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Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of
popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.Popular Music. (2015). ''Funk & ...
that evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s. It originated from black American music such as
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...
,
jump blues Jump blues is an up-tempo style of blues, usually played by small groups and featuring horn instruments. It was popular in the 1940s and was a precursor of rhythm and blues and rock and roll. Appreciation of jump blues was renewed in the 1990s as ...
,
jazz Jazz is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. ...
,
boogie woogie Boogie-woogie is a music genre of blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in Plantation-era songs, African-American work songs, ...
,
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and ...
, as well as
country music Country (also called country and western) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed b ...

country music
.Peterson, Richard A. ''Creating Country Music: Fabricating Authenticity'' (1999), p. 9, . While rock and roll's formative elements can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954. According to journalist
Greg Kot Greg Kot (born March 3, 1957) is an American music journalist and author. From 1990 until 2020, Kot was the rock music critic at the ''Chicago Tribune'', where he covered popular music and reported on music-related social, political and business ...
, "rock and roll" refers to a style of popular music originating in the United States in the 1950s. By the mid-1960s, rock and roll had developed into "the more encompassing international style known as
rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no ...
, though the latter also continued to be known in many circles as rock and roll."Kot, Greg
"Rock and roll"
, in the ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it be ...
'', published
online In computer technology and telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or other Electromagnetism, electromagnetic systems. It has its ori ...
17 June 2008 and also in print and in the ''Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference'' DVD; Chicago : Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010
For the purpose of differentiation, this article deals with the first definition. In the earliest rock and roll styles, either the
piano The piano is an acoustic Acoustic may refer to: Music Albums * Acoustic (Bayside EP), ''Acoustic'' (Bayside EP) * Acoustic (Britt Nicole EP), ''Acoustic'' (Britt Nicole EP) * Acoustic (Joey Cape and Tony Sly album), ''Acoustic'' (Joey Cape ...

piano
or
saxophone The saxophone is a type of with a conical body, usually made of . As with all single-reed instruments, sound is produced when a on a vibrates to produce a sound wave inside the instrument's body. The is controlled by opening and closing hole ...

saxophone
was typically the lead instrument. These instruments were generally replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late 1950s. The beat is essentially a dance rhythm with an accentuated
backbeat In music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the s ...
, almost always provided by a
snare drum The snare drum or side drum is a percussion instrument that produces a sharp staccato sound when the head is struck with a drum stick, due to the use of a series of stiff wires held under tension against the lower skin. Snare drums are often use ...
. Classic rock and roll is usually played with one or two
electric guitar An electric guitar is a guitar The guitar is a fret (in the background, coloured white) and first four frets A fret is a space between two fretbars on the neck (music), neck of a stringed instrument. Frets usually extend across the fu ...

electric guitar
s (one lead, one rhythm) and a
double bass The double bass, also known simply as the bass (or by other names), is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed (or plucked) string instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce so ...

double bass
(string bass). After the mid-1950s, electric
bass guitar The bass guitar, electric bass or simply bass, is the lowest-pitched member of the family. It is a similar in appearance and construction to an or an , but with a longer and , and typically four to six or . Since the mid-1950s, the bass ...

bass guitar
s ("Fender bass") and
drum kits A drum set – also called a drum kit, trap set (an abbreviation of the word "contraption") or simply drums – is a collection of drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with ...
became popular in classic rock.S. Evans, "The development of the Blues" in A. F. Moore, ed., '' The Cambridge companion to blues and gospel music'' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 40–42. Rock and roll had a polarizing influence on lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. It is often depicted in movies, fan magazines, and on television. Rock and roll is believed by some to have had a positive influence on the
civil rights movement The 1954–1968 civil rights movement in the was preceded by a decades-long campaign by and their like-minded allies to end legalized , and in the United States. The movement has its origins in the during the late 19th century, although ...
, because both
Black American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from othe ...
and
White American White Americans are Americans Americans are the citizens and nationals Nationals may refer to: * People of a given nationality * A tournament or convention of national scope * Washington Nationals, a Major League Baseball team based in ...
teenagers enjoyed the music.G. C. Altschuler, ''All shook up: how rock 'n' roll changed America'' (Oxford: Oxford University Press US, 2003), p. 35.


Terminology

The term "rock and roll" is defined by
Greg Kot Greg Kot (born March 3, 1957) is an American music journalist and author. From 1990 until 2020, Kot was the rock music critic at the ''Chicago Tribune'', where he covered popular music and reported on music-related social, political and business ...
in ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it be ...
'' as the music that originated in the mid-1950s and later developed "into the more encompassing international style known as
rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no ...
". The term is sometimes also used as
synonymous A synonym is a word, morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone, ...
with "rock music" and is defined as such in some dictionaries. The phrase "rocking and rolling" originally described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but by the early 20th century was used both to describe the spiritual fervor of black church rituals and as a sexual analogy. A retired
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...

Welsh
seaman named William Fender can be heard singing the phrase "rock and roll" when describing a sexual encounter in his performance of the traditional song " The Baffled Knight" to the folklorist
James Madison Carpenter James Madison Carpenter, born in 1888 in Blacklands, Mississippi, near BoonevilleBooneville is the name of some places in the United States: *Booneville, Arkansas *Booneville, Iowa *Booneville, Kentucky *Booneville, Mississippi *Booneville, Tenness ...

James Madison Carpenter
in the early 1930s, which he would have learned at sea in the 1800s; the recording can be heard on the
Vaughan Williams Memorial Library The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) is the library and archive of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), located in the society's London headquarters, Cecil Sharp House. It is a multi-media library comprising books, periodicals, ...
website. Various gospel, blues and swing recordings used the phrase before it became widely popular; it was used in 1940s recordings and reviews of what became known as "
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and ...
" music aimed at a black audience. In 1934, the song "Rock and Roll" by the
Boswell Sisters The Boswell Sisters were an American close harmony singing trio of the jazz and Swing music, swing eras, consisting of three sisters: Martha Boswell (June 9, 1905 – July 2, 1958), Connee Boswell (original name Connie, December 3, 1907 – Octob ...
appeared in the film ''
Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round ''Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round'' is a 1934 American drama film In film and television show, television, drama is a category of narrative fiction (or docudrama, semi-fiction) intended to be more serious than humour, humorous in tone. Drama of ...
''. In 1942, before the concept of rock and roll had been defined, ''
Billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ou ...
'' magazine columnist Maurie Orodenker started to use the term to describe upbeat recordings such as "Rock Me" by
Sister Rosetta Tharpe Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter Songwriting partners Rodgers and Hart working on a song in 1936 A songwriter is a musician A musician is a person who composes, conducts, or per ...
; her style on that recording was described as "rock-and-roll spiritual singing". By 1943, the "Rock and Roll Inn" in South Merchantville, New Jersey, was established as a music venue. In 1951,
Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North ...

Cleveland
, Ohio, disc jockey
Alan Freed Albert James "Alan" Freed (December 15, 1921 – January 20, 1965) was an American disc jockey A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays recorded music for an audience. Types of DJs include radio DJs (who h ...
began playing this music style, and referring to it as "rock and roll" on his mainstream radio program, which popularized the phrase. Several sources suggest that Freed found the term, used as a synonym for sexual intercourse, on the record "
Sixty Minute Man "Sixty Minute Man" is a rhythm and blues (R&B) record released in 1951 by Billy Ward and his Dominoes. It was written by Billy Ward and Rose Marks and was one of the first R&B hit records to cross over to become a hit on the pop charts. It is ...
" by
Billy Ward and his Dominoes Billy Ward and his Dominoes were an American R&B vocal group. One of the most successful R&B groups of the early 1950s, the Dominoes helped launch the singing careers of two notable members, Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson. Career Billy Ward ( ...

Billy Ward and his Dominoes
. The lyrics include the line, "I rock 'em, roll 'em all night long". Freed did not acknowledge the suggestion about that source in interviews, and explained the term as follows: "Rock ’n roll is really swing with a modern name. It began on the levees and plantations, took in folk songs, and features blues and rhythm". In discussing Alan Freed's contribution to the genre, two significant sources emphasized the importance of African-American rhythm and blues. Greg Harris, then the Executive Director of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, offered this comment to
CNN The Cable News Network (CNN) is a multinational news-based pay television Pay television also known as subscription television, premium television or, when referring to an individual service, a premium channel, refers to subscription-based t ...

CNN
: "Freed’s role in breaking down racial barriers in U.S. pop culture in the 1950s, by leading white and black kids to listen to the same music, put the radio personality 'at the vanguard' and made him 'a really important figure'". After Freed was honored with a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a historic landmark which consists of more than 2,700 five-pointed terrazzo Terrazzo is a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of mar ...

Hollywood Walk of Fame
, the organization's Web site offered this comment: "He became internationally known for promoting African-American rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll". Not often acknowledged in the history of rock and roll,
Todd Storz Robert Todd Storz (May 8, 1924 – April 13, 1964) headed a very successful chain of American radio broadcasting stations and is generally credited with being the foremost innovator of the Top 40 In the music industry, the top 40 is the current ...
, the owner of radio station KOWH in
Omaha Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County, Nebraska, Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about north of the mouth of the Platte River (also kno ...

Omaha
, Nebraska, was the first to adopt the
Top 40 In the music industry The music industry consists of the individuals and organizations that earn money by writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language bel ...
format (in 1953), playing only the most popular records in rotation. His station, and the numerous others which adopted the concept, helped to promote the genre: by the mid 50s, the playlist included artists such as "Presley, Lewis, Haley, Berry and Domino".


Early rock and roll


Origins

The origins of rock and roll have been fiercely debated by commentators and historians of music. There is general agreement that it arose in the Southern United States – a region that would produce most of the major early rock and roll acts – through the meeting of various influences that embodied a merging of the African musical tradition with European instrumentation. The migration of many former slaves and their descendants to major urban centers such as
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...

St. Louis
,
Memphis Memphis is the name of: *Memphis, Egypt , alternate_name = , image = , alt = , caption = Ruins of the pillared hall of Ramesses IIat Mit Rahina , map_type = Egypt , map_alt = , map_size = , reli ...
,
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
,
Detroit (strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Mo ...

Detroit
,
Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive map of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name ...

Chicago
,
Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North ...

Cleveland
, and 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. Radio stations that made white and black forms of music available to both groups, the development and spread of the
gramophone record A phonograph disc record (also known as a gramophone disc record, especially in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language va ...
, and African-American musical styles such as
jazz Jazz is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. ...
and
swing Swing or swinging may refer to: Apparatus * Swing (seat), a hanging seat that swings back and forth * Russian swing, a swing-like circus apparatus * Sex swing, a type of harness for sexual intercourse * Swing ride, an amusement park ride consistin ...
which were taken up by white musicians, aided this process of "cultural collision".M. T. Bertrand, ''Race, rock, and Elvis Music in American life'' (University of Illinois Press, 2000), p. 99. The immediate roots of rock and roll lay in the
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and ...
, then called "
race music Race, RACE or "The Race" may refer to: * Race (biology), an informal taxonomic classification within a species, generally within a sub-species * Race (human categorization), classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, and/or so ...
", in combination with either Boogie-woogie and shouting gospel or with
country music Country (also called country and western) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed b ...

country music
of the 1940s and 1950s. Particularly significant influences were jazz,
blues Blues is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in ...

blues
,
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...
, country, and
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media ...

folk
. 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 Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and ...
for a white market, or a new hybrid of black and white forms.K. Keightley, "Reconsidering rock" S. Frith, W. Straw and J. Street, eds, ''The Cambridge companion to pop and rock'' (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 116. In the 1930s,
jazz Jazz is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. ...
, and particularly
swing Swing or swinging may refer to: Apparatus * Swing (seat), a hanging seat that swings back and forth * Russian swing, a swing-like circus apparatus * Sex swing, a type of harness for sexual intercourse * Swing ride, an amusement park ride consistin ...
, both in urban-based dance bands and blues-influenced country swing ( Jimmie Rodgers,
Moon Mullican Aubrey Wilson Mullican (March 29, 1909 – January 1, 1967), known professionally as Moon Mullican and nicknamed "King of the Hillbilly Piano Players", was an American country and western singer, songwriter, and pianist. He was associated with th ...
and other similar singers), were among the first music to present African-American sounds for a predominantly white audience. One particularly noteworthy example of a jazz song with recognizably rock and roll elements is
Big Joe Turner Joseph Vernon "Big Joe" Turner Jr. (May 18, 1911 – November 24, 1985) was an American blues shouter from Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri. According to songwriter Doc Pomus, "Rock and roll would have never happened without him." ...

Big Joe Turner
with pianist
Pete Johnson Pete Johnson (born Kermit H. Johnson, March 25, 1904 – March 23, 1967) was an American boogie-woogie and jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in the late ...
's 1939 single ''
Roll 'Em Pete "Roll 'Em Pete" is a blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in Plantation-era songs, African-American work songs, and Spiritua ...
'', which is regarded as an important precursor of rock and roll. The 1940s saw the increased use of blaring horns (including saxophones), shouted lyrics and boogie woogie beats in jazz-based music. During and immediately after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, 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. In the same period, particularly on the
West CoastWest Coast or west coast may refer to: Geography Australia * Western Australia *Regions of South Australia#Weather forecasting, West Coast of South Australia * West Coast, Tasmania **West Coast Range, mountain range in the region Canada * British ...
and in the
Midwest The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the Midwest or the American Midwest, is one of four Census Bureau Region, census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of ...
, the development of
jump blues Jump blues is an up-tempo style of blues, usually played by small groups and featuring horn instruments. It was popular in the 1940s and was a precursor of rhythm and blues and rock and roll. Appreciation of jump blues was renewed in the 1990s as ...
, with its guitar riffs, prominent beats and shouted lyrics, prefigured many later developments. In the documentary film ''
Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll ''Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll'' is a 1987 documentary film A documentary film is a non-fictional film, motion-picture intended to "document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a Recorded history, histori ...
'',
Keith Richards Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943), often referred to during the 1960s and 1970s as Keith Richard, is an English musician, singer, and songwriter, who has achieved international fame as the co-founder, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co ...

Keith Richards
proposes that
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre ...

Chuck Berry
developed his brand of rock and roll by transposing the familiar two-note lead line of jump blues piano directly to the electric guitar, creating what is instantly recognizable as rock guitar. This proposal by Richards neglects the black guitarists who did the same thing before Berry, such as
Goree Carter Goree Chester Carter or Christer Carter (December 31, 1930 – December 29, 1990), known as Goree Carter, was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the U ...
, Gatemouth Brown, and the originator of the style,
T-Bone Walker Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975) was an American blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in P ...
.
Country boogie Boogie is a repetitive, swung note or shuffle rhythm,Burrows, Terry (1995). ''Play Country Guitar'', p.42. Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. . "groove" or pattern used in blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originat ...
and Chicago electric blues supplied many of the elements that would be seen as characteristic of rock and roll. Inspired by
electric blues Electric blues refers to any type of blues Blues is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the el ...
, Chuck Berry introduced an aggressive guitar sound to rock and roll, and established the electric guitar as its centerpiece, adapting his rock band instrumentation from the basic blues band instrumentation of a lead guitar, second chord instrument, bass and drums.Michael Campbell & James Brody
Rock and Roll: An Introduction
, pp. 80–81.
In 2017,
Robert Christgau Robert Thomas Christgau (; born April 18, 1942) is an American music journalist Music journalism (or music criticism) is media criticism and reporting about music topics, including popular music, classical music, and traditional music. Journa ...

Robert Christgau
declared that "Chuck Berry did in fact invent rock 'n' roll", explaining that this artist "came the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together". Rock and roll arrived at a time of considerable technological change, soon after the development of the electric guitar,
amplifier An amplifier, electronic amplifier or (informally) amp is an electronic device that can increase the power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In ...

amplifier
and
microphone A microphone, colloquially called a mic or mike (), is a device – a transducer A transducer is a device that energy from one form to another. Usually a transducer converts a in one form of energy to a signal in another. Transducers ar ...

microphone
, and the
45 rpm record In music, a single is a type of , typically a song of fewer tracks than an or an album. This can be released for to the public in a variety of formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although i ...

45 rpm record
. There were also changes in the record industry, with the rise of independent labels like Atlantic,
Sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many othe ...
and
Chess Chess is a board game Board games are tabletop game Tabletop games are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New Yor ...
servicing niche audiences and a similar rise of radio stations that played their music. 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. Because the development of rock and roll was an evolutionary process, no single record can be identified as unambiguously "the first" rock and roll record.
Jim Dawson Jim Dawson (born September 10, 1944) is a Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic langua ...
and Steve Propes, ''What Was The First Rock'n'Roll Record'', 1992,
Contenders for the title of "
first rock and roll record The origins of rock and roll are complex. Rock and roll emerged as a defined musical style in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous Uni ...
" include
Sister Rosetta Tharpe Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter Songwriting partners Rodgers and Hart working on a song in 1936 A songwriter is a musician A musician is a person who composes, conducts, or per ...
's " Strange Things Happening Every Day" (1944), "
That's All Right "That's All Right Mama" is a song written and originally performed by blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in Plantation-e ...
" by
Arthur Crudup Arthur William "Big Boy" Crudup (August 24, 1905 – March 28, 1974) was an American Delta blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known, outside blues circles, for his songs " That's All Right" (1946), " My Baby Left Me" and "So Gl ...
(1946), "Move It On Over" by
Hank Williams Hiram "Hank" Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, he recorded 35 singl ...
(1947), " The Fat Man" by
Fats Domino Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017), known as Fats Domino, was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, ...

Fats Domino
(1949),
Goree Carter Goree Chester Carter or Christer Carter (December 31, 1930 – December 29, 1990), known as Goree Carter, was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the U ...
's "
Rock Awhile "Rock Awhile" is a song by American singer-songwriter Goree Carter Goree Chester Carter or Christer Carter (December 31, 1930 – December 29, 1990), known as Goree Carter, was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from ...

Rock Awhile
" (1949), Robert Palmer, "Church of the Sonic Guitar", pp. 13–38 in Anthony DeCurtis, ''Present Tense'',
Duke University Press Duke University Press is an academic publisher Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for fr ...
, 1992, p. 19. .
Jimmy Preston's "
Rock the Joint "Rock the Joint", also known as "We're Gonna Rock This Joint Tonight", is a boogie song recorded by various proto- rock and roll singers, notably Jimmy Preston and early rock and roll singers, most notably Bill Haley (musician), Bill Haley. Prest ...
" (1949), which was later
covered Cover or covers may refer to: Packaging, science and technology * A covering, usually - but not necessarily - one that completely closes the object ** Cover (philately), generic term for envelope or package ** Housing (engineering), an exterior ...
by
Bill Haley & His Comets Bill Haley & His Comets were an American rock and roll band, founded in 1952 and continued until Haley's death in 1981. The band was also known as Bill Haley and the Comets and Bill Haley's Comets (and variations thereof). From late 1954 to lat ...
in 1952, "
Rocket 88 "Rocket 88" (originally stylized as Rocket "88") is a rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by rec ...
" by
Jackie Brenston Jackie Brenston (August 24, 1928 or 1930Most published sources and the U.S. Social Security Death Index give 1930 as his year of birth. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and reportedly his gravestone give 1928.  – December 15, 1979) w ...
and his Delta Cats (Ike Turner and his band Kings of Rhythm, The Kings of Rhythm), recorded by Sam Phillips for Sun Records in March 1951.M. Campbell, ed., ''Popular Music in America: and the Beat Goes on'' (Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 3rd edn., 2008), , pp. 157–8. In terms of its wide cultural impact across society in the US and elsewhere, Bill Haley (musician), Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock", recorded in April 1954 but not a commercial success until the following year, is generally recognized as an important milestone, but it was preceded by many recordings from earlier decades in which elements of rock and roll can be clearly discerned.Robert Palmer, "Rock Begins", in ''Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll'', 1976/1980, (UK edition), pp. 3–14. Other artists with early rock and roll hits included
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre ...

Chuck Berry
, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Gene Vincent. Chuck Berry's 1955 classic "Maybellene" in particular features a distortion (music), distorted
electric guitar An electric guitar is a guitar The guitar is a fret (in the background, coloured white) and first four frets A fret is a space between two fretbars on the neck (music), neck of a stringed instrument. Frets usually extend across the fu ...

electric guitar
solo with warm overtones created by his small valve amplifier. However, the use of distortion was predated by electric blues guitarists such as Joe Hill Louis, Guitar Slim,. Willie Johnson (guitarist), Willie Johnson of Howlin' Wolf's band, and Pat Hare; the latter two also made use of distorted power chords in the early 1950s. Robert Palmer, "Church of the Sonic Guitar", pp. 13–38 in Anthony DeCurtis, ''Present Tense'',
Duke University Press Duke University Press is an academic publisher Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for fr ...
, 1992, pp. 24–27. .
Also in 1955, Bo Diddley introduced the "Bo Diddley beat" and a unique electric guitar style, influenced by Music of Africa, African and Afro-Cuban music and in turn influencing many later artists.


Rhythm and blues

Rock and roll was strongly influenced by R&B, according to many sources, including an article in the Wall Street Journal in 1985 titled, "Rock! It's Still Rhythm and Blues". In fact, the author stated that the "two terms were used interchangeably", until about 1957. The other sources quoted in the article said that rock and roll combined R&B with pop and country music.
Fats Domino Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017), known as Fats Domino, was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, ...

Fats Domino
was one of the biggest stars of rock and roll in the early 1950s and he was not convinced that this was a new genre. In 1957, he said: "What they call rock 'n' roll now is rhythm and blues. I’ve been playing it for 15 years in New Orleans". According to ''Rolling Stone (magazine), Rolling Stone'', "this is a valid statement ... all Fifties rockers, black and white, country born and city-bred, were fundamentally influenced by R&B, the black popular music of the late Forties and early Fifties". Further, Little Richard built his ground-breaking sound of the same era with an uptempo blend of boogie-woogie, New Orleans rhythm and blues, and the soul and fervor of gospel music vocalization.


Rockabilly

"Rockabilly" usually (but not exclusively) refers to the type of rock and roll music which was played and recorded in the mid-1950s primarily by white singers such as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, who drew mainly on the country roots of the music. Presley was greatly influenced and incorporated his style of music with some of the greatest African American musicians like BB King, Arthur Crudup and Fats Domino. His style of music combined with black influences created controversy during a turbulent time in history."Rock and Roll Pilgrims: Reflections on Ritual, Religiosity, and Race at Many other popular rock and roll singers of the time, such as
Fats Domino Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017), known as Fats Domino, was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, ...

Fats Domino
and Little Richard, came out of the black
rhythm and blues Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or R'n'B, is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and ...
tradition, making the music attractive to white audiences, and are not usually classed as "rockabilly". Presley popularized rock and roll on a wider scale than any other single performer and by 1956, he had emerged as the singing sensation of the nation. Bill Flagg who is a Connecticut resident, began referring to his mix of hillbilly and rock 'n' roll music as rockabilly around 1953. In July 1954, Presley recorded the regional hit "
That's All Right "That's All Right Mama" is a song written and originally performed by blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in Plantation-e ...
" at Sam Phillips' Sun Studio in Memphis. Three months earlier, on April 12, 1954,
Bill Haley & His Comets Bill Haley & His Comets were an American rock and roll band, founded in 1952 and continued until Haley's death in 1981. The band was also known as Bill Haley and the Comets and Bill Haley's Comets (and variations thereof). From late 1954 to lat ...
recorded "Rock Around the Clock". Although only a minor hit when first released, when used in the opening sequence of the movie ''Blackboard Jungle'' a year later, it set the rock and roll boom in motion. The song became one of the biggest hits in history, and frenzied teens flocked to see Haley and the Comets perform it, causing riots in some cities. "Rock Around the Clock" was a breakthrough for both the group and for all of rock and roll music. If everything that came before laid the groundwork, "Rock Around the Clock" introduced the music to a global audience. In 1956, the arrival of rockabilly was underlined by the success of songs like "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash, "Blue Suede Shoes" by Perkins and the No. 1 hit "Heartbreak Hotel" by Presley. For a few years it became the most commercially successful form of rock and roll. Later rockabilly acts, particularly performing songwriters like Buddy Holly, would be a major influence on British Invasion acts and particularly on the song writing of the Beatles and through them on the nature of later rock music.


Doo wop

Doo-wop was one of the most popular forms of 1950s rhythm and blues, often compared with rock and roll, with an emphasis on multi-part vocal harmonies and meaningless backing lyrics (from which the genre later gained its name), which were usually supported with light instrumentation. Its origins were in African-American vocal groups of the 1930s and 40s, such as the Ink Spots and the Mills Brothers, who had enjoyed considerable commercial success with arrangements based on close harmonies. They were followed by 1940s R&B vocal acts such as the Orioles, the Ravens and the Clovers, who injected a strong element of traditional gospel and, increasingly, the energy of
jump blues Jump blues is an up-tempo style of blues, usually played by small groups and featuring horn instruments. It was popular in the 1940s and was a precursor of rhythm and blues and rock and roll. Appreciation of jump blues was renewed in the 1990s as ...
. By 1954, as rock and roll was beginning to emerge, a number of similar acts began to cross over from the R&B charts to mainstream success, often with added honking brass and saxophone, with the Crows, the Penguins, the El Dorados and the Turbans all scoring major hits. Despite the subsequent explosion in records from doo wop acts in the later '50s, many failed to chart or were one-hit wonders. Exceptions included the Platters, with songs including "The Great Pretender" (1955) and the Coasters with humorous songs like "Yakety Yak" (1958), both of which ranked among the most successful rock and roll acts of the era. Towards the end of the decade there were increasing numbers of white, particularly Italian-American, singers taking up Doo Wop, creating all-white groups like the Mystics and Dion and the Belmonts and racially integrated groups like the Del-Vikings and the Impalas. Doo-wop would be a major influence on surf music , vocal surf music, soul music , soul and early beat music , Merseybeat, including the Beatles.


Cover versions

Many of the earliest white rock and roll hits were cover version, covers or partial re-writes of earlier black rhythm and blues or blues songs. Through the late 1940s and early 1950s, R&B music had been gaining a stronger beat and a wilder style, with artists such as Fats Domino and Johnny Otis speeding up the tempos and increasing the beat (music), backbeat to great popularity on the juke joint circuit. Before the efforts of Freed and others, black music was taboo on many white-owned radio outlets, but artists and producers quickly recognized the potential of rock and roll. Some of Presley's early recordings were covers of black rhythm and blues or blues songs, such as "
That's All Right "That's All Right Mama" is a song written and originally performed by blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in Plantation-e ...
" (a countrified arrangement of a blues number), "Baby Let's Play House", "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "Hound Dog (song), Hound Dog". The racial lines, however, are rather more clouded by the fact that some of these R&B songs originally recorded by black artists had been written by white songwriters, such as the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Songwriting credits were often unreliable; many publishers, record executives, and even managers (both white and black) would insert their name as a composer in order to collect royalty checks. Covers were customary in the music industry at the time; it was made particularly easy by the compulsory license provision of United States copyright law (still in effect). One of the first relevant successful covers was Wynonie Harris's transformation of Roy Brown (blues musician), Roy Brown's 1947 original jump blues hit "Good Rocking Tonight" into a more showy rocker and the Louis Prima rocker "Oh Babe" in 1950, as well as Amos Milburn's cover of what may have been the first white rock and roll record, Hardrock Gunter's "Birmingham Bounce" in 1949. The most notable trend, however, was white pop covers of black R&B numbers. The more familiar sound of these covers may have been more palatable to white audiences, there may have been an element of prejudice, but labels aimed at the white market also had much better distribution networks and were generally much more profitable. Famously, Pat Boone recorded sanitized versions of songs recorded by the likes of Fats Domino, Little Richard, the Flamingos and Ivory Joe Hunter. Later, as those songs became popular, the original artists' recordings received radio play as well. The cover versions were not necessarily straightforward imitations. For example, Bill Haley's incompletely Expurgation, bowdlerized cover of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" transformed Big Joe Turner's humorous and racy tale of adult love into an energetic teen dance number, while Georgia Gibbs replaced Etta James's tough, sarcastic vocal in "Roll With Me, Henry" (covered as "Dance With Me, Henry") with a perkier vocal more appropriate for an audience unfamiliar with the song to which James's song was an answer song, answer, Hank Ballard's "Work With Me, Annie". Presley's rock and roll version of "Hound Dog", taken mainly from a version recorded by the pop band Freddie Bell and the Bellboys, was very different from the blues shouter that Big Mama Thornton had recorded four years earlier. Other white artists who recorded cover versions of rhythm & blues songs included Gale Storm [Smiley Lewis' "I Hear You Knockin'"], the Diamonds [The Gladiolas' "Little Darlin'" and Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"], the Crew Cuts [the Chords' "Sh-Boom" and Nappy Brown's "Don't Be Angry"], the Fountain Sisters [The Jewels' "Hearts of Stone"] and the Maguire Sisters [The Moonglows' "Sincerely"].


Decline

Some commentators have suggested a decline of rock and roll in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The retirement of Little Richard to become a preacher (October 1957), the departure of Presley for service in the United States Army (March 1958), the scandal surrounding Jerry Lee Lewis' marriage to his Myra Gale Brown, thirteen-year-old cousin (May 1958), the deaths of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in The Day the Music Died, a plane crash (February 1959), the breaking of the Payola scandal implicating major figures, including
Alan Freed Albert James "Alan" Freed (December 15, 1921 – January 20, 1965) was an American disc jockey A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays recorded music for an audience. Types of DJs include radio DJs (who h ...
, in bribery and corruption in promoting individual acts or songs (November 1959), the arrest of
Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre ...

Chuck Berry
(December 1959), and the death of Eddie Cochran in a car crash (April 1960) gave a sense that the initial phase of rock and roll had come to an end.M. Campbell, ed., ''Popular Music in America: And the Beat Goes on'' (Cengage Learning, 3rd edn., 2008), p. 99. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the rawer sounds of Presley, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly were commercially superseded by a more polished, commercial style of rock and roll. Marketing frequently emphasized the physical looks of the artist rather than the music, contributing to the successful careers of Ricky Nelson, Tommy Sands (American singer), Tommy Sands, Bobby Vee and the Philadelphia trio of Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, Fabian Forte, Fabian, and Del Shannon, who all became "teen idols." Some music historians have also pointed to important and innovative developments that built on rock and roll in this period, including multitrack recording, developed by Les Paul, the electronic treatment of sound by such innovators as Joe Meek, and the "Wall of Sound" productions of Phil Spector, continued desegregation of the charts, the rise of surf music, garage rock and the Twist (dance), Twist dance craze. Surf rock in particular, noted for the use of reverb-drenched guitars, became one of the most popular forms of American rock of the 1960s.


British rock and roll

In the 1950s, Britain was well placed to receive American rock and roll music and culture. It shared English language, a common language, had been exposed to American culture through the stationing of troops in the country, and shared many social developments, including the emergence of distinct youth sub-cultures, which in Britain included the Teddy Boys and the Rocker (subculture), rockers.D. O'Sullivan, ''The Youth Culture'' (London: Taylor & Francis, 1974), pp. 38–9. Trad jazz became popular in the UK, and many of its musicians were influenced by related American styles, including
boogie woogie Boogie-woogie is a music genre of blues Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in Plantation-era songs, African-American work songs, ...
and the
blues Blues is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from ''musical form'' and musical style, although in ...

blues
. The skiffle craze, led by Lonnie Donegan, utilised amateurish versions of American folk songs and encouraged many of the subsequent generation of rock and roll, folk, R&B and beat musicians to start performing.M. Brocken, ''The British folk revival, 1944–2002'' (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), pp. 69–80. At the same time British audiences were beginning to encounter American rock and roll, initially through films including ''Blackboard Jungle'' (1955) and ''Rock Around the Clock (film), Rock Around the Clock'' (1956). Both movies featured the
Bill Haley & His Comets Bill Haley & His Comets were an American rock and roll band, founded in 1952 and continued until Haley's death in 1981. The band was also known as Bill Haley and the Comets and Bill Haley's Comets (and variations thereof). From late 1954 to lat ...
hit "Rock Around the Clock", which first entered the British charts in early 1955 – four months before it reached the Billboard Hot 100, US pop charts – topped the British charts later that year and again in 1956, and helped identify rock and roll with teenage delinquency. The initial response of the British music industry was to attempt to produce copies of American records, recorded with session musicians and often fronted by teen idols. More grassroots British rock and rollers soon began to appear, including Wee Willie Harris and Tommy Steele. During this period American Rock and Roll remained dominant; however, in 1958 Britain produced its first "authentic" rock and roll song and star, when Cliff Richard reached number 2 in the charts with "Move It". At the same time, TV shows such as ''Six-Five Special'' and ''Oh Boy! (TV series), Oh Boy!'' promoted the careers of British rock and rollers like Marty Wilde and Adam Faith. Cliff Richard and his backing band, the Shadows, were the most successful home grown rock and roll based acts of the era. Other leading acts included Billy Fury, Joe Brown (singer), Joe Brown, and Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, whose 1960 hit song "Shakin' All Over" became a rock and roll standard. As interest in rock and roll was beginning to subside in America in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was taken up by groups in major British urban centers like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and London.Mersey Beat – the founders' story
.
About the same time, a British blues scene developed, initially led by purist blues followers such as Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies who were directly inspired by American musicians such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra, S. T. Erlewine, eds, ''All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues'' (Backbeat, 3rd edn., 2003), p. 700. Many groups moved towards the beat music of rock and roll and rhythm and blues from skiffle, like the Quarrymen who became the Beatles, producing a form of rock and roll revivalism that carried them and many other groups to national success from about 1963 and to international success from 1964, known in America as the British Invasion. Groups that followed the Beatles included the beat-influenced Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Herman's Hermits and the Dave Clark Five. Early British rhythm and blues groups with more blues influences include the Animals, the Rolling Stones, and the Yardbirds.


Cultural impact

Rock and roll influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. In addition, rock and roll may have contributed to the civil rights movement because both African-American and white American teens enjoyed the music. Many early rock and roll songs dealt with issues of cars, school, dating, and clothing. The lyrics of rock and roll songs described events and conflicts that most listeners could relate to through personal experience. Topics such as sex that had generally been considered taboo began to appear in rock and roll lyrics. This new music tried to break boundaries and express emotions that people were actually feeling but had not talked about. An awakening began to take place in American youth culture.Schafer, William J. ''Rock Music: Where It's Been, What It Means, Where It's Going''. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1972.


Race

In the crossover of African-American "race music" to a growing white youth audience, the popularization of rock and roll involved both black performers reaching a white audience and white musicians performing African-American music. Rock and roll appeared at a time when racial tensions in the United States were entering a new phase, with the beginnings of the civil rights movement for Racial segregation, desegregation, leading to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that abolished the policy of "separate but equal" in 1954, but leaving a policy which would be extremely difficult to enforce in parts of the United States. The coming together of white youth audiences and African American music, black music in rock and roll inevitably provoked strong white racist reactions within the US, with many whites condemning its breaking down of barriers based on color. Many observers saw rock and roll as heralding the way for desegregation, in creating a new form of music that encouraged racial cooperation and shared experience. Many authors have argued that early rock and roll was instrumental in the way both white and black teenagers identified themselves.


Teen culture

Several rock historians have claimed that rock and roll was one of the first music genres to define an age group. It gave teenagers a sense of belonging, even when they were alone. Rock and roll is often identified with the emergence of teen culture among the first baby boomer generation, who had greater relative affluence and leisure time and adopted rock and roll as part of a distinct subculture.M. Coleman, L. H. Ganong, K. Warzinik, ''Family Life in Twentieth-Century America'' (Greenwood, 2007), pp. 216–17. This involved not just music, absorbed via radio, record buying, jukeboxes and TV programs like ''American Bandstand'', but also extended to film, clothes, hair, cars and motorbikes, and distinctive language. The youth culture exemplified by rock and roll was a recurring source of concern for older generations, who worried about juvenile delinquency and social rebellion, particularly because to a large extent rock and roll culture was shared by different racial and social groups. In America, that concern was conveyed even in youth cultural artifacts such as comic books. In "There's No Romance in Rock and Roll" from ''True Life Romance'' (1956), a defiant teen dates a rock and roll-loving boy but drops him for one who likes traditional adult music—to her parents' relief. In Britain, where postwar prosperity was more limited, rock and roll culture became attached to the pre-existing Teddy Boy movement, largely working class in origin, and eventually to the Rocker (subculture), rockers. Rock and roll has been seen as reorienting popular music toward a youth market, as in Dion and the Belmonts' "A Teenager in Love" (1960).


Dance styles

From its early 1950s beginnings through the early 1960s, rock and roll spawned new Novelty and fad dances, dance crazes including the Twist (dance), twist. Teenagers found the syncopated backbeat rhythm especially suited to reviving Big Band-era jitterbug dancing. Sock hops, school and church gym dances, and home basement dance parties became the rage, and American teens watched Dick Clark's ''American Bandstand'' to keep up on the latest dance and fashion styles. From the mid-1960s on, as "rock and roll" was rebranded as "rock," later dance genres followed, leading to funk, disco, house music, house, techno, and hip hop.


Notes


References

* * ''Rock and Roll: A Social History'', by Paul Friedlander (1996), Westview Press () * "The Rock Window: A Way of Understanding Rock Music" by Paul Friedlander, i
''Tracking: Popular Music Studies''
, Volume I, number 1, Spring, 1988 * ''The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll'' by Holly George-Warren, Patricia Romanowski, Jon Pareles (2001), Fireside Press () * ''The Sound of the City: the Rise of Rock and Roll'', by Charlie Gillett (1970), E.P. Dutton * * ''The Fifties (book), The Fifties'' by David Halberstam (1996), Random House () * ''The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll : The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Music'' by editors James Henke, Holly George-Warren, Anthony Decurtis, Jim Miller (1992), Random House ()


External links

*
The Camp Meeting Jubilee
1910 recording


History of Rock

Youngtown Rock and Roll Museum
– Omemee, Ontario {{authority control Rock and roll, African-American culture African-American music American styles of music American rock music genres Culture of the Southern United States 1950s fads and trends Popular music Radio formats Rock music Youth culture in the United States Youth culture in the United Kingdom 1950s neologisms Italian-American culture