Rock music emerged in the early 1960s from Rock and Roll music that had been so popular in the 1940s and 1950s. The emergence of the electric guitar during this early period played a vital part in Rock music being created.
Rock and Roll had also broken social barriers that now enable Rock music to develop. The 1960s were a time of protest and a challenging of authority, and many of the bands that first appeared had strong ties with protest groups.
By the end of the 1960s, Classic Rock was emerging as the most popular form of music, but during the decade there were other genres that played significant roles in the emerging popularity of Rock. The first Rock groups to appear sounded very similar to artists such as Elvis Presley with his form of Rockabilly music.
The first groups that sprung up were in the United Kingdom with the Beatles, the Kinks and the Shadows all enjoying chart success as their brand of music was proving popular to the nation’s youngsters. In America, Surf Rock appeared and produced some groups who became major successes.
The Beach Boys enjoyed great success producing both conventional and instrumental records. They were able to use the electrical music that have emerged from the success of Rock and Roll and they enjoyed chart success that carried on for several decades.
However, there was also a new sound emerging and this included a number of British groups that were travelling to the United States, heavily influenced by Blues music. Groups such as the Yardbirds and the Rolling Stones strove for recognition, and played in many of the summer festivals that were a feature of the late 1960s.
This momentum of this new rock genre was maintained as several new American acts started to appear such as Janet Joplin Jefferson Airplane and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. As the festivals became more popular, the number of musical artists that wanted to be involved in rock groups increased.
Rock music appeared to be creating new genres regularly with Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Rock and Folk Rock all enjoying periods of success and producing artists that would sell millions of records in future decades. Acts such as Joan Baez, Bob Dillon, the Grateful Dead and the Moody Blues all emerged during this period and appeared side by side at the summer festivals that were being run in the San Francisco area in the late 1960s.
There was now a period where artists such as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Ritchie Blackmore were taking the influences they had attained from Blues music and adapting them for Rock. It was a period of experimentation as these world class guitarists were pushing the boundaries of what could be produced from their instruments.
These were the talented musicians that were the inspiration for the classical rock groups to emerge at the start of the 1970s. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Cream created rock masterpieces that future artists would follow diligently. The Rock groups had arrived but it wasn’t long before their position was to be challenged by new rock genres.