THE START OF THE 20TH CENTURYShortly 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.
From blues to Rock n RollAmerica 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 musicScott 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 BluesMemPhis 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 BluesJelly Roll plays Hesitation Blues Jelly Roll Blues (1915)
Brought piano into jazz
Claims to have invented Jazz
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
Country artists feature regularly on radioJimmy 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 bluesKing Olive's Creole Jazz band
King Olive's Creole jazz Band -a band from New Orleans
Jazz for classical orchestraGeorge 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 1Male Blues and jazz players-mostly acoustic
Lemon Jefferson-Matchbox Blue
Blind Willie McTeell
Great Mississippi floodForced thousands of affected Southerners to migrate northward and take their music with them
Louis Armsstrongirth 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 EverywhereThe 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 1929The 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 PrisonA 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 bluesRecorded 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 NorthBenny Goodman had his own orchestra
Hit-Sing Sing Sing Here he plays George Gershwin's Lady be Good
Muddy Waters recorded by Alan LomaxMuddy 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 IIThe 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 ChillunBoogie 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 17Fat 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,TenesseeRocket 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 bornThe 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 ChicagoHowlin' 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 availableAwesome 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 ChicagoElmore 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 historySam 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 SunElvis-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 diesHey
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 inventedThe 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 SunClass 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 trioTrain kept a rollin-Johnny Burnette
Rockabilly style song with distinctive guitar work and a funky vocal style
Chuck Berry consolidates Rock n RollChuck 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.
Bo Diddley creates the Bo Diddley Rn R beatBo 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.
I forgot to remember to forget-first No.1 by ElvisRare 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 recordsCarl 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 chartsRare 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 movieMontage 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 HollyRare 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 successJerry 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 crashPaul 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 OrbisonRoy 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 warLloyd 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 serviceWhile 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 RichardBeates 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
Louis Armstrong dethrones the Beatles after three No.1 hitsHello Dolly -the oldest artiste to have a No.1 record-at 63.
Train kept a rollin-still goin' strongAerosmith and Led Zeppelin
Aerosmith-hard rock song with a strong beat.