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Teenagers were a new species at the beginning of the 's. Before then, adolescents in America had traditionally gone to work to support their family or to start their own family as soon as they were old enough. However, the years of post-war prosperity and the expansion of suburbia provided teenagers who were too young to remember the scarcities of the Depression and the war effort with plenty of leisure time.
F or some of us, it began late at night: huddled under bedroom covers with our ears glued to a radio pulling in black voices charged with intense emotion and propelled by a wildly kinetic rhythm through the after-midnight static. Growing up in the white-bread America of the Fifties, we had never heard anything like it, but we reacted, or remember reacting, instantaneously and were converted. We were believers before we knew what it was that had so spectacularly ripped the dull, familiar fabric of our lives.
It is hard to believe, but there was once a time when the term rock music was not heard. Most historians trace the beginning of rock back to the yearwhen a new type of music, then called Rock and Roll, appeared and revolutionized musical tastes, at least among young people, and pretty much changed the world. It resulted from the convergence of two earlier musical styles, Rhythm and Blues and Country.
From the very start, however, rock and roll had some wider meanings too. The music and the related style elements made it possible for young people to distinguish themselves from adults and to communicate this "difference" to society. It added to the build-up of a distinctive identity, modeled on prototypes like Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando, and James Dean, and contributed to the demarcation of an own cultural space for adolescents.
Bono of U2 called rock n roll at the appearance of Elvis a, "clashing of cultures," a hybrid of different energies, emotions, and styles. Like America itself, a collaboration of ideas subjected to individual talents, shared commonalities, and in the worst cases our humanistic atrocities in the treatment of each other. Somehow it was all of these elements in combination and at the opportune that created not just a new genre of music but a historical backdrop for both political and social change in.
According to Greg Kot"rock and roll" refers to a style of popular music originating in the U. In the earliest rock and roll styles, either the piano or saxophone was typically the lead instrument, but these instruments were generally replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late s. Beyond simply a musical style, rock and roll, as seen in movies, in fan magazines, and on television, influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language.
Parents of adolescents who can't tell heavy metal from pop rock may have a tough time discussing the meaning of life with their children, say two professors of communication in a new book on youth and music. That's because music is central to youth culture. At an adolescent party, the key question is not what you do but what music you listen to.