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Rock Street, San Francisco

          The rhythmic and melodious reverberations we hear when listening to music is a big part of our lives.  During the 1950s a new genre of music arose, known as Rock and Roll.  “Rock and Roll’s roots can be traced back to centuries to drum beats in Africa and Celtic Folk music in Europe.” People located in different regions of the world migrated to America and merged their different styles of music together, incorporating it into one sound.  Rock and Roll is a mixture of black rhythm, blues, gospel, jazz, and/or country along with the guitar, bass, and drums. Alan Freed, whom is represented in the Hall of Fame, is given credit for naming this genre of music.          On January 8, 1935 the King of Rock and Roll was born.  Elvis Presley continues to be one of the biggest names in Rock and Roll history.  Presley was not born into a wealthy family but their belief in God was rich. The soothing yet upbeat gospel music, at the church he attended, impacted his love of music.  After graduating high school Elvis Presley began to aspire his dream of being in the music industry.  It was not long until he received a record deal insearch of his “big break”.  Elvis Presley rose to fame in the 1950s. His “unusual musical style, provocative gyrating hips and good looks” generated the big crowds.  Over the course of his music career he has produced eighteen number one singles with songs like “Hound Dog”, “Heartbeat Hotel”, and “I Want You I Need You I Love You”. In addition to his numerous number one hits he has received and sold a myriad of gold as well as platinum albums.  He helped spread Rock and Roll’s revolution.  Although Elvis Presley died young the name he has created for himself continues to live on today.  He is one of the world’s most popular music icons.  He is a legend, the king of Rock and Roll.          In 1957 the most original, successful, and creative group was formed, known as the Beatles. John Lennon, the leader of a band called the Quarrymen, was introduced to Paul McCartney at a performance. Lennon witnessed that McCartney’s was able to play the guitar,  so he asked McCartney to join the Quarrymen. McCartney joined the group and also recommended a friend to Lennon. Soon after George Harrison became another member of the group. This was the beginning of the Beatles. The Beatles became extremely popular in the sixties. They wrote and produced their own music, which turned out to be hit singles like ” Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” but the also sold billions of records. They were original, so every record that was made left the public speechless but also left them happy. As their music drifted mainstream trends went with them. They inspired hairstyles(mop top haircuts) and fashionable styling that changed feeling of youth and the life of drugs. “Every record was a shock when it came out. Sounding like nothing else.”           The fifties Rock and Roll changed the public’s opinion on music. They loved it. Robert Palmer said “it was so much more vital and alive than any music we had ever heard before that it needed a new category: Rock & roll was much more than new music for us. It was an obsession, and a way of life.” Rock and Roll seemed to be a revolution for music. It opened up new ways of life and feelings. The music was popular all over the world, but mostly listened to by teens.  The music helped teens with emotional feelings and generated new ones. Parents really didn’t approve of this new sound of music. “Their children were twisting, thrusting, bumping, and grinding to the sounds of rock and roll.”  Although some parents disapproved, children disobeyed. They couldn’t help they way the music made them feel. It made you want to dance to the grooves of the sound waves. On the other hand, there were people who completely disliked the overall genre. “Rock and roll is the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression — lewd, sly, in plain fact, dirty — a rancid-smelling aphrodisiac and the martial music of every side-burned delinquent on the face of the earth”(Frank Sinatra). This statement is completely debatable but did not stop the rise of the music. Overall Rock and Roll change the face of America in the 1950s in spite of the setbacks.          Today Rock and Roll is not as popular as it was in the fifties.  The most popular music genre out now is R&B/hip hop. Similar to how in the fifties teens were drawn to Rock and Roll, most teens are now drawn to R&B/hip hop. “In 2016, rock is not teenage music.” Rock and Roll was the most listened to genre in the fifties as well as the sixties. “Rock ‘n’ roll certainly is for old people now. It’s for those young people who want it, too. Like any music that lasts, it’s for anyone who cares to listen.” Overtime we evolve, music evolves. As new generations come into the world they bring a different style and ideas with them. R&B/hip hop is now the most listened to genre in the world. Forty years from now there will be a new generation of kids and the genre we know today to be popular might not be as popular then. Although Rock and Roll has grown out of style for most people the legacy and the legends still live on, they have made history. 

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