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Chapter 4 – Early Rock and Roll PowerPoint Presentation
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Chapter 4 – Early Rock and Roll

Chapter 4 – Early Rock and Roll

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Chapter 4 – Early Rock and Roll

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  1. Chapter 4 – Early Rock and Roll “The blues had a baby and they called it rock and roll” – Muddy Waters

  2. Musicians with Backgrounds in Country Music Bill Haley (1925-1981) 1951- Bill Haley and the Saddlemen covered blues songs 1952- group name changed to the Comets 1954- covered Joe Turner’s blues song “Shake, Rattle and Roll” with lyric changes to remove sexual references 1955- biggest hit of career, “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” 1957- toured Britain, making Haley the first international rock star 4-2

  3. Listening Guide “Shake, Rattle and Roll” by Joe Turner (1954) Tempo: 140 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12- bar blues Features: Rhythm section includes boogie-woogie-styled piano, string bass, hand clapping, and snare drum accents on the backbeats Fills by saxophones playing repeated notes or riff patterns Instrumental 5th chorus by baritone saxophone using jazz- styled improvisation Ending, saxophone quoting from Ellington’s “Take the ‘A’ Train” Lyrics: The lyrics include many sexual references about the singer’s appreciation of a woman Charts: R&B, #1 for three weeks 4-3

  4. Listening Guide “Shake, Rattle and Roll” by Bill Haley and the Comets (1954) Tempo: 176 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12-bar blues Features: Rhythm section includes piano and drums playing a shuffle beat pattern and bass snapping the strings against the fingerboard Backbeat less accented than in Turner’s recording Fills by saxophone and guitar riffs (repeated patterns) Lyrics: Similar to the lyrics in Turner’s recording except that the sexual references are missing and replaced by ones that indicate that the woman is cold and no longer loving the singer Charts: Pop, #7, British hits, #4 4-4

  5. Listening Guide “Hound Dog” by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton (1952) Tempo: 140 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12- bar blues Features: Thornton uses a rough, classic blues-style tone quality Rhythm section – country blues-style guitar rhythms, bass on beats, and hand clapping with a drum stuck on the side for a strong backbeat Fills by guitar bending strings to produce blue notes Lyrics: A man has cheated on the singer and she vows to stop seeing him Charts: R&B, #1 for seven weeks 4-5

  6. Listening Guides Elvis Presley (1935-1977), singer, guitarist? Known as the King of Rock and Roll 1954 - Signed to Sun Records by owner/producer Sam Phillips 1955 - Turned down in audition for Grand Ole Opry because style was too “black” 1955- Turned down in audition for TV show Talent Scouts 1955 – signed with manager Colonel Tom Parker, changed to RCA record label 1956 – RCA’s polished studio recording sound, songs by a variety of pop writers, much publicity and TV show performances, first movie, Love Me Tender, and international stardom 1957 – bought Graceland and made movies Loving You and Jailhouse Rock 1958 – movie King Creole, entered the U.S. Army for two years 1960s and beyond – more movies and hit songs from movies, as well as performances in Las Vegas and other places 1977 – Reclusive life and drug-related death 4-6

  7. Listening Guide “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley (1956) Tempo: 176 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12-bar blues Instrumental choruses played by guitar with vocal group singing sustained chords Features: Presley uses a polished urban blues style and tone quality Rhythm section- country-style guitar, bass in riff pattern, drums accent strong backbeat Fills by guitar and sustained vocals Lyrics: Sung to a woman who is of no more value than a hound dog that cannot catch rabbits Charts: Pop, #1 for eleven weeks, R&B, #1 for six weeks, British hits, #2 4-7

  8. Rockabilly Style made popular through Presley’s early recordings at Sun Records in 1954-55 Typical rockabilly instrumentation: electric lead guitar acoustic rhythm guitar slapping bass fiddle subdued drums accent back beat Carl Perkins (1932-1998), singer, songwriter, guitarist Attracted to Sun Records to record rockabilly after hearing Presley’s records 4-8

  9. Listening Guide “Blue Suede Shoes” by C. Perkins (1956) Tempo: 168 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12-bar blues with some pickups and some extensions Features: Some use of “stop time” (vocals continue while instruments “punch” in at certain beats for rhythmic interest) Rockabilly instrumentation, electric lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar, slapping bass, and drums Lyrics: Singer values his blues suede shoes over anything else Charts: Pop, #2 for four weeks, R&B, #2 for four weeks, Country, #1 for three weeks, British hits, #10 4-9

  10. Jerry Lee Lewis (1935- ), rockabilly pianist/singer Attracted to Sun Records by Presley’s rockabilly recordings Covered blues records – “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” originally by Big Maybelle Wild piano style using glissandos (sliding runs), stood up, played with his feet, jumped inside the piano to sing. Called self “the Killer” Career temporarily ruined after illegal marriage to 13-year-old cousin became known Eddie Cochran (1938-1960), songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, pioneer in overdubbing techniques, rockabilly style and more pop style for last hit “Three Steps to Heaven” Death in car crash, 1960 4-10

  11. Listening Guide “Summertime Blues” by E. Cochran (1958) Tempo: 152 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Eight bar sections in ABABAB order Instrumental beginning and ending Features: Cochran has recorded and dubbed (added to the recording) all parts – vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar, string bass, hand clapping, and drums Rhythmic pattern of four even beats with a double accent on the second beat of each bar Lyrics: The singer is in agony when he should be having fun and everyone forces him to work Charts: Pop, #8, R&B, #11, British hits, #18 4-11

  12. Gene Vincent (1935-1971), rockabilly singer/guitarist Biggest hit – “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (1956) The Everly Brothers (Don born in 1937 and Phil born in 1939) Country-influenced rock style, more pop in early 60s Buddy Holly (1938-1959), songwriter, singer, guitarist Popularized the use of the solid-body electric guitar 1956-1958 with the Crickets 1958 – moved to New York to start new songwriting and recording career in more pop style (last record, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” included bowed string section 1959 – Final tour, death along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper 4-12

  13. Listening Guide “Peggy Sue” by B. Holly and the Crickets (1957) Tempo: 148 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: modified 12-bar blues 4-bar introduction and ending Features: Instrumentation- electric solid-body guitar, acoustic rhythms guitar, string bass, and drums Holly strums his guitar at a very low volume during vocals, but is more clear with strumming and melodic fills during the instrumental chorus The drums keep an energetic four-to-the-beat pattern on tom-toms with little or no accent on the backbeat Holly’s vocals include his characteristic vocal hiccup Lyrics: This singer is in love with Peggy Sue Charts: Pop, #3, R&B, #2, British hits, #6 4-13

  14. Musicians with Rhythm and Blues Backgrounds Fats Domino (born in 1929), songwriter, singer, pianist Style based on New Orleans’ rhythm and blues 1950 – first hits on R&B charts 1955 - first pop-chart hit “Ain’t That a Shame” Wrote songs and performed with bandleader/producer Dave Bartholomew 1956 - Style varied from smooth rhythms of “Blueberry Hill” to the rollicking boogie-woogie of “I’m Walkin’” 1963 – semi-retirement from performing, having had 37 top-40 hit records 4-14

  15. Listening Guide “I’m Walkin’” by Fats Domino (1956) Tempo: 224 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 4-bar introduction, AABA with 8-bar periods Features: Uneven beat subdivisions Backbeat hand clapped and also supported by drums Repeating bass pattern Instrumental features growl-toned tenor saxophone solo Lyrics: Walking is symbolic of the singer’s attempt to get his girl back. Charts: Pop, #4, R&B, #1, for six weeks, British hits, #19s 4-15

  16. Chuck Berry (1926- ), singer, songwriter, guitarist Songs captured teenaged spirit and celebrated rock and roll Duckwalk in performances Known as the Father of Rock Guitar 1962-64 Prison term 1986 movie Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll 4-16

  17. Listening Guide “School Day” by Chuck Berry (1957) Tempo: 148 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12-bar blues Features: Uneven beat subdivisions, drums and guitar fills play shuffle beat Backbeat accented minimally Guitar fills often imitate vocal lines Piano plays subtle rhythmic background Lyrics: Teenagers need to follow the drudgery of school by dancing to rock and roll music Charts: Pop, #3, R&B, #1 for five weeks, British hits, #24 4-17

  18. Little Richard (1932- ), songwriter under real name Penniman, singer, pianist Fast tempos and high energy level Androgynous hairstyle and heavy facial makeup 1957 – Quit rock and roll to become a preacher 1962 – Performed on bills with the Beatles in England 1964 – Some U.S. appearances 1986 – New recordings, commercials and movie rolls 4-18

  19. Listening Guide “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard (1956) Tempo: 176 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 12-bar blues Features: The piano plays a shuffle beat Stop time used by instruments A tenor saxophone improvises a solo imitating Little Richard’s rough vocal style Lyrics: Uncle John is caught having sex and the singer hopes to as well Charts: Pop, #6, R&B, #1 for eight weeks, British hits, #3 4-19

  20. Discussion questions In what ways were the music and images of these performers rebellious for their time? What would those same performers have to do to maintain their rebellious reputations today? Does Elvis Presley deserve the title “King of Rock and Roll”? What about Bill Haley or Chuck Berry?” How did the race of performers affect their popularity, or did race matter to most fans? 4-20