Stock illustration 16830019 rock and roll rockers rocking out

Rock n Roll-Birth Pangs


    Shortly after the abolition of slavery,America was a country divided by geography(North versus south),race(Black versus white) and culturally.
    Northerners were more educated,had more money and were more urban and likely to be exposed to music,theatre and art.
    Blacks were treated more liberally in the North.
    Urban folk listened to music from musicals or Classical music.
    While rural folk listened and played jazz, blues or Gospel if they were black or country,bluegrass and fiddle music if white.
  • Period: to

    From blues to Rock n Roll

    America in the early 1900s was a deeply segregated society.
    The blacks listened to black music-and the whites to theirs.
    From these two seemingly unmixable streams ,as society moved towards greater integration,slowly the music did too.
    rock n roll was the culmination of black and white music that was of the folk or homegrown kind.
  • Scott Joplin's Maple leaf rag-first crossover music

    Scott Joplin's Maple leaf rag-first crossover music
    Scott Joplin's well known song- The Entertainer Credited with being the first to have introduced Black rhythms in a classical framework,works like Maple rag and The Entertainer are regarded as earliest forerunners of Rock n Roll music.
  • W C Handy -Father of the Blues

    W C Handy -Father of the Blues
    MemPhis Blues
    W C Handy ,a black musician from Alabama heard a black man play a flat guitar sliding a knife and minimal lyrics-this was probably the birth of The Blues
    1905-Heard local musicians at Cleveland,Mississippi-guitar,stand-up bass, 1 mandolin and minimal lyrics with a rhythmic thump thump 1909 wrote tthe precursor to the Memphis blues which inspired the Foxtrot dance 1911 he writes St.Louis Blues which inspired the dance-Tango
  • Jelly Roll Morton publishes Jelly Roll Blues

    Jelly Roll Morton publishes Jelly Roll Blues
    Jelly Roll plays Hesitation Blues Jelly Roll Blues (1915)
    Brought piano into jazz
    Claims to have invented Jazz
  • Risque Blues or Hokum blues

    Risque Blues or Hokum blues

    Ma Rainey's black bottom

    Mostly black female singers singing adult songs
    Ma Rainey-Mother of the blues
    Bessie Smith-Empress of the blues
    Trixie Smith
    Lucille Bogan
  • Country artists feature regularly on radio

    Jimmy Rodgers plays Blue Yodel
    WSB of Atlanta ,Georgia were the first radio station to start regular broadcasts of white Southern music.
    Until the 1940s Country and Hillybilly were highly popular genres on radio-which were almost entirely owned by white Americans
    Jimmy Rodgers was the undisputed King of Country music.
  • Dippermouth blues

    King Olive's Creole Jazz band
    King Olive's Creole jazz Band -a band from New Orleans
  • Jazz for classical orchestra

    Jazz for classical orchestra
    George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
    Jazz adapted blues sensibility to form a new rhythm section,backbeat use of riffs, new sounds and improvisation but also attracted the attention of classical musicians.
    Gershwin is credited with creating the first American classical sound-it has its roots in Jazz.
  • Male Blues and jazz acoustic players-Matcbox version 1

    Male Blues and jazz players-mostly acoustic
    Lemon Jefferson-Matchbox Blue
    Blind Willie McTeell
    Allman Brothers
  • Great Mississippi flood

    Great Mississippi flood
    Forced thousands of affected Southerners to migrate northward and take their music with them
  • Louis Armsstrong

    Louis Armsstrong
    irth of the blues
    Satchmo or Pops as he was known,is one of the earlist and most successfull jazz musicians from New Orleans.
    A vituoso trumpeteer and wonderful singer,his works are a masterpiece of jazz improvisation.
  • Charlie Patton records High Water Everywhere

    Charlie Patton  records High Water Everywhere
    The anthem about the Great Mississippi flood of 1927-in a recording of 28 sides at Grafton,Wisconsin with Paramount.
    Despite the crash of 1929,Paramount recorded him in 1930 and a last recording in 1934 in New York
    Great singer and brilliant guitarist.
    Nicknamed Old widemouth,was the first of many Delta Blues musicians from Dockery farms,Mississippi.
    Followed by the likes of John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson
  • Crash of 1929

    Crash of 1929
    The great Depression forced hordes of Southerners to move north to urban areas.
    Blacks took their Race and church gospel music to the North
    Whites took Bluegrass-social commentaries storytelling style by Irish and British descendant southerners
    Pete Seger and Billie Holliday wrote Strange Fruit about a lynching
  • Lead Belly - who recorded at Angola Prison

    Lead Belly - who recorded at Angola Prison
    A talented multi instumentalist folk singer, Lead Belly served several terms in prison .While serving a sentence for homicide ,he was discovered by John Lomax and hundreds of his tunes were recorded right there.He was later pardoned and went on to a successful recording career.His folk music has influenced a lot of artistes including ABBA and Nirvana.
  • Robert Johnson-Legend of Mississippi Delta blues

    Robert Johnson-Legend of Mississippi Delta blues
    Recorded for 3 days at a top hotel room in St.Antonio Texas for Vocalin.
    Compilation released in 1961 by Columbia records.
    Died at 27 after drinking poisoned Whisky
  • Big band-white music of the North

    Benny Goodman had his own orchestra
    Hit-Sing Sing Sing Here he plays George Gershwin's Lady be Good
  • Muddy Waters recorded by Alan Lomax

    Muddy Waters recorded by Alan Lomax
    Muddy Waters plays WITH The Rolling Stones
    Muddy Waters whose song The Rolling Stone inspired both the band and the magazine was the first of the great Chicago blues artistes from Mississippi.
    He came to record with the famous Chess records in 1943 and opened the doors for more artistes of electric blues to follow him from Mississippi. He's inspired several artistes including Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones.
  • End of WW II

    End of WW II
    The end of WWII celebrations
    Rural way of life gave way to urban factories.Tractors eliminated sharecroppers and forced migration towards Northern cities.
    Chicago saw a huge migrant influx as the Illinois railroad ended there.
  • John Lee Hooker records No.1 hit-Boogie Chillun

    Boogie Chillen Live By Johnny Lee Hooker
    Developed a style called the talking blues style and recorded at Chess records Chicago and also for VeeJay records.
    His songs Boom Boom and One Bourbon,One Scoth,One Beer are among those most covered by a plethora of artistes which include George Thorogood and The Destroyers and the Yardbirds.
  • Fats Domino records Fat Man at age 17

    Fat Man
    A New Orleans Rock n Roll artist whose record sales are second only to Elvis Presley.
    Wonderful pianist and a great voice saw him form a great partnership with songwriter Dave Bartholemew.
    He is recognised as the foremost Rhythm and Blues artiste and is truly one of the living legnds who's inspired many including The Beatles
  • Rock n Roll born at Memphis Recording Service,Tenessee

    Rocket 88
    A brilliant talent scout and sound engineer,Sam Phillips could be credited with the creation of the first Rock n roll song.
    Sam Phillips used the distorted sound from a damaged speaker for Kings of Rhythm with Johny Brenston creating the first ever Rock n Roll sound in ROCKET 88
  • Rock n Roll is born

    The first time the term Rock n Roll was used to describe the music to be played on the radio by disc jockey Alan Freed at Cleveland,Ohio That's now the home of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
  • Howlin' Wolf records How many more Years at Chicago

    Howlin' Wolf live in England
    Howlin' Wolf with his rough voice and harmonica moved to Chicago in the 1950s from Mississippi to record a number of hits with Chess records.
    Many of his songs were written by songwriter Willie Dixon of Chess records.
    here he sings Smokestack Lightning live in England.
    Several Howlin' Wolf hits have been covered by The Yardbirds,Rolling Stones,Led zeppellin and The Doors among others.
  • Solid body Electric guitars became available

    Awesome History of the Electric Guitar
    Les Paul invented and endorsed the Gibson electric guitar
    Leo Fender independently came up with his own electric guitar.
    The wide availability of the solid body Electric Guitar was one of the main reasons for Rock n Roll to thrive.
  • Elmore James makes waves at Chess records Chicago

    Elmore James
    Shake you Moneymaker was one of his early hits.Better known for his brilliance as a guitarist using a knife or wood as a slde,Elmore James has had several of his songs covered by top artistes like
    Stevie Ray vaughan-The Sky is crying- and Jimi Hendrix who covered Bleeding heart.
  • Sam Phillips starts Sun records and makes Rock n Roll history

    Sam Phillips
    With Memphis recording service Sam Phillips recorded with greats like Howlin' Wolf and B.B.King when they were strugglers.These were pressed as records by other labels including Chess Records.
    Under the new banner of Sun records a veritable who's who of Rock n Roll have recordedhere-Carl Perkins,Jerry Lee Lewis,Roy Orbison,Johnny Cash and of course,Elvis Presley.
  • Marion Keisker records Elvis Presley for$3.25 at Sun

    Elvis-his first four songs
    An assisstant at Sun ,Marion Keisker was the first to record Elvis and recommend him to Sam Phillips for a proper audition.
    His first two songs -Blue Moon of Kentucky and That's All Right Mama were the first crossover appeal songs-white song sung in a black way and a blues song sung in a white way.
  • Country legend Hank Williams dies

    Good Lookin'

    One of the first big stars to die from alcohol and drug addiction.
    Many would follow...
    Was a massive influence and played a huge role in popularising Hillybilly and country music
  • Transistor radio invented

    The invention that spurred Rock n Roll
    Affordable portable radio meant 'Anywhere Music',forbidden lyrics and rebel genres became the preffered sound for rebellious teen
  • Johnny Cash consolidates Rockabilly at Sun

    Class of 55 Johnny Cash,Jerry Lee Lewis,Carl Perkins,Roy Orbison-LiveJohnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis,both stuck to rockabilly.
    Johnny sang country style with dark lyrics about prisons and trains.He saw sucess in the 50s with Sun but became a drug addict and finally revived his career in 1965 with an album recorded at Folsom Prison and later at San Quentin prison.His TV show ran well for 2 years featuring artistes like Bob Dylan and Carl Perkins.He joined Highwaymen in 1980s and signed up with American Recordings in 1990
  • Train kept a rollin- Johnny Burnette ohnny Burnette and his Rock n Roll trio

    Train kept a rollin-Johnny Burnette
    Rockabilly style song with distinctive guitar work and a funky vocal style
  • Bo Diddley creates the Bo Diddley Rn R beat

    Bo Diddley live
    Known as The Originator for creating his beat and guitar combo-Bo Diddley style- which ahs become a Rock n Roll signature.His songs right from 1955 have been covered by top rockers-I'm a Man by Muddy Waters and Yardbirds,Before you accuse me by Eric Clapton,Mona-I need you Baby by The Rolling Stones.For his influence on coming generations he's counted as a founding father of Rock n Roll.
  • Chuck Berry consolidates Rock n Roll

    Chuck Berry plays Johnny B.Goode live Chuck Berry- a black singer,songwriter and player,often called the father of Rock n Roll for his signature guitar driven music.
    He wrote and performed songs with great guitar work,simple narratives sung in an easy ballad like style-a white style.
    A much covered artiste for hits like Johnny B Goode,Roll over Beethoven and Rock n Roll music- by The Beatles,Rolling Stones and Yardbirds.
  • I forgot to remember to forget-first No.1 by Elvis

    Rare recording of Elvis' first No.1
    This was the only No.1 that Elvis had with Sun.
    However the phenomenal and lasting impact of these early crossover songs make them far more important than even his great hits of later years.
  • Carl Perkins-sells a million records

    Carl Perkins liveTrue white Rockabilly artiste whose Blue suede shoes released in 1956 rose to No1 on all the charts and sold over a million copies and was covered by Elvis.A true Rockabilly star ,his Honey Don't and Matcbox were both covered by the Beatles.After an unsuccessful stint with RCA and fighting alcoholism,Carl's career was revived with the Rockabilly Revival album with Paul McCartney 81and a tribute Carl Perkins and friends with Eric Clapton,Ringoand George Harrisson in 1985.
  • Matchbox -later version Carl Perkins

  • Elvis rules the charts

    Rare footage-relects Elvismania
    Heartbreak Hotel,Don't be cruel,Love me tender- all go to No1.
    September 1956 sees Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show bringing Rock n Roll to mainstream attention.
  • All shook up -Elvis makes his first movie

    Montage of Elvis movies
    Made a total of 33 films over 15 years of varying degrees of appeal.
    Jailhouse Rock is considered among the best of the 50s films.
  • Buddy Holly

    Rare footge of Buddy Holly live
    Buddy Holly ruled the charts and the hearts of the Rock n Roll generation with hits like Peggy Sue and That'll be the day .
    He was a great musician and songwriter whose career was cut short in a plane crash.
  • Jerry Lee Lewis throws away his success

    Jerry Lee Lewis with Tom JonesKnown for his piano skills and unique voice Jery was going great guns with successes like Here's great balls of fire and Breathless
    However a scandalous third marriage to an underage cousin followed by a string of failed marriages and a tumultuous personal life,though he still makes waves when he performs especially overseas.
    He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 as a recognition of his stellar contribution.
  • Buddy Holly,Ritchie Valen and Big Bopper die in a plane crash

    Paul McCartney pays tribute to Buddy Holly
    Buddy Holly in a short recording career made an impact like no other.
    His band-the Crickets was the model for The Beatles .
    Ritchie Valen was the first crossover Mexican Rock n Roll artist whose La Bamba has been covered by most bands.
    He was just 17 when he died in the plane crash
  • Roy Orbison

    Roy Orbison with Bruce Springsteen and other greats
    Roy Orbison-often called the Poet Laureate of the lonely -was one of the class of 55 greats from Sun ,but went on to create his own sound away from his Rockabilly days at Sun after1959.
    After the 60s his career stagnated but picked up in the 80s.
    A most admired and covered artiste,he was part of a supergroup-Travelling Wilburys -which included george Harrisson amd Bob Dylan in1988
  • Mr.Personality Lloyd Price returns after war

    Lloyd Price sings Lawdy Miss Clawdy
    Along with Fats Domino ,Lloyd Price is a successful New Orleans artiste of the 1950s who produced several hits with songwriter Dave Bartholemew.
    He recorded Mr.Personality after he returned from war in Korea in 1959 which went on to become No.1.
  • Elvis returns after two years of military service

    While he was away for two years there was a steady stream of releases of his unpublished songs.
    His mother's death in 1958 was a major blow and affected him deeply.
    He is still the one with most Top 40 hits to date.
  • Little Richard

    Beates and Little RichardLittle Richard -called the Architect of Rock n Roll for his charismatic on stage look and explosive piano playing.Jimi Hendrix played in his band,Bob Dylan and Otis Redding admired him and The Beatles covered his Long Tall Sally.His 1955 hit Tutti Frutti paved the way for a string of hit songs like Rip it Up and Slippin n Slidin released by Speciality records,New Orleans.Has been involved in homosexuality,drgs and alcoholism but remains a fashion icon who bridges the gap with the new generation
  • Train kept a rollin'-still rollin'

    Yardbirds version
    Yardbirds-a relaxed blues oriented vocal delivery
  • Matchbox-Beatles version

  • Period: to

    Louis Armstrong dethrones the Beatles after three No.1 hits

    Hello Dolly -the oldest artiste to have a No.1 record-at 63.
  • Train kept a rollin-still goin' strong

    Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin
    Aerosmith-hard rock song with a strong beat.