The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll The Sound of America
Where did Rock ‘n’ Roll originate? Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan Motown, USA
Why is Detroit called Motown? Motown is also known as Motor City. Detroit is referred to as Motor City because it has been the center of America’s motor vehicle production since Ford opened the Ford Motor Company in 1903.
Detroit, before R ‘n’ R • In the 1950s, people from the south were moving to Detroit in hopes of landing a job in the automobile industry. • Many people congregated to the East Side of Detroit, which ended up creating a “rough and tumble” neighborhood. • In this neighborhood, the beat of the blues could be heard in the streets. • Artists like John Lee Hooker were popular.
“The Sound of Young America” • Motown’s motto: “The Sound of Young America.” • Motown’s blend of gritty urban blues mixed with pop and soul music made the sound appeal to both black and white young adults listeners.
Berry Gordy • Berry Gordy was the founder of “Motown Records” • Gordy almost single handedly helped create and promote the “Motown Sound.” • The “Motown Sound” involved the upbeat catchiness of pop music, the soulfulness of rhythm and blues, and the intensity of gospel music.
Smokey Robinson • Smokey Robinson founded The Miracles, a singing group, while still in high school. • Smokey Robinson and The Miracles were the first singing group that Berry Gordy signed. • Robinson encouraged Berry Gordy to start the Motown Record company
Smokey Robinson • Smokey eventually became the Vice President of Motown Records. • Smokey wrote songs for The Miracles, but also for The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and others. • Smokey eventually went solo and was very successful.
Why Motown was so successful? • Berry Gordy was a master at finding talented performers, composers, arrangers, and producers. • Motown has the best of everything (stylistically). • It’s stars promoted an image of upright, clean, and wholesome fun.
Find out more about Motown Your assignment is to use your laptops and the web to find 10 informative facts about any Motown artist. It should be new information and interesting. NO WIKIPEDIA ALLOWED!! Send it to me over first class when you are done
Motown Artists • The Four Tops • Marvin Gaye • Berry Gordy • Jackson 5 • Martha and the Vandellas • Smokey Robinson • The Supremes • The Temptations • Stevie Wonder
Where did Rock ‘n’ Roll originate? Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles California
Los Angeles before RnR • In the 1950s LA was competing with Detroit for the highest number of automobile manufacturers. • Factories were popping up everywhere. People were traveling to LA for jobs in sewing factories, furniture factories, in radio broadcasting stations, and in motion pictures. • Rail car systems were being shut down and replaced with bus systems, which contributed to the massive amount of pollution that LA is famous for having.
Southern California had developed a “surf sound.”
What do you think the “surf sound” sounded like? In music, how might composers and artists convey this “surf sound?”
What group of people do you think this sound appealed to most? White American Teens
Overdubbing • Layering the tracks during the recording process. • Record one track, then play it back and add another track on top of it, etc. • This was a very common way for recording for the Beach Boys and other bands.
How did this differ from the sound of Motown? • Motown: • LA Sound:
Why do you think this sound didn’t appeal to older generations, or to black teens as well?
California’s folk music scene In the 1960s, LA had a growing interest in folk music. People would gather at coffee shops and hootenannies to listen and play folk music.
What in the world is a hootenanny? • A hootenanny is similar to what we might call an “open mic night” in which anyone could come and perform for 5-10 minutes a piece. • Hootenannies were very popular in the 60s, especially among college students.
Folk Music • Folk music has been heard for many years in the US and in other countries. • In folk music, the most important part of the music is the story the music tells. • During the 1960s, people wrote folk music about the Vietnam War, the opposition to the government and the Civil Rights Movement. • If you wrote a folk song today, what might you write about?
Folk Music • Folk music is most often passed down by rote. • Passing things on by rote means that people learn the music by listening to it, not by reading music. “Learn by hearing.” • What songs might you have learned by rote?
The Byrds were greatly influenced by many different artists. • They brought many different styles together to create a new “electric folk-rock” sound. • They were influenced equally by Bob Dylan and by the Beatles. The Byrds Roger McGuinn David Crosby Gene Clark Chris Hillman Michael Clark
The Troubadour The center of LA’s hit music scene
The Troubadour • The Troubadour opened as a jazz club in the 1950s. • It was THE hotspot for music in LA. • During the 1960s they featured artist like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. • Many artists that played there ended up gaining great commercial success.
During the 1960s… • LA seemed to be swarmed with singer/songwriters, but in reality it featured a very diverse musical culture….