Cultural Impact of Rock and Roll Amidst the 1960’s Jimi Hendrix formerly stated, “Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” A generation which was earnestly devoted to peace, protest, and revolution, the counterculture amongst the 1960’s yearned for change. Rock and roll was far beyond just a genre of music; it influenced lifestyles, protests, and attitudes, thus, kindling an awakening in the youth of American culture. The distinction between parental and youth culture was a persistent root of concern, considering that teens throughout the world found a sense of belonging in this style of music.
Rock music in the 1960s was egalitarian, eclectic, and real based on a number of reasons. To explain the 'real' piece of rock music in the 1960s, one would have to know that there was war going on overseas that didn't make sense to Americans as to why it was going on (the Vietnam war). There was also still severe inequality between blacks and whites causing protests to occur via the Civil Rights movement, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There was inequality between women and mens rights. These issues caused dissatisfaction to occur in the American people. What better way to vent dissatisfaction than through music! Also in addition to the frustrations described above, teen rebellion from the parental obligations was also in full swing. The result of this was 'free love' and experimenting with drugs. This led to creative, and mind you interesting, rock that Americans loved like "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles. Aside from the above,
Coined by black artists, none of the whites listened until Elvis conquered the charts. His music, which was blues, gospel, jazz, and boogie-woogie, all created by black artists, blended to make rock n roll brought whites audiences to accept black culture. “Presley’s music broke the racial barriers of that time, and was a key to the movement of racial tolerance between whites and blacks. Presley was one of the first singers to be appreciated and loved by both the black and white communities,”(Introduction 3). Elvis tearing down barriers opened the world to so many opportunities.
In a time of economic prosperity, a rise in the standard of living and rock and roll, also known as the “happy days”, the 1950s were a time looked back on with nostalgia. On the other hand, the 1950s were also met with many problems involving civil rights, the Cold War and McCarthyism. After the end of World War II, Americans came home to jobs available and a period of consensus. Consensus meaning there wasn’t much debate in politics. However tensions quickly rose throughout the nation when Joseph McCarthy made serious accusations about the State Department. He said that at least 205 members of the State Department were members of the communist party. This was after it was released to the public that a couple named Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were secretly communist spies who were staying in the U.S., stealing nuclear weapon secrets. With McCarthy’s remarks such as “They [a communist spy] could even be your neighbor!’ scarring the American public’s mind, many were on edge.
One of the most influential effects Rock ‘n’ Roll music has on America is its power to unite and divide individuals during troublesome periods. The unison and division of American citizens has been displayed several times throughout history, but perhaps the most important is shown in the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. In the early 1950’s, the full influential force of Rock ‘n’ Roll music started to effect American politics by acting as
In the 1950’s, America was just starting to develop a common culture. Platforms like The Ed Sullivan Show, were uniting Americans while maintaining the conservative values of the time. Many Americans tried to hold onto the lifestyle and values they were so used to, but the times were changing. The number of women in the workforce doubled, African Americans were fighting segregation, and a new teenage culture was developing. Music, rock n’ roll at that time, became a way to make up the differences between Americans. Elvis Presley, a poor southern boy, made major waves by singing what most considered solely race music enticing teenagers and angering disapproving parents. This changed the common culture of the time by breaking down at least some of the barriers between whites and blacks through teenagers love of music.
Shaking the Foundations Since the founding of the United States of America, culture, religion, and race have always been interlaced. If one of these changed, the others struggled to adapt. There was never a time in America’s short history that these three matters collided more brutally or ferociously than during the emergence of rock ‘n’ roll. It is quite obvious that not one single event, action, or phenomenon caused the turmoil during this era, but rather a perfect storm of cultural and racial revolutions that collided head on with tremendous religious backlash. All Shook Up: How Rock ‘N’ Roll Changed America showcased how one aspect of the Cultural Revolution during the 1950s and 1960s supplemented the perfect storm of social reforms.
Popular artists and authors shared their talents. Blacks fought for the idea of a “New Negro” which had a purpose of changing the way people viewed African Americans. Many of them battled against racial inequality for higher social positions (Parker). In addition, the change in gender roles was remarkably apparent through this time period.
The reading “Popular music and the civil war” explained the heavy influence that music had leading up to and during the civil war. Music was used to express the way Americans, those in the north or south, were feeling during this time. Through their lyrics, writers and singers were able to convey their feelings on topics such as being separated from loved ones, losing someone, patriotism for the confederates or the union, and anything else that related to war time. Many of these songs appealed to the Americans because they could easily relate to what the lyrics were saying. Therefore, songs were being greatly produced during this time because people were purchasing the music, whether that was by going to see the performance of it, or buying
The music industry has played a large role in shaping the society in which people live in today. Music has the ability to not only impact an individual’s life but society as a whole. One genre/subgenre in particular that was able to cause dramatic change within the US itself was punk rock. Punk rock, which could be consider a subgenre of rock n roll or a genre of its own, came into the popular music scene in the 1960s and 70s and played a huge role in shaping the lives of many Americans especially those whose voices were not heard in the mainstream. Throughout history and still in today’s society many groups of people go unheard and are not respected as they should be under the constitution.
Countless new forms of entertainment were introduced by the Baby Boom generation. The rise and popularization of rock and roll changed the way of music. Many rock stars emerged, such as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. This is evident has phots of a enormous crowd gathering around a famous rock star. (Garfield Newman, 286)
Radio and Television The music of the 1960s and 1970s definitely had an impact on culture and society in the United States. Protest music, specifically, brought ideas, as well as problems, to the attention of many Americans. Radio stations across the nation were a big part of the spread of protest music. Radio experienced a boom after World War II.
Rock and Roll originated in the 1950’s and is described as music with a very uncomplicated tune along with a prominent beat. Rock brought the white and African American cultures together through the combination of their love of music. The genre of Rock and Roll is a mixture of white country, black rhythm and blues, and jazz. Typical instruments found in a traditional rock band include the electric guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, and vocals. Rock and Roll has a range of varying tempos, which is the speed at which music is performed. Most rock songs have a lyrical content that contains subjects such as sex, drugs, women, and politics. Three very influential bands in the rising era of Rock and Roll were Creedence Clearwater Revival, Queen, and The Beatles. The songs I will be discussing will be “Down On the Corner,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and “I Want To
There was rock, folk music, and many more. But, in the late sixties Rock n Roll, commonly reckoned as the golden age of rock and roll when it attained a maturity unimaginable for the delinquent rebellion of the fifties, there are numerous references to the Vietnam War. The criticism of the war is submerged in or displaced by the politics of sexuality, lifestyle, and drugs. Rock music of that time period celebrated anti-materialism, spiritual awakening and social disengagement (James pg 133). Like the social movement it made possible, hippie music was ideologically and economically assimilable.
Grange was a BIG hit in the 90’s. Grunge’s “anti-fashion” made its mark on America, and it made its mark big. It brought out a “do it yourself” attitude amongst people and got rid of the materialistic era of excess, and ushered in an era of grunge. This changed can be pinned on the market crash in the late 80’s, forcing people to downgrade not only their cars, house, and food choices, but also their fashion, making grunge big. They were grungy, wild, and dumb (or maybe just