1.1Summarise the development of the UK popular music recording industry from the 1950’s to the present day. 50’s
The 1950’s represent the beginning of the development of the music industry, as it is known today. It is from here on that the genre of ‘popular music’ existed and began to dominate the charts. Of course, there were acts that existed before the 50’s, and made a good name for them selves, acts like Bing Crosby, but it was in the 50’s that certain artists became household names, and idols to the masses. The first, and most iconic of these artistes, is of course, Elvis Presley. After making a name for him self in the states, Elvis’ music then began to cross the border into other countries, and continents. Elvis was the first truly cross-continental superstar. There were many factors to his success, and he appealed to a wide range of people, across the world. By combining several existing genres, mainly blues, gospel, and country, Elvis went on to pioneer a new genre of popular music, named ‘Rock and Roll’. For me, Elvis is the father of all Rock and Roll, and even today, 60 years on, Elvis’ influences can still be heard in modern music. Back in the day, Elvis’ music was a revelation. This new genre of music tended to have a 12-bar blues feel. However, contrary to previous blues songs, this new genre was faster and more up beat. This in turn gave the songs more of a ‘jive’ feel, and so the songs were easy to dance and move to. It was this that led to the ‘rebellion’ of the younger generation. Before Rock and Roll came along, the younger generation would generally listen to their parents’ music. Rock and Roll however, changed all of this. The new genre took the younger population by storm. They would spend nights out dancing to Rock and Roll and staying out till later than previously ever thought allowed. This went hand in hand with a change in fashion, and the music revolution began. This change in music prompted a change in popular instruments too. The electric guitar began to be used more and more in popular music. This was the birth of the guitar rock era. Using Elvis’ inspiration, other artists began to appear on the scene, and take to the big stage. Bill Haley, BB King, and Chuck Berry are perhaps the most memorable. Chuck Berry took the electric guitar and began to develop the ‘Guitar Rock’ genre even more. He began to include guitar solos in his songs, which were previously unheard of. Along with Elvis, he began using thought provoking movements on stage. This added to the rebellion side of things and prompted another movement by the younger population. In the US, music was developing at an alarming rate. However, back here in the UK, things were moving at a slower pace. Artists in the UK were generally focusing on a genre called skiffle. This was mainly acoustic, and a complete contrast to the music being produced in America. 2 big names in skiffle were George Formby and Lonnie Donegan. These 2 acts were a big hit in the UK, and managed to achieve lots of airtime on the radio. They were the biggest names in music at the time. However, towards the end of the 50’s, music in the UK began to catch up with the US. Taking influences from the big names, artists began to appear with British take on their American counterparts. One act, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, took the UK by storm. Cliff was perhaps the first to truly bridge the gap between American and British styles music. His first major hit ‘Move It’ was the defining song of British music at the time. His success led to a great career, which still carries on even today. Developments In technology also helped the music industry. This included such things as television. Music shows began to appear. ‘The Ed Sullivan’ show was perhaps the first major music program to be aired on television. Only the best acts were picked to play on the show, and it was really a showcase of the best musical talent in the US. Buddy Holly, Elvis, and Chuck Berry were all...
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