Music has had an impact on people in the world for as long as it has been around. In the time we have been around one of the biggest influences on music has been the start of Rock and Roll. We learned about many artists over the semester. Many of the artists had influences and were influences to future artists. We talked about many of the greats and also people that are not as well known.
Even if the artist was not as well known, almost everyone made some kind of an impact on the growth of music throughout the years. The Blues artist Chuck Berry was one of the first to produce music that a lot of people listened to. The music technology in the time was not very good so he was limited with the lyrics and time of his songs. One of Chuck Berry’s biggest influences was his idol, Nat King Cole. He also played songs of other other big blues artist Muddy Waters. Berry had a different tone than Muddy Waters so that made an appeal for people to listen to him.
I chose Chuck Berry because he was a big influence on later artists to sing like he did and along with Muddy Waters was one of the first black musicians. Some of Berry’s best songs included “Johnnie B. Goode”, “Back in the U.S.A”, and “Roll Over Beethoven”.
Chuck Berry provided to the start of the era of “Rock and Roll” and will be always remembered as one of the greats. Everyone knows who you are talking about when you say the King of Rock and Roll. Elvis Presley was a part of the Early Rock and Roll stages and is one of the greats of all time in music. He will be remembered for his crazy performances, vibrant clothing, and of course his outstanding voice.
Born in the South Elvis grew up around music like Blues and other Rock and Roll type music. He was influenced by earlier artist such as Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry, but he wrote lyrics a bit different than they did. Some of his moves like the crotch grab and the way he moved his hips were not very appealing to parents of Elvis fans, but people still found ways to listen to his music. With songs like “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and ‘Jailhouse Rock” how could you not like the King? Elvis was the biggest influence on artists to come in the Rock and Roll era and still to this day is known as one of the greats. The Byrds came in towards the middle of the Folk Rock era. The came together in Los Angeles, California which was different because a lot of Rock and Roll bands at the time were coming from overseas.
With main influences of The Beatles and other English bands their music was created with good vocals and soothing play of the guitar. Their music influenced artists later on especially genres including Country Rock and Hard Rock. I chose the Byrds because they were from the United States which was unusual for Rock and Roll bands because of the British Invasion in music. Their first single “Mr. Tambourine Man” was pioneering for Folk Rock because of the melding of traditional and contemporary sounds of Folk Rock. The Byrds are still known as one of the most influential bands of Folk Rock and to artists to this day. Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington and began his music experience at the age of 15 when he started to play guitar.
After he was released from the military for honorable discharge he moved to Tennessee and began playing small gigs there. His music was influenced by artists of Rock and Roll and Electric Blues genres. Hendrix is known for his outstanding play of the electric guitar.
He used many different types of sounds with his guitar and that made people attracted to his music. I chose Jimi Hendrix because of his skill with his guitar, he was the first to use pedals to change tones and pitches of his guitar in his performances. Songs like “All Along The Watchtower” and “Purple Haze” allowed him to show off his skill with the guitar, even playing with his teeth.
His contribution to Rock and Roll was immense, he allowed people to learn how to play guitar like he did and use different sounds in music to make it good. David Bowie was born in London, England and was a singer, songwriter, and actor. He was known as a leading figure in popular music for over 5 decades because of his innovative work. He was influenced by The Beatles mainly, he liked how they performed and their tone of music. He had songs before the Glam Rock era but he returned for Glam with an alter ego from one of his prior albums. As this character Bowie used a sound he called plastic soul. I chose Bowie because of his flamboyant personality and the way that he made his music and performances was intriguing.
Songs like “Space Oddity” and “Under Pressure” showed his interesting personality and the great song writer he was. He is known as one of the influential people in music up to this day because of how long he produced music. His influence was seen in genres prior to his Glam period he had. The Disco period was a more fun and upbeat part of Rock and Roll.
Songs in this genre had an upbeat and happy sound and were meant for dancing. Diana Ross was influenced by artists from R and Funk. Ross sang about love and had a really good tone when singing. I chose Diana Ross because I like some of her songs because they are easy to listen to and can understand what they she is saying. Some of her greatest hits are “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Endless Love”.
Ross influenced artists to come because of her upbeat tone and mood towards music. Punk Rock was a big change from disco. Punk Rock was more of a theatrical based performance and music video era. It went from disco where all of the songs were upbeat and had a meaning of being happy, to yelling and going against the man. Green Day was more of a chill Punk Rock band. Green Day was influenced by similar bands such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols. They were unique due to their sound not being as loud for this genre. I chose Green Day because of their unique ability to change up what the norm was for Punk Rock.
Songs like “21 Guns” and “American Idiot” are examples of the laid back sound in the Punk Rock era. They influenced other bands in upcoming genres of New Wave and Grunge. Tom Petty was a singer, songwriter, and actor during the New Wave era.
The New Wave era was a very weird sounding time. Nobody knew how to explain the sound because there were so many sounds in the time. Tom Petty was influenced by bands like Green Day and the Sex Pistols, he liked the sound of their music and the way they performed.
Tom Petty was unique because he was very good at guitar and singing, like many others, but his sound was special. I chose Tom Petty because of his passing so soon ago and I thought it would be a good tribute to use him in this. His songs “I Won’t Back Down” and “Free Fallin” are easily his best and most influential. He influenced the sounds for following Rock and Roll genres, but this sound soon changed. Formed in Washington Nirvana was a very influential band on the West Coast for the Grunge period. With lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain, you know the band was outstanding. Nirvana was influenced by people like Tom Petty and many other New Wave artists. Nirvana was unique because of their sound and their lyrics having good meaning.
I chose Nirvana because of the legendary Kurt Cobain being the leader of the band. Although they didn’t write much music they were still very influential for other groups in this genre, but sound kind of changed in the leading years. NWA was formed in California by many young writers and songwriters trying to make their way to the top. With members like Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and DJ Yella the band was full of talent and that was shown in their songs that they produced.
NWA didn’t have many influences because they kind of started the Hip-Hop/Rap era of music. Although there was lots of controversy in the band, they still were very successful and influenced other rap artists to come. Much of their music discussed police brutality and racism in the area of Compton.
Songs such as “Straight Outta Compton” and “F*** Tha Police” were major influences on the black communities around the United States. They started to retaliate against the police and some of the concerts even got cancelled because of fears of bad things happening. NWA had a major influence on all Hip-Hop/Rap artists to come leading up to this day. I think that music in the future is going to be influenced big time by artists and songs right now. I think that music will be hip-hop and rap in the future like it is now. Rappers now have grown immensely in the last year or so because of people wanting to gain success in the music industry. There might be some older genres that are reproduced and may be appealing to some people but most music will be Hip-Hop.