Rock n Roll the early days – Gary

Gary: “This documentary was made in 1984, won many awards, is 58 minutes long and maybe one the best, if not THE best look at early Rock and Roll and it’s history. From what I can see, it was never made available on DVD but I happen to own it on laser disk.

Now, I discovered that you can download it, which I did, and made a DVD from it.  Even if you do not copy it, you should, watch it.  It is, in my opinion, fairly accurate.  Enjoy!


Follow-up from Russ:
Hi Gary
I agree with you, this documentary is extremely good. A couple of statements made early on in the delivery really resonate with me…

1. at 02:02 “In the early 1950’s popular music belonged to the realm of wholesome white performers … the songs they sang were designed to be as innocent and inoffensive as possible.  For the most part this music reflected the tastes of a growing white middle class enjoying the fruits of post-war prosperity and progress.” = You and I can totally identify with these “leave it to Beaver / Ozzie & Harriet” times.  They were wonderful.

2. at 02:54 ” The 50’s also saw the advent of a new social class – the teenager – with more leisure time and money to spend than ever before.  Bored with the current Hit Parade, young people began tuning their radios to stations that played a more exciting kind of music – black Rhythm and Blues.” = e.g. Big Joe Turner’s “Flip Flop and Fly” got its rhythm and beat from jazz and big band music;  from blues and gospel, it got it’s emotional intent.  =  Well stated, and I can relate from my own personal musical experiences.

3.  at 05:56 “Records by black vocal harmony groups began to gain popularity with the young white audiences, but rather than promote these unknown groups, the major record companies found they could sell more records if the songs were re-recorded by established white groups.” – Thus, we have the infamous Cover Versions … see previous post “Cover Versions – Gary” dated Sept.19,2009.

A couple of points I’d like to make about this.  First,  “… teenagers bored with the current norms ” – As I get older, I find this phenomenon more and more distasteful and, yet, see no alternative but to accept it as “progress”.  It seems the current “younger generation” for the most part is becoming quite intolerant with “older people” like us.

Secondly, the music business, in it’s need to make more and more money, has treated “unknown” musicians very poorly.  This is evident even today.

Unfortunately, I see no end in sight for either of these two progressive human conditions.  It’s a pity.
– Russ
Reply from Gary…
Yes I knew that the teenager was born around 1953 (disposable income that had an effect on the market) and now they dictate it.  Old Dick Clark once said “In the beginning the Music Business was all about the Music, but now the Music Business is all about the Business” – maybe true?
– Gary

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