The History of Rock and Roll
There’s no clear date on exactly when rock and roll started, no historian can actually ascertain the actual date. The term rock and roll itself has an underlying sexual meaning, which is self-explanatory. The term evolved from the blues genre and quickly gathered popularity as soon as it started. As with any other genre, rock and roll have evolved to its present day status. With different opinions on exactly where and who started rock music, the general consensus being that it started from black popular music such as RnB and gospel music. Popular disc jockey of the 1950s coined the term itself. He was renowned for promoting RnB within the non-African American community.
In 1955, rock and roll made huge strides with its first major hit from Bill Halley and his track, “Rock Around The Clock”. Many other African-American musicians soon came up, such as: Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Later in 1956, the rock world is introduced to now legend, Elvis Presley with his chart-topping “Heartbreak Hotel” consequently becoming the first artist to have nine singles in the Hot 100 at one time. Bob Dylan at this time became an integral part of the rock and roll music scene with his use of poetry to make simple songs.
The 1960s saw the rise of British rock bands and by 1964, American musicians and British artists were sharing top slots in the charts. The Rolling Stones, YardBirds, and the Animals became popular across London. The Beatles became worldwide sensations. This was also the age of socially conscious music and also the age of bubblegum rock for radio audiences. The psychedelic era, catapulted by the hippie era also crept up with artists such as Velvet Underground and the Fugs. At this time American artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Jolin became hits.
Country rock was big in the 1970s with bands such as the Eagles taking the scene. Led Zeppelin greatly contributed to the heavy metal and hard rock genre. The psychedelic and hippie movement was also growing. Pink Floyd, the Sex Pistols, and the Clash being major contributors to the now punk movement. A lesser known style of industrial rock also came up at this period, with groups like Pere Ubu being pioneers.
Punk rock continued its dominance in the 1980s. A new style also evolved at this time called alternative rock, this style was also known as indie rock. However, they were not popular usually signing to smaller labels. Towards the end of the 80s, the style had gained popularity with Billboard creating its own Indie chart in 1988.
This style was now popular and in 1991 Nirvana began its ascension. Other bands such as Soundgarden also came up. Grunge bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters gained relevance and reenergized mainstream rock. Heavy metal bands such Metallica and Guns and Roses were also making waves at the time.
In the 21st century bands such as Linking Park and 3 Doors Down began to embody the spirit of their 60s predecessors. The emergence of computers and software changed the progression of the rock genre.