Book Essay #1
All Shook Up- How Rock ‘N’ Roll Changed America
Book Essay #1
Music has influenced people throughout history, provoking strong emotions such as sadness, happiness, and in the case of Rock ‘N’ Roll style music in the 1950s, music was said to influence sexuality in teens, created violence and riots, and caused tension in all aspects of life. In “All Shook Up - How Rock ‘N’ Roll Changed America” Glen C. Altschuler, discusses the ways in which Rock N’ Roll caused tension between races, generations, families, and caused many to embrace their sexuality through the vulgar, descriptive language.
As Rock ‘N’ Roll (dubbed the name by radio host Alan Freed) rose to fame, it was surrounded by riots and outbreaks of violence; In many places, Rock ‘N’ Roll bands weren’t permitted to play and some cities banned the music from being played on the jukeboxes. There were also other styles of music such as rhythm and blues and R&B that were becoming more prominent. The sounds of R&B became known during the time of the massive migration of African Americans from South to North during and after World War 11. The North was considered the “land of promise” (Shi and Tindall, 2015, p. 784.), there many more opportunities for equality, and for better job with higher pay. One of the men travelling wrote home and said “I just begin to feel like a man [here],” he explained. “It’s a great deal of pleasure in knowing that you have some privelege. My children are going to the same school as whites, and I don’t have to be humble to no one.” (Shi and Tindall, 2015, p.784.).
There were two different main styles of rhythm and blues music that the African Americans of the 1950s favored, “doo-wop” groups and the controversial music produced by those such as the Five Royales and Wyonie Harris, that contained crude and suggestive lyrics. In 1949 the first radio station was created that specifically broadcasted for the African American audience, and as tv became the main means of information and general communication, executives began to play more of the young people’s music such as R & B. By the end of the 1950’s there were three times the amount of radios as tv sets. White and black people were beginning to crash through racial barriers, with the share of the love of R & B. White youth enjoyed the music and even went out of their way to access the records as most white stores didn’t sell them until 1954. There were also more caucasian people attending african american night clubs, although dancing together or fraternizing was still frowned upon and in many cases forbidden. With the Great Boom that followed the depression, the baby boomers needing more space and freedom, and therefore their own room. People were buying larger houses and the 40 percent of home-owners increased, “by 1960, the number had increased to 60 percent.” (Shi and Tindall, 2015, p.994.)
One of the most famous singers of this time was Elvis Presley; other...