Evolution of Rock

From Where Did Rock and Roll Evolve?

Writing something comprehensive about the evolution of rock and roll is no easy task. Many authors, historians and writers have relentlessly tried to conquer the task. If you’ve ever browsed the music section of a bookstore, you’ve seen the proof.  Countless titles exist claiming that they contain ‘the’ evolution or history of rock and roll.

This is not to undermine these author’s efforts. But, many of us don’t simply want to read a list of events or individuals who participated in rock and roll history and making. We want to know how rock and roll came to be and where it will be in the future.

When many people hear the phrase “the beginning of rock and roll” they immediately relate it to “the king of rock and roll” or Elvis. Surely, Elvis had a lot to do with the invention of rock and roll, but he didn’t singlehandedly invent the genre. Plus, Elvis came from the Delta area where Blues were heavily prevalent. So, if Elvis was the first man of rock and roll, he was brought to be on the coattails of blues.

While, Elvis was involved with the birth of rock and roll, there was another man on the scenes who some say was also very responsible for the invention of rock and roll. Alan Freed broadcasted what they called ‘race’ music to a mostly youthful and Caucasian following. Many argue Alan Freed even made up the term rock and roll. The real fact is that Trixie Smith coined the term rock in the song which was called “My Daddy Rocks Me” in 1922. The term rock and roll or rock was a synonym for sex. This was the beginning of the term Rock’s use. Artists then started using rock to describe music with a great ‘beat.’

Even though Elvis was not solely responsible for inventing Rock n Roll he was the person who in the end made it mainstream. Mostly, because with his dance moved (gyrating hips) he made it controversial and everyone knows that’s the best way to get the word out on a movement. He offended parents, religion and educators alike with both his lyrics, moves and sexual energy. Many even called rock and roll ‘Satan’s music.’ Link Wray, Duane Eddy, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and Little Richard are some of the other contributors from the time.

And, though his time was short 1942-1970, Jimi Hendrix was another defining man. He distinguished and gave the real definition of the part the electric guitar would play in music. He created the bar to which many musicians afterword would try to reach and most say not a single artist has lived up to James Marshall Hendrix standard. Jimi Hendrix and his guitar forever changed music and gave someone from any genre or time a role model to follow. The rest is history and rock and roll is forever here to stay.