Tuesday, December 8, 2015

History of Rock

Hello and welcome to my blog.

Today we're going to be talking about my music class, The History of Rock: Part 1, through the University of Rochester. This week, I am learning about what happened while Elvis Presley was serving in the military. As some of you may or may not know, he was called to serve in the military in 1958. He was gone for about two years.

I also learned about the Payola scandals. Artists were paying DJs money or favors to play their music and, therefore, they were getting exposure instead of everyone getting equal exposure like it is supposed to be.

With the Payola scandals,  Elvis's departure for the military, and other deaths & other circumstances, it opened up the teen market for music. There used to not be a market for teenagers, but after Rock & Roll started exploiting it, it became a big thing.

Elvis came back in early 1960. He noticed the gap that was left by the first wave of Rock & Roll and he started appearing in movies. Many fans of Elvis agreed that movies weren't all that good, but they liked them because Elvis was in them.

There were also movies with beach themes. Those were a big hit too.

What about music during this time?

There was the brill-building approach to pop. This was another way that people - after Elvis left - came in and said, "Hey, we should exploit this gap. Maybe we should come up with the next Elvis."

The Aldon Publishing Group attempted to come up with the next Elvis and they were the leaders of the brill-building approach. That's not to say that they were trying to come up with another male hit, but they were trying to come up with another Rock & Roll hit.

Some of the people and groups they attempted to turn into the next Elvis, so to speak, were Little Eva, The Shirelles, The Cookies, The Ronettes, The Crystals, and Neil Sedaka.

There was also something called teen idols. They were handsome people who were not necessarily all that talented. That's not to say that there weren't any talented teen idols. There were. They just weren't all that common. When it came to teen idols: Attractiveness first and talent was just an added bonus.

Who were these teen idols?

The teen idols that are more well known:

  • Frankie Avalon with his songs "Venus" and "Why"
  • Fabian with "Turn Me Lose" and "Tiger"
  • Bobby Vee with "Take Good Care of My Baby"
  • Bobby Vinton with "Roses Are Red (My Love)"
  • Bobby Darin with "Splish Splash", "Dream Lover" and "Mack the Knife"
  • Elvis Presley (once he returned) with "Are You Lonesome Tonight"

My personal favorite song from this time happens to be a song called "Calendar Girl" by Neil Sedaka. I thought it was well sung and I also liked the costumes there were used to represent each month of the year. I also thought that from the approach of musical producers and companies that song would have done really well.

One last thing about the teen idols is that they were marketed as sort of the "ideal boyfriend" - that is how the music company wanted to put them out and that is how they reached a lot of their teenage female listeners.

Thank your for visiting this music edition of School Stories (Where School is ALWAYS in Session) and I hope to see you again soon.

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