Music has been known to influence American culture and the many ethnic and age groups that inhabit the country. It reflects popular ideals and the expression of the country’s innovative individuals and controls the masses because of its accessibility. Rock music, in particular, took America by storm with rebellious ideas and outlandish concepts that were perceived in different ways. Ultimately, it left many positive marks on American culture and history because of the transformation it inspired in society.
The adoption of rhythm and blues music by “white country musicians,” gave birth to the widely celebrated phenomenon of rock and roll (Rock Music, 2018). “Rocket ‘88”, a song by Jackie Brenston, spurred the beginnings of rock and roll popularity and was considered to be the first recording of this genre according to Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Therefore, rock and roll was introduced in 1951 and was commercialized in the latter part of the decade. Its “greatest popularizer,” was the notable Elvis Presley and several influencers followed in his footsteps such as “Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, [and] Eddie Cochran,” (Rock Music, 2018). Most adults were “horrified,” by the suggestive themes and rebellious nature of the modern, popular trend while adolescents found it invigorating (Olson, 2018). They yearned for something ”beyond the mainstream,” and the music fit the role magnificently (Welch, n.d.).
In the 1960s rock music “evolved in new directions,” to be more reflective of social matters during the period (Rock Music, 2018). At this time, “elaborate effects, including strings, choral arrangements, and orchestral techniques,” were tested and built upon rock’s already popular foundation (Rock Music, 2018). While music first developed in the South, it quickly expanded far past that. It also diverged into numerous sub-categories and unique forms such as folk rock and heavy metal. Rock has proven to be significant to past generations from several perspectives and some of America’s most significant movements were motivated by its development.
Scope and Sequence
Rock music brought about change to the music industry, but also remarkable transformations to racial segregation and the mindsets of the whole nation at the time. The music traditions prior to rock’s establishment were much more conservative, so one can imagine the shock that rock music precipitated throughout America’s parents and adults. The changes inspired many to step out of the boundaries set by previous generations which resulted in new ideas and aims. The “desegregation movement of the 1956-64 period,” was a product of broken lines of separation in concerts as mentioned in the article “Rock and Roll and Social Change” and the shared love of the creation that fused two cultures together. Although seen as a disturbance by some, integration was one of its lasting results and it remains an influence in culture today.