Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll

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About AbeBooks. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Pearson, Softcover. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Published by Prentice Hall New Paperback Quantity Available: 1. Seller Rating:. New Quantity Available: 1. Rock and roll, used both specifically to refer to a s musical style and as a generic term for popular music since the s, is an influential musical genre that first developed in the southern United States.

Beginning as a fusion of African-American rhythm and blues music with Southern white country music, rock and roll quickly left the South to become a multiethnic, international musical movement with hundreds of subgenres, spin-offs, and fusions. By the end of the twentieth century, rock and roll had become one of the most recognizable and influential musical idioms ever created. From its earliest incarnations to the present day, rock and roll music has functioned as a space for experimentation with portrayals of gender and sexuality.

Performers habitually play with cultural norms of gender presentation, often exaggerating or transgressing conventional expectations of male and female behavior. In many forms of rock and roll, sexual displays are a major part of rock musicians' performances, used to place them within traditions and to make commentary on various social issues.

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Space does not permit an extensive discussion of the all manifestations of gender and sexuality in rock and roll subcultures. Instead, this entry highlights some important moments in the evolution of gender expectations, masculinity, women's participation, and sexuality in rock and roll music. Early rock and roll was remarkable for its biracial makeup, especially given the racial segregation of pre-Civil Rights southern society.

Through rock and roll African-American performers gained unprecedented access to mainstream radio waves, and white audiences saw musical traditions that had been previously less visible. African Americans performed songs traditionally associated with rural white culture, whereas white musicians used black musical forms and songs by black artists in their own careers. This racial mixing, combined with rock and roll's status as a youth culture, meant that growing numbers of white youth had musical heroes who were black or, at the very least, were greatly influenced by black culture.

These cross-cultural influences extended to style and mannerisms as well. Many white artists came from a Southern working-class culture that had always been closely linked with its African-American neighbors, so adopting black speech, clothing, or gestures was unsurprising.

However, in the context of white, middle-class expectations of masculinity, such borrowings were often read as flamboyant, obscene, or downright criminal. The complex layering of race, class, and sexuality in early rock and roll can be seen in the reception of Elvis Presley — Presley was dubbed the Hillbilly Cat for his mixture of lower-class white hillbilly and African-American cat music and sensibility. Besides singing songs first made popular by black musicians, Presley's persona reflected a new, hybrid masculinity.

His pompadour hair and sideburns—common among working-class Southern men—looked simultaneously effeminate and threatening in mainstream contexts, whereas his hip-rolling dance movements borrowed largely from African Americans seemed obscene to television censors and older audiences. Despite this opposition Presley's performances were wildly popular, especially among teenage girls, for whom an Elvis concert represented a rare chance to express sexual desire.

Other performers used the flamboyance of rock and roll to enact sexual difference. African-American artist Little Richard b. Although much of his audience was unaware of it, his songs and stage performances contained thinly veiled references to his homosexuality. Women, too, were active in this genre, although their work was rarely classified as rock and roll. Female African-American rhythm and blues artists, taking their cues from the blues queens of the s, sang songs in a style nearly indistinguishable from rock and roll.

Among white female artists Wanda Jackson b. As rock and roll spread throughout the United States , it also gained popularity in Europe, particularly in England, where it formed a key part of English youth cultures.

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British groups performed in styles copied from imported records, and many became popular in the United States in the mids. This British invasion of the U. The Beatles came to the United States in February amid massive public excitement. Besides concert tickets and records, Beatles memorabilia such as posters, dolls, and board games helped fans form a subculture around the band.

As had occurred with Presley, Beatles concerts gave female fans a venue for expressing their developing sexuality and rebelling against norms of propriety. Additionally, the material culture surrounding the Beatles opened up a space for adolescent girls to connect with each other through shared enjoyment of Beatles concert experiences and merchandise. This protosexual fandom became an important part of adolescence for many girls, and teen idol groups or boy bands recurred throughout rock and roll's history.

Another significant presence on the U. Usually associated with Berry Gordy's b. Although their songs were heavily orchestrated, girl group members did not usually play their own instruments.

Rockin In Time by Szatmary, David P

Their songs, written by professional songwriting teams, either addressed a love interest directly or instructed their mostly female audience on how to handle various romantic situations. These models of feminine behavior are astonishingly diverse, especially for an era usually remembered for its restrictive gender roles. By the biracial era of rock and roll was largely over. Black artists returned to race-specific genres such as rhythm and blues and soul, whereas white musicians moved away from African-American influences. White artists of this era generally referred to the music they made as rock rather than by the earlier, interracial term rock and roll.

The black heritage of rock music was never fully expunged, but it was transformed as artists combined earlier rock and roll with the sensibilities of the hippie counterculture. The hippies became a major force behind the sweeping cultural changes of the s. A hallmark of hippie style was androgyny—men wore their hair long and dressed far more flamboyantly than their mainstream counterparts, whereas women tended to eschew makeup and difficult hairstyles in favor of a more natural appearance.

Combined with their pacifism, drug use, and leftist politics, this fluidity of gender presentation set the hippies apart from mainstream culture. The second wave of the feminist movement gained momentum throughout the s and early s, spurring vast changes in almost every cultural sphere. In rock music male artists continued to dominate the charts, although a new space for strong, autonomous female voices emerged.

Joplin's raspy voice, blues-queen persona, and personal charisma earned her legendary status among rock performers. Joplin's success, however, did not necessarily translate into success for other women in rock music, who often reacted to sexist bias in the music industry by forming their own record companies and distribution networks.

In many ways disco music was the soundtrack of emerging gay consciousness. Disco was a variety of soul music made expressly for dancing, and it gained particular popularity in gay dance clubs that played records in lieu of live music.

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Its characteristic combination of four-on-the-floor bass and heavily orchestrated accompaniment became a musical trope by the late s, available for use by virtually any musician. Despite this ubiquity disco never lost its gay associations, as the success of the Village People's double-entendre songs eventually made clear. One of disco's most recognizable features was the disco diva , the usually African-American woman singing the vocal track. Disco divas sang in a gospel style, with the buildup and ecstatic vocalization common to gospel music.

Some disco divas, such as Gloria Gaynor b. Disco's high production values led to charges of commercialization and artificiality from its detractors. That these charges were tinged with racism and homophobia became clear when a Chicago radio station's Disco Sucks! This violent backlash marked the end of disco's mainstream acceptance. After the Komiskey Park riot, disco once again became an underground genre. Dance music did not disappear from the pop charts, however.

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The dystopic, mechanical aesthetic of New Wave influenced a generation worried about AIDS and technological advances, and the severe, androgynous sensibility of New Wave culture appeared in synth-pop and other dance music. Madonna b. Her unique and powerful use of her own sexuality was the key to her success and to her extraordinary staying power as a cultural force for more than two decades. Madonna was also one of the most influential music video artists of the s, and her MTV videos such as "Open Your Heart" and "Like A Prayer" became exemplars of the genre.

The mid- to late s saw the rise of glam metal , a subset of heavy metal music. Glam metal bands wore heavy makeup, nail polish, and teased women's hairstyles in their performances.

Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll
Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll
Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll
Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll
Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll Rockin In Time: A Social History of Rock-in-Roll

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