The Classic Rock and Roll Reader: Rock Music from Its Beginnings to the Mid-1970s

The Classic Rock and Roll Reader: Rock Music from Its Beginnings to the Mid-1970s

The Classic Rock and Roll Reader: Rock Music from Its Beginnings to the Mid-1970s

The Classic Rock and Roll Reader: Rock Music from Its Beginnings to the Mid-1970s

Synopsis

The Classic Rock and Roll Reader: Rock Music from Its Beginnings to the Mid-1970s is chock full of entertaining essays to inform and delight you about an era that shaped our culture and future musical trends. This unique book will surprise and enchant even the most zealous music buff with facts and information on the songs that reflected America s spirit and captured a nation's attention.

The Classic Rock and Roll Reader is offbeat, somewhat irreverent, ironic, and ancedotal as it discusses hundreds of rock and non-rock compositions included in rock history era. The songs offer you information on:
  • Rock s Not So Dull Predecessors (for example, "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" and "The Cry of the Wild Goose")
  • The Pioneering Rock Songs (such as "Rock Around the Clock" and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll")
  • Older Style Songs Amidst the Rocks (for example, "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "Rocky Mountain High")
  • The Megastars and Megagroups (such as "Blue Suede Shoes," "Respect," and "Surfin'USA")
  • The Best Songs that Never Made No. 1 (for example," I Feel Good" and " Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree")

    The Classic Rock and Roll Reader: Rock Music from Its Beginnings to the Mid-1970s also examines the music which preceded early rock, the music which followed early rock, and the numerous non-rock songs which flourished during the classic rock period. A wide spectrum of music is discussed in well over 100 essays on various songs. Musicians, librarians, and the general audience will be taken back to the birth of rock and roll and the various contributing influences. Analyzing each song s place in rock history and giving some background about the artists, The Classic Rock and Roll Reader offers even the most avid music enthusiast new and unique information in this thorough and interesting guide.

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Excerpt

Before the mid-1950s, the most famous rock in music was perhaps “Rock of Ages,” the outstanding eighteenth-century hymn. The significance of the word “rock” in the hymn was to suggest strength and stability in times of trouble.

In contrast, the term “rock” in “rock and roll” had a much different meaning. When rock music burst on the American scene in the mid-1950s, there was nothing stable about it and many adults viewed the new type of music as troubling. Since rock had a heavier or stronger beat than its predecessors, the word “rock” could have reflected the increased hardness of the music. Yet the music of 1953 to the mid-1970s, the focus of this volume, was relatively soft in comparison with the various forms of hard rock that followed it, making earlier rock more of a sandstone rather than marble or granite. Also, since rock had a more active style than the majority of its predecessors, the work “rock” could refer to the energetic motions of its rhythms. At the same time, however, since rock music particularly appealed to younger people and since so many of its performers were teenagers and young adults, another famous song with “rock” in the title and in addition suggesting motion might be appropriate—“Rock-a-Bye, Baby.” But who could sleep with all that noise!

The authors of this volume have attempted to maintain the same playful and irreverent tone employed in the preceding paragraph throughout this set of essays on the classic or early rock period. The senior author was finishing senior high school when the first rock songs appeared, giving him a good perspective on the first decade or so of the period. The junior author was in junior high school in the mid-1960s, giving him a good perspective on the last decade or so of the period. In addition, the senior author, a cultural historian with ties to classical and other “mainstream” music, has approached the topic from one angle, that of a general music commen-

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