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The History of rock
1 In 1955, rock and roll was born in America. That year Bill Haley and His Comets performed "Rock Around the Clock," the first big hit of this new style of music. It was first known as "rock and roll" and then simply as "rock." It would become the most popular type of American music from that point on, and it would always appeal to young people as an expression of their search for identity and independence.
2 Rock and roll of the mid-1950s grew mainly out of rhythm and blues. It was a dance music of African-Americans that combined blues, jazz, and gospel styles. Rock was also influenced by country and western music. At this time, rock and roll performers such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard were very popular. However, the most successful early rock and roll performer was Elvis Presley. He reignedas the "king" of rock and roll for a long time.
3 Just as rock and roll originatedfrom a combination of music styles, it developed into many different forms. During the 1960s rock music was made up of a number of different styles. It ranged from the surf music of the Beach Boys and the hard rock of the Rolling Stones to the heavy metal music of Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix. One of the big differences between 1960s rock and earlier rock and roll was the use of electronic instruments and sound equipment. It was also freer and more experimental.
4 British groups played an important part in the development of rock music in the 1960s. The Beatles were the first British group to achievesuccess in the United States. Their first hit recordings were "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Cant Buy Me Love," and "Love Me Do." Other successful rock and roll groups originated in Britain, such as the Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, and the Animals. Meanwhile in America, San Francisco was becoming the leading center of rock with such groups as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.
5 In the 1970s, rock was as popular as ever, but many of the rock groups of the 1960s broke up. Others like the Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead continued to perform and record. The 1970s and early 1980s were years of great technological progress in the production of rock music. Sophisticatedinstruments and recording equipment were used, including tape recorders with several tracks, and synthesizers.Synthesizers are electronic musical instruments. They are often called keyboards. Unlike traditional instruments, synthesizers use electronic signals. They make the sounds of traditional instruments, like a piano, guitar, or organ, but they can also create new sounds that have never been heard before. All the sounds can be put together and played at once. Like the 1960s, the 1970s also saw the development of different styles. Heavy metal used extreme amplificationand long electric guitar solos.Some of the best-known heavy-metal rock performers included Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad, and Aerosmith.
6 The rock music of the late 1970s once again emphasizedthe rhythm and energy of early rock and roll. It also helped produce the styles of the 1980s and 1990s. Today, rock is still played by bands throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Original rock groups and new bands play to huge audiences who never seem to tire of the rock beat. Rock is still wide open to diversity,experimentation, and invention. It is still the music of young people, but today, older people who listened to rock when they were young also continue to enjoy it. In many ways rock is a mirror of American culture. It is energetic and unpredictable. It is a mixture of styles that work together, and it offers something to people of all ages. It seems Americans will always be rockin' round the clock.
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