How To Get A Rock And Roll Style Vocal Quality Crooners, Rock and Roll, Jazz, R and B – The Melting Pot of 1950’s Music

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Crooners, Rock and Roll, Jazz, R and B – The Melting Pot of 1950’s Music

The 1950s would prove to be a melting pot of music like never before. Diversity was the state of affairs for this prosperous nation and individuality would take center stage. This was the era when rock and roll music rose to supremacy, but it certainly didn’t do it alone. Blues and R&B topped the charts with artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Muddy Waters and BB King. With the Great Depression and World War II behind them, middle-class Americans of the 1950s were once again buying houses, cars and lots of records.

The 1950s would prove to be a melting pot of music like never before. Diversity was the state of affairs for this prosperous nation and individuality would take center stage. This was the era when rock and roll music rose to supremacy, but it certainly didn’t do it alone. Blues and R&B topped the charts with artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Muddy Waters and BB King. Country and Western music saw the rise of icons such as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Hank Williams. Gospel, rockabilly, pop, jazz and swing were still hanging strong. This was the decade in which the great crossover of genres took place. Greats like Mario Lanza and Elvis Presley were some of the most successful crossover artists. First known for his classically styled music, Lanza topped the charts in the 1950s with his pop hit, Be my love The king of crossover as well as the king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley crossed over several genres of music, including country, gospel and blues.

So what happened to 1940s chart toppers like Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Perry Como and Bing Crosby? Well, the 1950s were good to them too. There was something for everyone and apparently enough to go around. The “crooners” of the previous decade were still going strong, especially in the early part of the decade.

A new consumer arrived on the scene in the mid-1950s, and that changed the face of music forever. Teenagers were becoming the biggest record buyers and record companies were shifting their focus to this younger generation. These guys were not only tuning into the radios at home but also in their cars. Radio DJs were enjoying a level of celebrity success, as were the artists they were promoting.

Poodle skirts and rolled jeans replaced the straight skirt and suit and tie of the 1940s and have since become identified with the rock and roll phenomenon of the 1950s. New dances were introduced during this time. The ‘Twist’ and the ‘Jitterbug’ were taking America by storm. Chubby Checker helped popularize the ‘Twist’ with his hit of the same name. Televisions American Bandstand began its tenure in the 1950s, where these dances were shown and became the rage of American teenagers.

New radio stations were springing up all over America. Rolling the dial would allow you to tune into the genre of your choice. The early fifties served a post-war nation good and healthy lyrics with clean tunes from the likes of Pat Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como and Dinah Shore.

By the end of this decade we would be listening to a very different style of music from demo musicians like Elvis Presley and Little Richard. It wasn’t so much that the lyrics were bold or rebellious; it was the style in which they were delivered that sent parents into such a disapproving shock. Before the 1950s, teenagers listened to the same music as their parents, but with the introduction of rock and roll, children chose their own music and formed their own ideals.

Rock & roll probably stands out as the most defining genre of the decade but there is no purity in the genre itself. His origins are a mix of musical styles that existed long before he hit the scene. Fortunately, American culture has continued to diversify, and every genre that has existed since the early 1900s has been maintained through freedom of expression. Artists who celebrate diverse genres and lend their talents to each new generation satisfy diverse musical appetites.

Each style of music speaks to a group of people. It moves them and serves to identify them with a time in history. Music tells the story of people, whether they live in times of war or peace, prosperity or poverty, self-expression or conformity. From its recordable beginnings, there is a theme that has been consistent with everything, and that is the expression of love. For centuries man has sung about wanting it, losing it or gaining it.

Universal and timeless, no matter the instrument or the beat, the theme of love seems to be the crossover that everyone can relate to, and the 1950s was no exception.

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