quarta-feira, 30 de dezembro de 2015

Rock is great and I like it!
When rock music first came, it had not yet this name. It was called instead “race music” by the radio stations and by the record companies because the music had a strong black appeal and was not quite absorbed by the white medium class.
The name “rock and roll” was coined by a Cleveland disc-jockey named Alan Freed, with the purpose of creating some R&B especially targeted to the white youth.
Its origin dates back to the late 1940s and early 1950s with deep roots brought from the black music – blues, R&B, gospel and folk music – but also from the Midwest white country music. However, its recognition and its internationalization took place only in the second half of the 1950s.
Rock and roll was known as “rock-a-billy”, and the word appears from a slang used by the young people at the time – “rock” – that meant “to swing, to sway”, among other things (in order to differentiate from the word “swing” used by their parents’ generation that had the same meaning) and “hillbilly” based on the country music component.
Therefore, rock, rock and roll and rock-a-billy are the same kind of music and similarly to what happened to jazz, had mutations over time. In almost sixty years of age, rock assumed more than thirty different styles like classic,  acid, progressive, symphonic, melodic, surf music, punk, hard, heavy metal, trash, death metal and indie rock.
Ironically, although the label “race music” refers to blacks, the whites were the singers and musicians that inaugurated the style for good.
Among them, we can mention Carl Perkins – “Blue Suede Shoes” (Carl Perkins), “Boppin’ The Blues” (Carl Perkins-Curley Griffin) and “Your True Love” (Carl Perkins); Elvis Presley – “That’s All Right” (Arthur Crudup), “Don’t Be Cruel” (Otis Blackwell-Elvis Presley) and “Hound Dog” (Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller); Jerry Lee Lewis – “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (Dave ‘Curlee’ Williams-Sunny David), “High School Confidential” (Jerry Lee Lewis-Ron Hargrave) and “Great Balls Of Fire” (Otis Blackwell-Jack Hammer); and Gene Vincent – “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (Gene Vincent-Tex Davis), “Maybelline” (Chuck Berry) and “Bluejean Bop”(Gene Vincent).
Other precursors that started to pave the road were Conway Twitty – “Lonely Blue Boy” (Conway Twitty), “Linda On My Mind” (Conway Twitty) and “It’s Only Make Believe” (Jack Nance-Conway Twitty); Ricky Nelson – “Hello Mary Lou” (Gene Pitney), “Travelin’ Man” (Jerry Fuller) and “Believe What You Say” (Dorsey Burnette-Johnny Burnette); Ronnie Hawkins – “Thirty Days(Chuck Berry), “My Gal Is Red Hot” (Ronnie Hawkins) and “Mary Lou” (Ronnie Hawkins); The Everly Brothers – “Wake Up Little Suzie” (Felice Bryant-Boudleaux Bryant), “Bye-Bye Love” (Felice Bryant-Boudleaux Bryant) and “Claudette” (Roy Orbison); Roy Orbison, maybe the more modern for the time – “Oh Pretty Woman” (Roy Orbison-Bill Dees), “Crying” (Roy Orbison-Joe Melson) and “Only The Lonely” (Roy Orbison-Joe Melson); Johnny Cash, a folk attitude inside the rock – “Sixteen Tons” (Merle Travis), “Let Him Roll” (Guy Clark) and “Going By The Book” (Johnny Cash); Eddie Cochran, killed at age 22 in a car accident in England – “C’mon Everybody” (Eddie Cochran-Jerry Capeheart), “Pretty Girl” (Eddie Cochran-Jerry Capeheart) and “Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie” (George Motola); and Buddy Holly, who also died very young in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa – “That’ll Be The Day (Jerry Allison-Norman Petty- Buddy Holly), “It’s So Easy” (Buddy Holly-Norman Petty) and “Peggy Sue” (Jerry Allison-Norman Petty-Buddy Holly).
Later, in the ‘60s, other groups showed up, like The Monkees – “I’m A Believer” (Neil Diamond), “Steppin’ Stone” (Robert Luke Harshman-Tommy Boyce) and “Look Out – Here Comes Tomorrow” (Neil Diamond); The Doors, a wonderful band that would go much further if it were not for the death of Jim Morrison – “Light My Fire” (Jim Morrison-John Densmore-Ray Manzarek-Robby Krieger), “Peace Frog” (Jim Morrison-John Densmore-Ray Manzarek-Robby Krieger) and “L.A.Woman” (Jim Morrison-John Densmore-Ray Manzarek-Robby Krieger); and The Beach Boys, whose main hit was “Surfin U.S.A.” (actually this song is the same “Sweet Little Sixteen” by Chuck Berry, with different lyrics written by Brian Wilson). Other Beach Boys’ hits were “I Get Around” (Mike Love-Brian Wilson) and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (Brian Wilson), released in a clip where they mimicked The Beatles’ mannerisms in the movies.
The black singers that have recorded rock music at that time were not those many – basically only  Chuck Berry – “Johnny B.Goode” (Chuck Berry), “Sweet Little Sixteen” (Chuck Berry) and “Rock & Roll Music” (Chuck Berry) and Little Richard – “Long Tall Sally” (Richard Penniman-Enotris Johnson-Robert Blackwell), “Good Golly Miss Molly” (Robert Blackwell-John Marascalco) e “Lucille” (Albert Collins). They played  rock and roll with less influence of the western country music, but with an increased influence of R&B and black music, thus presenting some difference between their musical message and the rock-a-billy of the white singers.
When the rock and roll music began it was very intense and came to replace the dance hall music where the big bands and the swing songs had started to lose ground. Gradually, rock stopped being called “race music” and became more attractive to the white medium class and to the record companies.
In 1955 rock invaded the British Isles bringing out some pioneering groups such as the first Lennon-McCartney band, The – The Quarrymen – “I’ll Follow The Sun” (John Lennon-Paul McCartney), “One After 909” (John Lennon-Paul McCartney) and “Maggie Mae” (a traditional Liverpool song) – all of these songs were recorded many years later by The Beatles; Cliff Richard & The Drifters (later called The Shadows) – “Twenty Flight Rock” (Ned Fairchild-Eddie Cochran), “Living Doll” (Lionel Bart) and “Move It” (Cliff Richard).
As time went on and with the growth of the American pop music which spread out and fled the rock tradition, mainly during the ‘70s – Michael Jackson, Madonna, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, James Brown, The Carpenters, The Guess Who, Carole King, Chicago, America, Bruce Springsteen, Prince,  Diana Ross – the rock and roll and the modern blues lose their ground in the United States but gained more strength in Europe and Australia, and this is confirmed by the amazingly success of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Animals, The Who, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, John Mayall & Bluebreakers, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and many others.
It’s obvious that Brazil would not get out of that influence. So, as the “new rock and roll” faded away in the ‘80s, the so-called Brazilian Rock emerged with its social and intellectual profile.  
The movement broke out in Brasilia, but soon had the complicity of musicians from around the country, like Paralamas do Sucesso, Engenheiros do Hawaii, Legião Urbana, Titãs, Barão Vermelho, Biquini Cavadão, Ultraje a Rigor, Ira!, Capital Inicial, Camisa de Vênus and so many others.
With a history that spans generations, rock earned his place in the 20th century and shows that will be perpetuated in the 21st century, whether using the acoustic base that marks its origin or favoring electronic instruments, technology or the modern esoteric sounds. Its secret lies not only in the sound, but mainly in the spirit of the music.
Due to this and that, rock is great and I like it. Whoever has traveled this journey will never stop being a rocker.

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