For something like music, one cannot cover a cut dry story spread out with all dates and figures. It is an art form that has originated from within and continues to live on. There are several different genres of music but rock music is one that makes people rock, pun intended. With changing times and trends one can see the sea change it has undergone.
So, what is rock music?
Rock music is a blend from various other genres. In the United States it originated as the Rock and Roll as early as the 1950s. It evolved into a wide varied styles in the next few decades. One can count country music, blues and rhythm to be the highly influencing pillars of rock music. One can even find classical music as well as jazz in it. The latter half of 1960s is considered to be the golden age or period for rock music. From then on several hybrid genres of rock music have evolved including blues rock, fusion of rock and jazz, country rock as well as pop rock.
A rock group consists of vocalists and players playing electric guitar supported by electric bass guitar, drums and other such instruments.
The first rock record
Well, there is a start for everything. Alan Freed is credited to have used the phrase ‘Rock and Roll’ when he played blues and rhythm music for an audience of mixed race in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio. It is said that the very roots of rock music lies in Black music, gospel music, country and western, all melded.
Now, as for the first record, the result is still debated for, as to which one can claim the spot. There are several contenders for the spot including Jackie Brenston’s Rocket 88, Rock Awhile by Goree Carter. Of course, Elvis Presley’s ‘That’s all right’ first single track for Memphis record is also considered to be the first of the rock and roll kind. Other names that figure with rock and roll singles in the early period include Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and many more.
A brief hiatus
After the initial period of rise from innovation and flourish, there was brief period which could be considered as the hiatus period which ends at the period of British invasion as known in the United States. In the initial period it was the period of dominance on the scene for the male performers and white. During the hiatus period female artists as well as the blacks dominated the scene. The energy from rock and roll frizzled into influencing the twist dance that happened to be the craze in the 1960s period.
As rock music faded in the United States it was played with more intensity unseen and unheard in the American acts. With pioneers like Alexis Korner one could hear at British local pubs such kind of heavy rock.
The British Invasion
The entry of Beatles, the Searchers, the Manchester based Hollies, Gerry & the pacemakers forayed into the rock scene as beats groups. This led to the prominence of the British scenario into the rock world. The works of these groups had very strong American influences. These groups created indigenous works that were inspired from American masterpieces with high level of energy infused into them. The hit of the Beatles’ number ‘I want to hold your hand’ captured the top spot on Billboard 100. Following several hit numbers they became the numero uno among beat groups and achieved nation wide success which led to world level success.
It is considered that this ‘British Invasion’ paved the way and set a path for British performers to achieve international recognition as well as success. Well, some American groups like surf rock groups, female vocal groups lost out to British Invasion, yet it set the platform for singers to become songwriters and create original material that appealed.