After watching the video, Good Rockin’ Tonight


FYE-1220-01F – FYS: History of Rock & Roll



After watching the video, Good Rockin’ Tonight


We have made it to our last stop on the journey that popular music has taken and interestingly, our last stop is the first explosion of music to take place that would spark and ignite everything that we have already heard. This genre of music was called Rock-n-Roll and it only lasted for a few years from the mid-50s to the end of the 1950s. After this birth explosion of Rock-n-Roll, we see that the Eisenhower administration was afraid of its growth so it tried to censor it and ultimately replace it with more “vanilla” versions of rock classics (This happened in the 1970s with Punk in England as well as Rap and Heavy Metal in the 1990s with the PMRC putting warning labels on the records that had explicit lyrics). Thus, you had Pat Boone performing Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” on TV and look pretty silly and out of place singing it. But, the English kids wouldn’t let this spirit of Rock-n-Roll die and formed a few bands that were influenced by this early stuff that they heard on overseas radio programs such as Elvis, Chuck Berry, and many of the old Blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and Lightning Hopkins. These English kids became good students of American popular music and when they got good enough to record albums after playing countless gigs in dive bars in the red light districts of many different countries, they were ready and recorded some hot stuff. Thus, The Beatles and later The Rolling Stones came over to the U.S. and blew away all of the teen idols who were doing “vanilla” versions of “race music.” But, we cannot forget that the U.S. had some great music of their own happening during the early 60’s when all of this Brits were invading the U.S. We had James Brown, Motown, Surf Music, and Folk Music. So, there was some great stuff happening already with Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, The Ronnettes (with producers Phil Spector’s “wall of sound”), The Temptations, Otis Redding, and other R&B acts just oozing the rhythm and playing some excellent grooves as well as writing some intense and thought-provoking lyrics. In a sense, The Beatles and The Stones were like the Sex Pistols mixing it up again by reigniting that Rock-n-Roll spirit that had been missing after the early rockers died out. The great thing, though, was that The Beatles were very melodic and tight and opened the doors for other amazing Brit bands to make it across the sea to play such as The Who, The Kinks,, and The Animals. And then the explosion of the 1960s happened and nothing would ever be the same again…or would it? Well, living in 2012, we can see that yes, there were many bands copying these early Brit and US bands, but it seems like they could never get the same kind of energy that the original bands got since it was new back then and nobody had heard music like this before and did not know how to react. When was the last time you saw people ripping their hair out like they did at an Elvis concert in the 50’s or fainting in the aisles like they did at a Beatles’ concert in the early 60’s?

1.            After watching the video, Good Rockin’ Tonight, please answer the following questions using specific examples from what you watched to back up your vibes.

– What was the climate like in the U.S. both socially and politically to open space for this explosion called Rock-n-Roll? Why did it catch on and have such a huge following in just a few years? Who were the fans?

– What influences did you see from past music making its way into this Rock-n-Roll sound? Please be specific here with styles of music, the names of the musicians who play this influential music, and how this influential music inspired rock-n-roll to develop.

– Who are 2 of your favorite artists/bands from this early period of Rock-n-Roll and why do you like them? Please get specific here with band names, titles of songs, and reasons for why for like them.

2.            After watching the video, The Birth of Rock- British Bands, please answer the following questions using specific examples from what you watched to back up your vibes.

– Why are these early British bands important to the development of popular music? Please explain what bands/artitsts were important, why they were important, and what legacies they leave behind.

– Who are 3 of your favorite British bands/artists that you saw in this video and why do you like them? Please get specific here with band names, titles of songs, and reasons for why for like them.

3. What are your thoughts on the 4 albums you were required to listen to?

Elvis Presley- Elvis Presley (1956)

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (1957)

The Beatles- Please, Please Me (1963)

The Rolling Stones- The Rolling Stones (1964)



****Please respond to at least 2 other students as well as answer ANY/ALL questions asked of you.

After watching the video, Good Rockin’ Tonight, please answer





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