Did You Know? Amazing Rock 'N Roll Facts
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Style Origins

  • Alan's Rock & Roll FUN Trivia.  Trivia powered by ABE. that the origins of rock and roll have been fiercely debated by commentators and historians of music; however, there is general agreement that it arose in the southern United States of America - the region which would produce most of the major early Rock and Roll acts - through the meeting of the different musical traditions which had developed from transatlantic African slavery and largely European immigration in that region?

  • that the migration of many freed slaves and their descendants to major urban centers like Memphis and north to New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo meant that black and white residents were living in close proximity in larger numbers than ever before, and as a result heard each other's music and even began to emulate each other's fashions?

  • that radio stations that made white and black forms of music available to both groups, the development and spread of the gramophone record, and musical styles such as jazz and swing which were taken up by both black and white musicians, aided this process of "cultural collision?"

  • that the immediate roots of Rock and Roll lay in the so-called "race music" and hillbilly music (later called rhythm and blues and country and western) of the 1940s and 1950s.

  • that particularly significant influences to Rock and Roll were jazz, blues, boogie woogie, country, folk and gospel music.

  • that commentators differ in their views of which of these forms were most important and the degree to which the new music was a re-branding of African American rhythm and blues for a white market, or a new hybrid of black and white forms.

  • that in the 1930s jazz, and particularly swing, both in urban based dance bands and blues-influenced country swing, was among the first music to present African American sounds for a predominately white audience.

  • that the 1940s saw the increased use of blaring horns (including saxophones), shouted lyrics and boogie woogie beats in jazz based music.

  • that during and immediately after World War II, with shortages of fuel and limitations on audiences and available personnel, large jazz bands were less economical and tended to be replaced by smaller combos, using guitars, bass and drums.

  • that in the same period, particularly on the West Coast and in the Midwest, the development of jump blues, with its guitar riffs, prominent beats and shouted lyrics, prefigured many later developments.

  • that country boogie and Chicago electric blues supplied many of the elements that would be seen as characteristic of Rock and Roll.

  • that Rock and Roll arrived at a time of considerable technological change, soon after the development of the electric guitar, amplifier and microphone, and the 45 rpm record.

  • that there were also changes in the record industry, with the rise of independent labels like Atlantic, Sun and Chess servicing niche audiences and a similar rise of radio stations that played their music.

  • that it was the realization that relatively affluent white teenagers were listening to this music that led to the development of what was to be defined as Rock and Roll as a distinct genre.

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