1. Variety Show

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2. String of non-related acts

3. Updated version of minstrel show

Skits, dancing, singing

5. Wholesome

6. Door prizes

7. Italian-Amer. humor, AA humor, Irish-Amer. humor


1. String of non-related acts

2. Often satirical, local humor

3. Parade of scantily clad women

4. Ziegfeld Follies


1. Strong European characteristics

2. Strong European immigrant presence

American Musical

1. Play with much singing and dancing

2. 1924 – Showboat

Pop: generation 1 and 2
Emphasis on composer
Pop: generation 3
Emphasis on performer
Popular nod to European American art tradition
Cole Porter
Grew up in Indiana, went to Yale, from a wealthy family, went to Europe, lived glamorous life
Death of Tin Pan Alley
Post-war tragedies turn America from sweetness to realism
Wynonie Harris
Belting vs. crooning
Themes of R&B songs

-Sex and virility

-Partying and nightlife

-Fast cars and drinking

-Money problems, crime and punishment

-Dangerous situations and remorse

-Appeals for religious help

Big Mama Thornton
Muddy Waters
Chicago blues, takes 1st chord and repeats forever, manipulating for release when chord finally changes
Country Music

-Common religion (Protestant)

-Education outlook (often low-level)

-Economic standing

Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys
Gave name to and popularized bluegrass
The Everly Brothers
Start as country singers, but due to their young age, were able to transition into rock and roll
Alan Freed
Cleveland DJ, reason rock and roll HOF is in Cleveland, nickname “Moondog”, given credit for naming rock and roll
European-American Rock and Roll

-Bill Haley

-Car Perkins (Blue Suede Shoes)

-Jerry Lee Lewis

-Elvis Presley

-Buddy Holly

-Everly Brothers

African-American Rock and Roll

-Chuck Berry

-Little Richard (androgynous)

-Bo Diddly

-Fatts Domino


Early Rock and Roll

-Oral Tradition

-Dependence on Blues

-Singing style based on black and rural white



-Loud Volume

-Emphasis on beat

-Songs realistic

-Manner of perf. dramatic, theatrical

Colonel Tom Parker
Elvis’s agent
Barry Gordy, Jr.
African-American, middle class upbringing, created Motown Record Co., wanted to create music that would cross over into mainstream
Smokey Robinson
Singer and composer
Songwriting team for Diana Ross ; Supremes
Stevie Wonder
Moderately successful, went to Motown, was shot to fame
Marvin Gaye
“Prince of Motown” (Married into Gordy family), thought himself to be a crooner
Beatles introduction
Ed Sullivan Show
AA music for AA audiences by AA musicians, all about blues
James Brown
“Godfather of Soul”
Aretha Franklin
Grew up in Detroit with gospel surrounding her

Overtly political, not initially rock and roll but will heavily influence it, elastic cause (lots of repetition), Peter, Paul, and Mary

Joan Baez

Bob Dylan

Pete Seeger