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Music Of The 50's Essay

  • Submitted by: tiaxpi
  • on March 22, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 2,544 words

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Below is an essay on "Music Of The 50's" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The 1950’s were a time of innovation and optimism. After breaking through the Great Depression and emerging victorious from World War II, Americans were confident in their nation and hopeful for the future. We were becoming a nation of consumers, and innovations in communication allowed us to develop trends and a mainstream popular culture. A new demographic, the teenager, was becoming a dominant force in American society, especially in steering the music industry. All of this optimism and forward thinking was apparent in the music industry of the decade. The 1950’s were full of momentum and changes in music which would affect the music scene from then on out.
The 1950’s saw the creation of a genre that would revolutionize music forever – rock ‘n roll. Rock ‘n roll began as a style of music played primarily by black musicians. It was the product of innovations made to R&B, which stands for rhythm and blues. The segregation of blacks and whites was prevalent even in the music industry, which meant that black musicians could not easily attain recording deals. This, combined with the fact that there existed few white musicians who played this style of music, kept this progressive form of R&B from becoming immediately mainstream.
Alan Freed, a white disc jockey at Cleveland’s WJW radio station, fell in love with the genre. In an attempt to avoid racial prejudice, Freed decided not to call the music R&B, but instead used the term “rock ‘n roll”. He is credited with being the first person to call the genre by this name. Freed’s audience consisted primarily of white teenagers, which meant that this style of music was bridging the racial divide for one of the first times ever. His radio show became wildly popular. In fact, in 1952 his concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, was forced to be cancelled because over 25,000 fans turned out and nearly caused a riot. This is considered by some to be the first ever “rock concert”, and contributes to the wild and crazy image...

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