The Start of Rock and Roll


The Beatles performing at the Ed Sullivan show.

Peyton Chanley, Contributor

“I won’t be a rockstar. I will be a legend.” -Freddie Mercury. Rock and Roll is a popular genre of music. Characterized by its heavy beat or simple melodies it gave American teens of the 1950’s the perfect excuse to dance crazy new dances, and wear wild new hairstyles. Music has changed a ton over time. The rock ‘n roll genre specifically. Museums have been created just to honor and show the success of rock and roll. A Famous one (which I’ll be talking about later) is the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. The genre has definitely impacted daily life, fashion, languages and attitudes. 

Rock and roll (often called rock ‘n roll) was a genre of music that got it’s name during the late 1940s to early 1950s and still is popular today. It originated from Black American Music such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, and country music. Listening to blues records from the 1920s and country records you can really tell how rock and roll has adapted from it. Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston And His Delta Cats at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee 1951, was considered to be the first rock ‘n roll record recorded. Tons of remakes of the song have taken place since then but nothing can beat the retro rock style it originally had. 

But one thing is for sure, rock has changed significantly since then. Nowadays rock music can be separated further. It could be considered pop rock, hard rock, heavy metal, glam rock, or rap rock, and also tons of other styles that I have neither the time or energy to type out. For instance the song ‘American Woman’ by The Guess Who has a cover of the song by Lenny Kravitz and you can tell the difference. Another example is ‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon & Garfunkel (a folk-rock group)  have a cover by Disturbed and it sounds very different;but both versions are phenomenal. But if you listen close enough you can definitely hear the same rock vibe it has to it. 

The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, a museum in Cleveland Ohio, documents the history of rock music, artists, producers, recorders and all the important aspects in rock. It was established on April 20, 1983, by Ahmet Ertegen, the founder and chairman of Atlantic Records (recording corporation). The building contains 7 levels, on the lower level is the Ahmet M. Ertegun Exhibition Hall, the museum’s main gallery. The building holds exhibits on the roots of rock and roll. It also features exhibits on cities that have had a major impact on rock and roll Memphis, Detroit, London, Liverpool, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. This gallery also holds individual artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and others. There is also a theatre that features films on many different subjects, a cafe, and a stage. You can learn more about it on .

Rock and roll has influenced more people to express themselves. It also encouraged people to love themselves and embrace originality and freedom. The rock and roll genre was certainly adapted from a lot of different other genres and created an entirely new way to look at music.