By: Rajeev Rampersad
Rock music, where did it all begin? Believe it or not a black man who played black music, originally founded rock music in the mid 50s, this man was Chuck Berry. Rock became popular almost over night, and was accepted with open arms by the younger generations. This was largely due to younger generations who were excited by the thought of having music that expressed their rebellious streak and their desires to promote anti-conformism.
This style of music is a far cry from the modern rock music of today that has evolved over the decades and branched out into a multitude of different genres and sub-genres to create music that is more a way of life than entertainment. However, the still prominent fact that rock is a form of self-expression and non-conformist desire still remains strong even after all this time.
Rock music grew stronger and stronger with idols such as Elvis Presley, around this time many of the black rock and roll artists left the rock music scene and in their place were a host of other white rockers with a style and look all of their own.
After Elvis Presley's famous entrance, other well known rock idols and bands started popping up from everywhere, but something was lost along the way, rockers started losing sight the whole reason that rock and roll had become popular in the first place, which was non conformist and rebellious attitudes.
During this time rock, took a huge nosedive with the younger generations, who were uninterested in a mixture of country music, folk songs, and rock music. This was in the late fifties and musicians such as Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers were foremost rockers in the rock music scene.
Just as things were looking bleak, Bob Dylan entered the scene during the Vietnam War and held the heart and attention of many youth of the era with his songs of the Vietnam War and civil rights. Around this time, the Beach Boys changed the rock music scene with their new style of rock.
California had its own unique spin on rock and roll, which contained very sophisticated and vocal harmonies; this style of rock music was a change from the empathetic shouting that had first been introduced by the black musicians in the mid 50s.
In the early sixties, Britain took on a whole new aspect of rock and created a rage with bands such as the Rolling Stones and the Animals. During this era, the Yard birds also debuted and although they were in the shadows of the Rolling Stones, they were in fact the beginnings of something great, the musicians from this band were later on to revolutionize rock music all over again.
Nevertheless, it was the birth of the Beatles that created a worldwide mania and the beginning of rock music as a business was really born. Following the Beatles, the second generation of rockers were the Kinks and the Who, the Who had changed rock music forever with their mechanically amplified guitars and songs dedicated to the angry frustrated youth of the 60s The seventies saw the death of Jimmy Hendrix, and the Doors Jim Morrison, and rock music cooled down. New bands, such as Nirvana and the Eagles, began a more peaceful revival of country music mixed with soft rock. The seventies were characterized by a quieter time in rock music. The nineties saw the age of electronic music, and this new rage spread all over the world, and saw an era of many different genres of rock music, blended music and dance music mixed together. The 90s were also the decade of heavy metal and bands such as Guns and Roses and Metallica. This style of music split into a myriad of other sub-genres such as the funk-metal of Red-Hot-Chilli-Peppers, Rage Against the Machine and Faith No More.
It is hard to believe that today's rock music began with a single black man, singing a hybrid type of the blues, and flourished over the last five decades to become not only a choice, but also a way of life.
Rock music has evolved to become an array of different styles and sub categories, which provide enjoyment for a multitude of different tastes in music. What the future holds for rock music may not be known, although it is safe to say the rock music will still be around for the next five decades.