Rock 'n' roll, one of the most loved genres in the history of music, began in the 1950s. Combining a variety of musical styles, rock music developed into a cultural phenomenon first in the United States, and later across the globe. Now more an attitude than a mere musical style, rock shows no signs of slowing down in the 21st century.
Rock 'n' roll sprang forth in the mid 1950s as a blend of white and black music. But in the 1960s, rock music morphed into not only a style of music, but also an attitude and lifestyle.
'Rock Around the Clock'
In 1955, rock music burst into the mainstream for the first time with "Rock Around the Clock" by Billy Hayes and the Comets. This danceable hit featured a driving beat with easy and memorable lyrics, which appealed mainly to adolescents. With this song, Billy Hayes introduced rhythm and blues to white America for the first time.
The King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, burst onto the scene in the late 1950s for his versatile music and style. Oozing sex appeal, the King helped show the world that rock wasn't just a fad.
Perhaps the biggest band of all time, the Beatles not only blazed new trails in rock music, but also brought important social issues to the forefront. In 1967 they created the first ever concept album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which also embraced the drug craze that permeated the rock scene.
In the 1980s, MTV stormed televisions across the nation. With its edgy music videos, MTV reached teenagers visually as well as sonically, forever changing the shape of the rock 'n' roll world.
In the 2000s, as record labels suffered because of file sharing programs, local rock acts were thriving. Eliminating money-sucking record labels from the mix, the Internet created cheap, easy avenues for local rock bands to send their music to the masses.