly, the big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran Serious injuries: Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent Career quitting/banning: Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis Army service: Elvis Presley Trials and prison in early 60s: Chuck Berry Some performers changed style to fit pop trend 5-2

3 The Payola Scandal Songwriters paid for work Sheet music sales Money for recordings of songs Public performance fees collected from venues by American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), paid to songwriter members A Special Committee on Legislative Oversight asked by ASCAP to investigate payola practices Result, many small record companies and some disc jockeys out of business 5-3

4 Notable Figures Alan Freed ( ), disc jockey, concert promoter Fought racism by playing R&B on radio and TV Found guilty of payola, lost TV show, career, and died Dick Clark (born in 1929), American Bandstand TV show host Investigated for payola, but attorneys showed that promotions included recordings with no financial interest for Clark Sold interests in recordings and continued TV show for decades 5-4

5 Teen Idol Pop Pat Boone (born in 1934), pop singer who covered some blues and r&b songs to appeal to large, multi-racial audiences Teen idol singers chosen for wholesome visual appeal more than voices, often lip-synced to recordings for performances in movies or on TV Songs about love and temporarily broken hearts prevailed 5-5

6 Listening Guide “Tutti-Frutti” by Little Richard (1955) Tempo: 172 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12-bar blues Features: Little Richard introduces rough vocal style with introduction of nonsense syllables Rhythm section includes piano using even beat subdivisions to offset uneven divisions of basic beat, jazz-style walking bass, and rhythmic punctuation by saxophones Drummer plays strong backbeat Lyrics: Little Richard brags about sex with Sue and Daisy Charts: Pop, #17, R&B, #2 for six weeks, British hits, #29 5-6

7 Listening Guide “Tutti-Frutti” by Pat Boone (1956) Tempo: 176 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12-bar blues Features: Boone tries to imitate Little Richard’s voice, but in a smoother, less rhythmic way Rhythm section includes piano and a backup vocal group singing “ahs” Uneven beat subdivisions Backbeat present, but less obvious than in Little Richard’s recording Lyrics: Obvious sex (term “rocking”) avoided. Singer’s girlfriend is Sue, but he likes Daisy Charts: Pop, #12 5-7

8 Listening Guide “Venus” by Frankie Avalon (1959) Tempo: 114 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 8 bar periods Features: Full sounding orchestra and chorus with drums Gentle mood sung with sense of sincerity Lyrics: Singer desperate for romance prays to the Roman goddess for love Charts: Pop, #1 for five weeks, British hits, #16 5-8

9 Brill Building Pop Brill Building on Broadway in New York Center for songwriting and production of teen idol pop style recordings Girl group sound popular Writing teams: Greenfield/Sedaka Mann/Weil Pomus/Shuman Goffin/King Leiber/Stoller Barry/Greenwich 5-9

10 Listening Guide “Will You Love Me tomorrow?” by the Shirelles (1960) Tempo: 138 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 4-bar introduction, 16-bar periods in AABAA form Features: Even beat subdivisions Shirley Alston’s solo backed by Shirelles Backbeat stressed in drums Orchestral string section plays phrase-ending fills and an instrumental section Lyrics: The singer is unsure if sex will lead to a lasting relationship Charts: Pop, #1 for two weeks, #2 for four weeks, British hits, #4 5-10

11 Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound
Phil Spector (born in 1940), songwriter, producer, record company owner “Wall” created by: overdubbing large number of instruments including colorful percussion such as chimes and castanets monaural recording to avoid separation of sounds Produced many teen idol hits, and produced Beatles’ Let it Be and other albums by Harrison and Lennon Sentenced to 19 years to life in prison in 2009 for the death of Lana Clarkson 5-11

12 Listening Guide “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes (1963) Tempo: 132 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 4-bar introduction, then 8 and 16 bar sections Features: Lead singer backed by the Ronettes Wall of sound background Low strings play melody in instrumental A short break is punctuated by percussion Lyrics: Singer promises her undying love and affection Charts: Pop, #2, R&B, #4, British hits, #4 5-12

13 Influences on the Surf Sound
Duane Eddy (born in 1938) singer, guitarist Style known as “twangy guitar,” used vibrato and nasel-sounding attack on bass strings The Ventures (first recorded in 1960) Instrumental group influenced surf guitar and drum sounds, adopted surf image 5-13

14 The Surf Sound Dick Dale (born in 1937) Known as the King of Surf Guitar Used tremolo (fast repeated notes) to create effect of speed The Beach Boys Main writer and producer, Brian Wilson (born in 1942) Group vocals influenced by Jazz group the Four Freshmen Guitarist, Carl Wilson ( ), influenced by Chuck Berry Productions on Pet Sounds (1966) influenced by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound 5-14

15 Listening Guide “Sweet Little Sixteen” by Chuck Berry (1958) Tempo: 176 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 2-bar introduction, then 16-bar periods each of which has an antecedent and a consequent phrase The first period begins with “Boston” and ends with “sweet little sixteen” Features: Uneven beat subdivisions Drums keep a strong backbeat Instruments sometimes break for vocal solos Berry’s guitar maintains a riff pattern Boogie-woogie piano in fifth period Lyrics: Sixteen year old girl wants to go our and “rock and roll” Charts: Pop, #2 for three weeks, R&B, #1 for three weeks, British hits, #16 5-15

16 Listening Guide “Surfin’ U.S.A.” by the Beach Boys (1963) Tempo: 164 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Introduction and periods match those in Berry’s recording, but there are fewer verses The first period begins on “ocean” and ends with “surfin’ U.S.A.” Features: Even beat subdivisions used most of the time Drums accent strong backbeat The rhythm of Berry’s guitar riff is imitated Lyrics: The singer wishes that everyone could have fun surfing. The beaches named parallel the cities in Berry’s song Charts: Pop, #3, R&B, #20, British hits, #35 5-16

17 Listening Guide “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys (1966) Tempo: 152 beats per minute beginning and ending, but 138 beats per minute in D section 4-beats per bar Form: 8-bar phrases, with some extensions ABAB with “good vibrations” in B sections Instrumental C section D section sustained organ chords Features: Uneven beat subdivisions Background thickly overdubbed Monaural recording Drums in A sections, tambourine on backbeats in B sections Electro-theremin used during B sections Lyrics: Singer is excited about a woman Charts: Pop, #1, British hits, #1 5-17

18 Discussion Questions What performers today are more pop than rock, but are advertised as rock artists? Are any of them, Britney Spears or Madonna, for example, as far from being rock musicians as Pat Boone was in the late fifties and early sixties? 5-18

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