Here is a little excerpt from our Fact Sheet on Rock and Roll Music. This comes from our Music Lesson plan series on the history of Rock and roll.
Did you know that Rock and Roll or Pop music didn’t even exist until the 1950s? The only music that existed before that was Classical, Jazz, Blues, Big Band and singers such as Frank Sinatra! People would do ball room or couples dancing, but there was nothing for people to sing and dance along to like we do now.
This all changed when a band called Bill Haley and the Comets launched a smash hit in 1954 called Rock Around The Clock, often referred to as the beginning of Rock and Roll. This song rose to number 1 in 1955 when it was included as a soundtrack of Blackboard Jungle, a movie about juvenile delinquents, with Bill Haley portrayed as a young rebel. The teenagers watching the movie couldn’t help but to get up in the aisles and dance as soon as they heard the music. Rock Around The Clock was a new type of music which appealed especially to white American teenage kids who could now easily dance, clap and sing along, while having fun watching the band perform crazy antics such as saxophone acrobatics and riding the double bass as a pony.
Throughout 1955 and 1956, Bill Haley became one of the most popular rock and roll performers in the world. Within two years he had 12 top 40 records which included songs such as Shake Rattle and Roll, See You Later Alligator and Razzle Dazzle. In 1956 he also starred in two of the earliest full length Rock and Roll movies called Rock Around The Clock and Don’t Knock the Rock. By 1957, other crazier and wilder acts such as Elvis Presley and Little Richard (who sang Tutti Frutti) started to dominate the American scene, so Bill Haley looked for fame in other parts of the world, becoming the first Rock and Roll group to tour the world.
This is just a little exceprt of the content which is included in the Fun Music Company music lesson plans on history of Rock and Roll. The lesson Plans include complete fact sheets for fifteen lessons ranging from 1950’s Rock and Roll through to 1990’s dance and grunge music. It is almost impossible to include everyone in the history of Rock, as it is such a huge topic, but we hope to cover all the major artists in this series.