Rock And Roll Music In The 1950's

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Rock Genre Mutation When music from the 20th and 21st centuries comes to mind, many are immediately drawn to the genre of rock and roll. Rock and roll, which emerged in the 1950’s, was unlike any genre before it. It combines elements from several different existing genres such as country music and blues (“Tracing the History of Rock `n' Roll”). Rock instrumentals consist mainly of bass, drums and guitars. Its fast paced tempo, element of rebellion in its lyrics and music, and its popularity amongst young people created a music genre and a way of life that would change the music industry and society forever. Rock and roll lead singers themselves are also known to have a great deal of onstage personality. They are usually physically attractive,…show more content…
Elvis, who is also known as “The King” of rock and roll music, “holds records for the most Top 40 hits (104), most Top 10 hits (38) and the most weeks at Number One (80)” (Di Lucca). His music style consisted of a combination of pop, country, gospel and rhythm and blues, and he drew a lot from his southern roots and from the music he heard as a child. Because he combined such disparate genres in his music from both traditionally white and African American styles, his music is said to have blurred racial boundaries (“Elvis Presley Biography.”). Some critics argue that Presley was actually racist due to a rumor claiming that he alluded to having racist sentiments in a conversation (Iton 219). This was especially influential in relation to the time period, considering much of his music was released during the heat of the Civil Rights…show more content…
Rock was no longer as applicable to the lives of teenagers, but its style was more relevant to young adults who were disillusioned about their coming of age, perhaps sparked by a dip in the United States economy in the beginning of the decade (Ruglmann). In the nineties, rock and roll music became darker and slower. The average rock star also no longer wore outrageous clothes or had an incredibly energetic stage presence, but would act in a calmer more depressing manor and be dressed in a more casual, grungy fashion such as in a plaid shirt and jeans (Hoskyns 38). A well known rock star form the nineties, Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana, was known for his “agonising voice- always straining, always sore- seemed to embody the impotent rage of an American generation.” (Hoskyns 38). Cobain committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27, further demonstrating his depressing music style and the overall feel of young adults during that time (“Kurt Cobain
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