Glenn Miller (1904 – 1944)
Trombonist and Bandleader
-developed clean-sounding style that appealed to small-town midwestern people as well as big city people
John Hammond (1910 – 87)
Worked with Columbia Records as A&R (artists and repertoire) man
-Jazz enthusiasst
-Helped Benny Goodman, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springstein
Benny Goodman (1909 – 86)
-King of Swing
-Helped establish swing era in early 30’s
-First white bandleader to hire black musicians
Fletcher Henderson (1898 – 1952)
Musician, bandleader, and arrager
-Credited with inspiring rise of swing in 30’s
William “Count” Basie (1904 – 84)
-black pianist and bandleader
-gained experience as player and bandleader in Kansas city, Missouri
-Band was known for improvisatory style and strong sense of swing
Edward Kennedy “Duke Ellington”
-pianist, composer, arranger
-regarded as one of the most important musicians of twentieth century
-devised unusual musical forms, combined instruments in unusual ways
Roy Claxton Acuff (1903 – 92)
– Hillbilly Singer of swing era
– Joined Grand Ole Opry in 1938 (biggest star)
– Style was rooted in southern folk music
Bob Wills (1905 – 75)
-Regarded as one of the pioneers of modern country and western music
-Texas Playboys pioneered western swing music
-Fiddler from East Texas whose musical career ran from 20’s to 60’s
Gene Autry (1907 – 98)
-first successful singing cowboy
-successful film star and popular country and western musician
-developed “western” part of country & western
-style designed to reach out to a
broader audience, with a less
pronounced regional accent, a deep
baritone voice, and a touch of the
crooners’ smoothness.
Xavier Cugat (1900 – 90)
“Rhumba King”
-popularized latin music during swing era
– spanish-born violinist, bandleader, film star
– “Brazil”
Frank Sinatra (1915 – 98)
Crooning style of bing crosby with bel canto technique of Italian Opera
Nat “King” Cole (1917 – 65)
Most successful black recording artist of postwar period
-Brilliant piano improviser
– biggest commercial successes were sentimental ballads accompanied by elaborate orchestral arrangements
Damaso Perez Prado (1916 – 89)
– Cuban-born pianist who popularized Mambo through the US and Latin America
– “Mambo No. 5”
Louis Jordan
-Led most influential jump band, Tympany Five
– Arkansas-born saxophone player
– popular with black
listeners and was able to build an
extensive white audience during and
after World War II
– “Choo Choo Ch’boogie”
Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) (1915 – 83)
Father of Chicago Blues
– Waters sang in a
country style and was a charismatic
performer. He played both acoustic
and electric slide guitar and was the
single greatest influence on the
British blues boom.
Ruth Brown (born 1928)
Miss Rhythm
-signed with Atlantic Records
-Most popular black female vocalist in America between ’51 – ’53
“Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean”
Big Mama Thornton (1926 – 84)
Singer, Drummer, harmonica player
– Comic on black vaudeville circuit
“Hound Dog”
Johnnie Ray (1927 – 90)
Prince of Wails
-Partially Deaf
-Created an Idiosyncratic style based partly in African American modes of performance
-Paved way for rock ‘n’ roll stars of later 50’s
Patti Page (born 1927)
Sold more records than any other female singer of early 50’s. Love songs mainly
Eddy Arnold (born 1918)
Most popular country crooner
-dominated country charts from ’47 – ’54
-scored eleven Top 40 hits on pop charts
Ernest Tubb (1914 – 84)
One of the first Honky-tonk performers
– began as disciple of Jimmie Rodgers
Bill Monroe (1911 – 97)
Started Blue Grass Boys and appeared on Grand Ole Opry
“It’s Mighty Dark to Travel”
Hank Thompson
Created a popular variation of honky-tonk music by mixing it with elements of western swing
Kitty Wells (born 1918)
Married country entertainer Johnny Wright and appeared on radio with him in 1938
Hank Williams (1923 – 53)
Most significant SINGLE figure to emerge in country music during immediate post-WWII era
-had 36 top 10 records on the country charts
Alan Freed (1922 – 65)
DJ and concert promoter dubbed
the “Pied Piper” of rock ‘n’ roll.
Played an important role in
broadening the audience for R
among white teenagers during the
early 1950s.
Big Joe Turner
“Blues shouter” born in Kansas City.
From 1945 to 1951, made
recordings with many labels before
signing with Atlantic in 1951.
“Shake, Rattle, and Roll” (1954)
was his biggest rock ‘n’ roll record
for Atlantic.
The Chords
R black male vocal group;
performed the original version of
The Crew Cuts
White male vocal group whose cover
version of “Sh-Boom” was one of
the two biggest pop hits of 1954.
Bill Haley
Former DJ and western swing
bandleader from Pennsylvania who
moved toward the R jump band
in the 1950s. Along with his band,
the Comets, Haley recorded
commercially successful cover
versions of R hits.
Shake rattle and role
Charles Edward Anderson(Chuck Berry)
Brilliantly clever and articulate
lyricist and songwriter, fine rock ‘n’
roll vocal stylist, and pioneering
electric guitarist. One of the first
black musicians to consciously forge
his own R styles for appeal to the
mass market. Also known for his
“duck walk.”
Buddy Holly (Charles Hardin Holley)
Early rock ‘n’ roll guitarist, singer,
and songwriter from the
country/rockabilly side of rock ‘n’
roll. Killed tragically at the age of
twenty-two in a plane crash.
Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman)
Flamboyant early rock ‘n’ roll singer
and pianist. Known for his
uninhibited shouting style; his hit
records include “Tutti-Frutti” and
“Long Tall Sally.”
Antoine “Fats” Domino
Born in New Orleans, established as
an R singer and pianist before
becoming a rock ‘n’ roll star. Known
for his R-tinged hits “Ain’t It a
Shame” and “Blueberry Hill.”
Elvis Presley
Known as “The King of Rock ‘n’
Roll,” the biggest star to come from
the country side of the music world.
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, made
his first recordings in Memphis at
Sun Records, and later recorded for
RCA and became a Hollywood film
Kingston Trio
One of the most popular folk groups
of the rock ‘n’ roll era. Responsible
for keeping public interest in folk
music alive through the late 1950s
and early 1960s. Their recording of
“Tom Dooley,” an adaptation of an
old ballad song, was a huge hit.
Wanda Jackson
Multitalented singer,
instrumentalist, and songwriter,
known as the “Queen of Rockabilly.”
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Innovative songwriting and
producing team of the early rock ‘n’
roll years. Wrote “Hound Dog” and
other R songs and produced hits
for Elvis Presley and the Coasters.
Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans)
Singer who became famous for his
cover version of “The Twist” by
Hank Ballard.
Dick Clark
Host of the popular teen-oriented
television show American
Phil Spector
Dubbed the “first tycoon of teen,”
his studio production techniques are
known as the “wall of sound”
because of his utilization of dense
orchestrations, multiple
instruments, and heavy reverb.
Wrecking Crew
The studio musicians who worked
regularly with Phil Spector at Gold
Star Studios.
Berry Gordy Jr.
Founder of Motown Records.
The Supremes
Black female vocal group who were
featured artists with Motown
Records in the 1960s. Their song
“You Can’t Hurry Love” was a
Number One hit in 1966.
The Temptations
Black male vocal group featured
with Motown Records in the 1960s.
Their song “My Girl” was a Number
One hit in 1965.
Funk Brothers
The studio musicians of Motown’s
house band; included the bass
player James Jamerson, the
drummer Benny Benjamin, and the
keyboardist Earl Van Dyke.
Beach Boys
Founded in California in 1961, they
popularized the “California sound” in
the early 1960s. Their hit songs
included “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfer
Girl,” “California Girls,” “Surfin’
USA” and “Good Vibrations.”
Brian Wilson
The leader and guiding spirit of the
Beach Boys during their first
decade. He wrote and produced
many of the Beach Boys’ biggest
hits, including “Good Vibrations.”
The Beatles
Rock group from Liverpool, England,
who dominated American
popular music during the mid-
1960s and started the “British
Invasion.” The band included John
Lennon and George Harrison on lead
and rhythm guitars and vocals, Paul
McCartney on bass and vocals, and
Ringo Starr on drums and
occasional vocals.
The Rolling Stones
A British rock group who cultivated
an image as “bad boys” in
deliberate contrast to the friendly
public image projected by the
Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman)
Urban folk singer and songwriter;
he took his stage name from his
favorite poet, Dylan Thomas. His
songs include hits such as “Blowin’
in the Wind,” “Mr. Tambourine
Man,” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Jimi Hendrix
The most original, inventive, and
influential guitarist of the rock era,
and the most prominent African
American rock musician of the late
Patsy Cline
Country vocalist who scored
crossover hits with songs such as “I
Fall to Pieces,” and “Crazy,” both
recorded in 1961.
Ray Charles
Known as the “Genius of Soul”;
songwriter, arranger, keyboard
player, and vocalist fluent in R,
jazz, and mainstream pop.
Grateful Dead
Band that originated in the 1960s
San Francisco rock scene. Their
career spanned more than three
James Brown
The “Godfather of Soul.” He was
known for his acrobatic physicality
and remarkable charisma on stage.
No other single musician has proven
to be as influential on the sound and
style of black music as James
Aretha Franklin
“The Queen of Soul,” she began
singing gospel music at an early age
and had several hit records with
Atlantic, including “Respect” in 1967
and “Think” in 1968.
Janis Joplin
The most successful white blues
singer of the 1960s. Born in Port
Arthur, Texas, Joplin came to San
Francisco in the mid-1960s and
joined a band called Big Brother and
the Holding Company.
Grace Slick
Vocalist for Jefferson Airplane. One
of the most important female
musicians on the San Francisco
scene during the 1960s.
Jerry Garcia
Guitarist, banjoist, and singer who
had played in various urban folk
groups during the early 1960s
before forming the Grateful Dead in