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.
When you hear Rock and Roll, you hear the catchy words, the upbeat music, and energy that comes from that form of music. That is what made it popular, and that popularity allowed that form of music to gradually change a nation. Rock and Roll was able to change society by slowly changing how people acted towards blacks. Society affected rock and roll as well because without the challenges segregation made, rock and roll would have not been developed.
“Politics can be strengthened by music, but music also has a potency that defies politics.” This quote by Nelson Mandela summarizes the relationship between music and politics, and how important and unique their connection is. “This relationship is important because music has the power to enforce and the power to challenge politics”. Music has this power because it contains the potential to influence individuals, which can result in political movements, and even cause cultural change. The influence of music genre, Rock ‘n’ Roll, has heavily impacted the culture and society of America in several different ways.
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.
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.
All Shook Up: How Rock N’ Roll Changed America, by Glenn C. Altschuler, does a great job in discussing all of the conflicts of the time and how rock n’ roll helped or discouraged the conflicts throughout the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Altschuler used essential sources such as newspapers and magazines, as well as other books on the issue to argue main points about the conflicts and affects that rock n’ roll had during this time period. By using and analyzing the primary sources through a social history and in a narrative format, he makes a solid reason and argument for how rock n’ roll really affected and changed America. Throughout history, music has played a huge role in changing the lives of people. However, as the time has passed music, itself,
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.
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.
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)
Bob Dylan, a folk artist, played a major role in the youth movement during the 1960s because his music was anti-mainstream at the time which is what teens wanted. At the time, folk music presented an outlet for the youth of America to express their displeasure with mainstream society and their parents’ values. Dylan’s music was unique in the sense that it focused on an individual instead of society as a whole like most
The 1960s was a tumultuous decade for the United States. Along with the escalation of the Vietnam War, this decade was rocked by the Civil Rights movement and the second wave of the Feminist movements, creating an immense amount of social tension. As a result, people turned to politically-charged music, predominantly Rock n’ Roll, to release their frustrations. However, an equally important musical genre, Soul, was left in the background. Despite the fact that Soul music was not as popular in the United States, artists such as Aretha Franklin released many politically-charged songs that advocated for social justice.
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
Many musical genres have survived and prospered all because of go-go music. Jazz music overcame through decades of disinclined torch passing’s, from swing to the sound of bop and more. Rock-and-roll rediscovered its backbone through punk and heavy metal. Conservatives still squeal every time country music molts into something glossier.