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The Rock-itt : August 2011
‘Rock & Roll’ took off like a rocket, becoming an overnight sensation and with its infectious sound had teenagers in the USA adopt it as their own, with teenagers worldwide soon following in their footsteps. But if it became the music of the young, the older generation hated it and in a lot of places ‘Rock & Roll’ m usic was banned, the excuse being that it was lewd and inappropriate and encouraged youth to rebel against what the older generation deemed acceptable behaviour. Yet the more it was condemned by the establishment, the more the younger generation embraced it and it wasn’t long before a whole new culture grew out of the rambunctious ‘Be Bop a Lula’ sound of rock. Along with the sound came a new breed of muso, singer/songwriters and entertainers who were referred to as “Rockers.” This new breed was opposite of what had existed previously. They grew sideburns, wore leather jackets and denim jeans, and presented an appearance which the music industry had never experienced in its entire existence. To say it was more a revolution than evolution would be more appropriate because teenagers began revolting against everything and anything which had been put in place by the generations pre ‘Rock & Roll’. Now the emergence of the Chuck Berry’s, Fats Domino’s, Little Richard’s Gene Vincent’’s Eddie Cochran’s Buddy Holly’s Richie Valens’ and dozens of ‘Rock and Rollers’ blasting the new sound across the universe. (And then cam e Elvis!) If you were on board for July’s History of Rock, you may remember that I mentioned we would go into Bill Hayley’s film “Rock Around the Clock” but before we talk about the original 50s rock film, perhaps we should go back a little further to when American entertainer, ‘Bill Hayley and the Comets’ first appeared on the music scene which puts us around 1950-51. Just prior to this period, the genres of the era were country music, blues, rockabilly, jazz and popular music. Gospel music was also very big, especially in the southern part of the United States. However, it was Bill Hayley who took all of these ingredients and began experimenting and blending them together, using a six string guitar as his spoon, gradually stirring the mix until the consistency was just right. Once the process had been completed, Bill knew he had come up with an entirely new sound which he nam ed ‘Rock & Roll’. I believe it was this very point in time that ‘Rock’ was born and its creator, Bill Hayley, through his genius had created something that the world had been waiting for and which has been shaking its musical foundations for the last 60 years. When Bill Haley had started to experim ent with a new sound back in 1950, I expect he never dreamt that it would turn into a cultural revolution which would influence what we wore, how we fashioned our hair, what we listened to and watched. Even our eating habits were influenced by ‘Rock & Roll’ as the humble hamburger and bottle of coke became the tradem ark of the era. Many thought that ‘Rock & Roll’ would be a fad and disappear as quickly as it came but it became truly cemented in our society and with new industries springing up on the back of it. W hereas recordings of songs were usually cut on 78 rpm multi-track discs, a new kind of record with just a song on each side was introduced called a 45 rpm record. Instead of the large Bakelite disc, the new smaller diameter version was made of light weight vinyl. This new way of getting an artist’s song out meant that they could be mass produced faster and cheaper. Instead of having to take a whole lot of songs when it was only one or two preferred, the new smaller vinyl record disc became extremely popular. Now with the industry set up and ready to crank, Rock & Roll was about to take off like a Rock-itt. Help us to keep The Rock-itt magazine out there by advertising in our pages. The cost is very affordable and the results are impressive. Call Pete on: Ph: 9975 1105 or 0438751101 or Email: email@example.com Let’s keep ROCKIN’ around the Beaches