History Of Rock And Roll In The United States And How It Changed The American Society Of The 50’s-60's
During the 1950’s and the 1960’s Rock and Roll had a huge impact on America and its society. Rock and roll was a very controversial at the time due to the things that were said in songs or shown in music videos. Parents were very against letting their kids watch and listen to rock but on the other hand teens started to act differently by going against their parents.
Rock music then started to become even more popular to teenagers and had an impact on different cultures. Rock music changed everyone from the way they talk, dress, and act. Rock started to introduce people of other races and allowed people to start hearing new things. Rock and roll started to become very big and this helped build and bring more support for civil rights.
Teenagers in the early 1950s were listening to what their parents were listening to. Parents and their kids were listening to artists such as Perry Como and Pat Boone. Theses two artists were very being due to the music they made which was called feel good music. “The music of these artists reflected the mood of post-World War II America.” (Nelson, 2017). Rock and roll reflected on many changes that occured in America’s society during the 1950s and 60s. Teenagers had a big part in the popularity
in rock. Teens would work to get enough money and once they got to the amount they needed they spend it on records and started listening to it right away. They spent a lot of money just so the can imitate the rock artists they saw in videos, movies, or on Tv. Teenagers started to love rock music because it was relatable to them. Teens acted like their favorite artists and did exactly what they did. The teens didnt want to look up to them, they wanted to be them in every which way. The popularity of rock and roll generated a conflict between parents and teenagers. “Most parents despised rock ‘n’ roll, and this had a profound effect on the way teenagers viewed the new genre. Parents feared their teens would be harmed by the vulgar, oversexed rock ‘n’ roll stars like Elvis.” (Nelson, 2017).
Parents started to object, but the more they did the more popular it became. Teens were pushing away their parents due to what songs they were listening to. Rock music promoted teenage rebellion and sexual promiscuity because of the lyrics and the music videos. All of the songs and videos were all about nudity and sex. This started to change the perspective of the youth. “In one national poll, 80 persent of high school students indicated that they had petted or necked while on a date or planned to, even though 50 persent of them acknowledged that their parents opposed such activities.” (Altschuler, 2004).
This showed that the music affected the teens in a way that they would do things that their parents didn’t like. Teenagers felt a little bit of excitement when they listened to rock and roll. This gave teens have a different identity completely different from their parents. People believed that music had a part in influencing the way teenagers would react to authority figures.
In the 1950s and 60s music helped bring people together. It was common culture. Everyone didn’t have to know each other to get along with one another or to speak to each other. All people had to do was bring up an artist that they both have an interest in and there would be the start of the conversation. This is how people become friends or even friendly with one another. Rock music helped people get their emotions out and also have a connection through emotions with the song or artist. When people were listening to the songs they felt the connection and the feelings that the artist had when making the song. Music helped express emotions. It also had people developing emotional connections with the artists bring meaning to millions.
Rock and roll began to gain traction at the same time the civil rights movement started. Rock and roll was created by African American music and some artists such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Just because these artists were part of rock and roll it became accepting for white listeners to buy tapes or even buy a ticket to a show of theirs. Chuck Berry had a big influence on rock and roll and the audience. He was interactive with the crowd and had the crowd engaged. It states “Berry’s nods to teens dancing in Texas, San Francisco, St. Louis, and New Orleans underscored a point that American Bandstand called attention to every afternoon—the existence of a national youth consumer culture.” (Delmont, 2012). He was showing a different performance than everyone else. He was getting the crowd excited and wanting to come back to see him. During the early 1960’s the Beatles played a big part in supporting the civil rights movement. The Beatles played one concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.
This was their only show in that state. The concert that they are playing at was already planned to be segregated by race. The Beatles denied to perform until they got a thumbs up from the promoter that the crowd would be mixed. “We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now.- John Lennon” (Joe 2018). This shows that The Beatles didn’t want to be sectioned to a certain group of people, they wanted to be for everyone. If it wasn’t for the African American audience towards The Beatles, and without the support from The Beatles the civil rights movement wouldn’t have progressed as successfully as it did and without their support the rock and roll community wouldn’t be as diverse and forward moving as it is today.
I believe that rock music is not the same as it used to be. Music was all about what the artist wanted and showing who they truly are through music. Music was for people that wanted to have fun and have a good time and didn’t care about what others wanted from them. Music now isn’t what it was, it’s now about money and who can make more of it. The music that is out now isn’t what the people want it is what can make the artist more money. Music back then was about the lyrics and how it told a story about how people fell in love or how someone is scared to talk to their crush. Now there isn’t a story that is told through music. In today’s music there are only a few artists that are in the industry that aren’t all about the money and they try to promote positivity and change. Only a few care about what is said in a song and what it portrays to the listener.
During the 1950s and 1960s rock and roll had a crazy ride. Rock and roll went through a time of rejection by everyone and wasn’t accepted at all. Rock was being hated on and bashed on. Teens started to rebel against their parents and went against everything. Parents were against having their kids listen to it. Then rock was being played by everyone and was seen as different and accepted.
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