Rock and Roll was founded in the United States at the end of the Second World War. The late 1940s and the early 1950s were the time that the music emerged, and it had far reaching consequences on the music industry. Without rock and roll none of the other rock genres would have been seen.
Prior to this time there wasn’t really a musical genre that young people owned. The creation of rock gave them the freedom to express themselves. Prior to this the youth of The United States and Western Europe were influenced by what the older generations listened to. Rock gave them something to follow that generally their parents didn’t really like.
This was the start of anti-authority feelings that was to really emerge in the 1960s and was reflected by film stars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean. These young actors were idolized by their young fans, as they played characters who made a stand against authority. The way they wore their hair and the clothes they dressed in was copied by hundreds of thousands of young people, and Rock and Roll had an enthusiastic potential audience ready to accept the music.
The roots of Rock and Roll Music belonged to the types of music that were listened to in the Southern United States. The coming together of different musical genres such as rhythm and blues, jazz, country, swing and the blues created a unique sound that had never been heard before.
What was vitally important was the coming together of white and black communities is some of America’s major cities. This new integration saw the different communities copying each other’s music and fashions. With the music emerging from many people who had experienced slavery the potential for anti-authoritarianism was already ingrained into the music.
As the music emerged it was either the saxophone or the piano that set the rhythm of the record. As time passed the importance of these instruments was replaced by the guitar. The beat of the music was the secret behind Rock and Roll’s success and this was set by the snare drum.
The early acts that were first to emerge included “Fats Domino”, “Sister Rosetta Tharpe” and “Bo Diddley”. The success of “Bill Hailey and the Comets” “Rock Around The Clock” was a mile stone as this resulted in the musical genre being played in millions of different homes globally.
“Chuck Berry” took the music to another level as his playing of the electric guitar made the instrument the center piece of the sound. As well as being influential on fellow rock and roll acts, Chuck Berry had a major impact on the rock guitarists that were to emerge at the end of the 1960s.
One of Rock and Roll’s most successful acts was Elvis Presley. His performances on film sets alongside selling millions of records around the world, turned him into a global super star. Presley’s type of Rock and Roll was Rockabilly which concentrated on the country side of the music.
The success of Elvis Presley greatly influenced British bands such as “The Beatles” and many of their early songs were written in the same style. The success of Rock and Roll played a large part in its demise in the 1960s. The new rock bands were copying artists such as “Chuck Berry” and were creating a new sound that was even more appealing to the young. Rock and Roll acts are still playing today, but the music is not as popular as it was in the 1940s and 1950s.