ROCK 'N' ROLL, when it first started (or should I say when WHITE America began calling it that) it was actually Rhythm & Blues. Rock'N'Roll was just a nick name for R&B because back in those days (early 1950's) Black music, like it's folks, were segregated as well, and you could only buy Black music in places we called "ROCK OLAS". So when young white American teens caught onto Rhythm & Blues and got hooked on Black music , they would either have to tune in on Black radio stations or purchase their records at Black record stores, AKA "ROCK OLA". Now how the store got its nick name is beyond me but I'd guess it was because Rhythm & Blues seemed to have a rocking affect. Heck, Fats Domino sang about it all of the time.
(I'M GONNA BUY MYSELF A ROCKING CHAIR,
TRY TO ROCK AWAY MY BLUES)
Now most of us today understand that Rock'N'Roll has been around since 1955, well let me make clear of one thing; The music itself has been around since the appeal of Jump Blues (1945), but the term "Rock", began in 1950.
IT TAKES A WHITE MAN TO REACH WHITE PEOPLE
Now it takes a white man to reach white people when it comes to getting them to enjoy "Race Records". First let's look at 1955 for instance. No white radio stations would play Black music so young white artist began covering R & B songs. Allen Freed became one of the first WHITE disc jockeys to earn his fame for spinning Black R & B records in the 1950's.
|was covered and|
|was covered by|
The McGuire Sisters
And of course, A truck driver from Memphis, Tenn
who needs NO introduction...
Elvis Presley was much more than just another white RockíNíRoll star, he was an absolute phenomena. He had all the qualities that would shake white America into a total tailspin. Unlike Bill Haley & Carl Perkins, Elvis sounded black, and sexually intised teenage girls with his gyrating on TV & stage.
Regular radio stations would play these versions on the air and the newly founded Billboard Top 40 would begin charting these versions on their Top 40 list. But the kids knew better. They still came to the inner cities to visit the Rock-olas to buy the authentic original copies on the fairly new medium "45 RPM RECORDS".
The 45 became synonymous with Rock'N'Roll because teens always were, and always will be on the cutting edge.
What is the difference between Rock'N'Roll and R&B? By 1957, Rock'N'Roll music became more and more aimed at teenagers and their affairs (sock hops, soda pops, High Schools, dating, etc...) where as R&B stayed with the traditional Adult themes.
Rock'N'Roll is the most profound music in history and it still is today in the 21st century. It's still around and I think it always will be. Ever changing, Rock'N'Roll is ultimately the most adaptable music on Earth.
In the 1950's, it appealed to teenagers with hits like:
SCHOOL DAY - Chuck Berry
WAKE UP LITTLE SUZIE - The Everly Brothers
Then in the Early 1960's:
WALK DON'T RUN - The Ventures
LITTLE DUECE COUP - The Beach boys
To illustrate how adaptable Rock'N'Roll can be; in 1964, even England got hooked. When The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, we knew Rock'N'Roll had started a "bloody" revolution. Even the Brits could do it right. After that night, things have never been the same since. The adaptability of this music was so profound, it literally ALTERED the world as we knew it.
EVERYTHING BEGAN TO CHANGE.