Music Genres of the Great Rock Era
(1955 – 1985)
Which was your favorite?
Doo Wop – Significant from the mid-1950’s to the early 1960’s; however, the last mainstream Doo Wop hit was Billy Joel’s The Longest Time in 1984 which rose to number 14 on the Billboard Top 40. Doo Wop relied heavily on harmony and vocals in lieu of instruments which were too expensive at the time for street corner groups.
Teen Idols – The Teen Idol trend lasted from 1959 until 1964, with carefully groomed, good looking, but manufactured stars aimed at young teenagers, especially girls. Most Teen Idol music was slow, emphasizing love and high school dating.
British Invasion – The classic British Invasion period was from 1964 to 1967, led by the “Fab Four,” called Beatlemania, and followed by a wave of others. The British Invasion bands were heavily influenced by early American rock ‘n rollers, and emphasized writing their own music and playing their own instruments.
Surf Sound – The Surf Sound, or beach music, focused on an idyllic Southern California 60’s lifestyle. There was surf instrumental and surf pop. The sound and lifestyle gave birth to a number of beach movies with Frankie and Deedee (Frankie Avalon and ex-Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello). Who can forget Candy Johnson’s dancing and Dick Dale (with his Del-Tones) music?
Folk Rock – Artists began using folk vocals over rock music, to develop a sound that was readily accepted by maturing rock ‘n roll baby boomers in the mid to late 1960’s. The sound is still around.
Bubble Gum – Bubble Gum was popular from 1967 to 1972. It was often created by faceless session musicians, with catchy melodies, simple cords and sing-along choruses, marketed to early teens and frequently referenced sweets, sugar, honey, jelly and marmalade.
Motown Sound – The Motown Sound heyday went from 1960 to 1972, but morphed over time and in a different form, exists today. Originally located in the motor town of Detroit, Motown played an important role in featuring black artists and providing a means of crossover success into mainstream American music. It was largely a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.
Novelty Songs – What can you say about these cuties? They drive us crazy, make us laugh, and warm our hearts. Ray Stevens and Weird Al Yankovic, among others, have specialized in novelty songs.
Disco – Disco, a genre of dance-oriented music, was one of the largest phenomena in the history of music, occurring from the min-1970’s to around 1980. Movies like Saturday Night Fever contributed to disco’s rise in mainstream popularity. Thriving disco clubs popped up all over the United States and Europe. There were even disco dances, like The Hustle (Van McCoy).
Pop Rock – The term Pop Rock comes from popular rock, which means music that people like. While rock musicians like to consider themselves authentic, non-commercial… pop rock is, well, ‘er, popular. Maybe it is commercial cotton candy, but we like the results.
1. I Dig Rock ‘n Roll
2. Stuck on Crazy
3. The Talent of the New Christy Minstrels
4. The Connection Challenge
5. You Make the Connection
6. Early Rock to the San Francisco Sound
7. Sweet Rock ‘n Roll
8. Car Tunes
9. Rock 2 It
10. God, the Devil, and Rock ‘n Roll
Episode of the Month
November – Remembering Veteran’s Day
Rock Goes to War
Rock ‘n Roll of the Vietnam Era and Celebrating the Veterans Who Served
“My daughter ordered this wonderful gift. We sat together listening to it and sang all the songs together… for the entire two hours.”
Class of ‘55
Carlsbad High School
Home of the Cavemen
Carlsbad, New Mexico
“Oh my goodness! I have never had such an emotional present. I absolutely loved it.”
Class of ‘60
South High School
Home of the Warriors
“My husband ordered this special gift. I listen to it so often he told Ron that he thought I liked him better.”
Class of ‘65
Pasco High School
Home of the Pirates
Dade City, Florida
Origins of Rock Remembered
While unsuccessfully attempting to avoid small town speed traps on the back roads of Texas, Ron was listening to oldies music on his way home after attending his high school reunion.
Ron noticed the various radio stations just happened to be playing a lot of the songs from his high school years. He thought it would be fun, as a follow-up to the reunion, to put a few “school days” songs together, share some common memories and events in a radio show style and send it out to his former fellow classmates.
Not knowing a thing about radio, he sought out the local oldies deejay and shared the idea. The deejay thought it was a cute project and needed someone to run the station board for the local high school football games. He told Ron that if he would do the football games he would teach him how to run the board and could use the station’s production room facilities late at night when the music broadcast was generated by computer.Read More