Music 11 Book

July 28, 2017 | Author: Zebadiah A Wade | Category: Jazz, Pop Culture, Ragtime, Blues, Saxophone
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MUSIC 11 (History of Jazz and Rock) [Sixth Edition]




Music consists of common elements that are found throughout all musical cultures. These common elements are: 1) Timbre; 2) Pitch; 3) Dynamics; 4) Duration; and 5) Silence. Within these five common music elements are various sub-elements that may or may not be found in all musical compositions. Throughout the centuries, musical thought or theory has developed differently among cultures. Today, music history or cultural styles can be very broadly defined as Western musical development, Eastern musical development, or “Primitive” musical development. Within these broad categories, musical cultures can be more specific. For example, under Western Music, we can include music of Western Europe or the United States, while under Eastern music, we can place music of India or Japan.


“Primitive” category could include music of Africa or the Australian Aborigines. Within these three broad musical categories, certain common similarities exist. For example, within Western music (music of the Western musical culture, not Country and Western music), the use of the major-minor tonality system is common for all the sub-styles of Western music, while the Eastern musical cultures usually include a more "nasal" vocal production as a common musical ingredient. There are many differences and similarities in the music of the Earth's cultures, but the only common elements found in all musical cultures are the five elements mentioned earlier: Pitch, Timbre, Dynamics, Duration, and Silence. (Throughout this course we will concentrate on music of the Western musical culture thus most of the common elements will focus on music of the Western heritage). The vibration of an object such as a string, a reed, or a drumhead generates musical sounds. The buzzing of lips or the vibration of an audio speaker will also generate musical sound. In a guitar, the guitar string vibrates when plucked or strummed.

2 Vibrating lips produces the trumpet sound. An enclosed volume of air that vibrates as it is split generates the flute’s sound. A vibration is characterized by its amplitude (extent of its vibration) and by its frequency (number of vibrations per second). The greater the frequency, the higher the pitch or sound. The louder the sound, the greater the amplitude. Each pitch is determined by a specific number of vibrations per second. The piano has a basic sound or pitch range of about 30 cycles per second (low pitch) to approximately 4000 c.p.s. (highest sound). "Cycle per second" is abbreviated with the letters "c.p.s." Pitch is defined as the highness or lowness of sound. If a piano key is struck on the far left of the piano keyboard, a low-pitched sound will be produced while inversely, if a piano key on the far right of the keyboard is struck, a high-pitched sound will be produced. There is a wide range of aural pitches available to musicians today, ranging from the very low pitches (perhaps the low pitches of a tuba, string bass, electric bass, or synthesizer) to very high pitches (such as the high pitches of a piccolo, violin, electric guitar, or synthesizer). Within the major element of Pitch are two important sub-elements called melody and harmony. These two sub-elements are very important even though they may not be used in all music. Melody is the horizontal element of pitch or musical texture and it may occur either without any addition (monophonic), in combination with other melodies (polyphonic, contrapuntal, counter-melodies), or with harmonies (homophonic). Melodies may consist of scale-like passages, skips, leaps, or basically a succession of musical tones. A melody can portray a wide variety of sounds, styles, or emotions. Some melodies can be very jagged, angular, or chaotic sounding. They can also be very smooth, calm, and restrained. Most melodies in popular music seem to be simple and easy to sing, while melodies in more extravagant art forms are more demanding and

3 complex. (Of course, the preceding sentence is an over simplification and one can find many styles of melodies in different types of music. Plus there is no connotation of quality assigned to the words "simple" or "complex") An example of a smooth, calm melody can be heard in Glenn Miller's theme song, "Moonlight Serenade."

In contrast to the smooth melody is the jagged, skip filled

melody of Duke Ellington's theme song, "Take the 'A' Train." A simple definition of harmony could be "the sounding of two or more tones at the same time." Under the sub-element of harmony, chords or chord progressions are an important aspect. A chord is the sounding of three or more tones at the same time. Traditional chords usually consist of three tones (called a triad), four tones (seventh chord), five tones (ninth chord), six tones (eleventh chord), and seven tones (thirteenth chord). Usually simple harmonies (commonly found in popular music such as rock, country, and folk), consist primarily of triads, while more complex harmonies (commonly found in classical and jazz), utilize seventh, ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth chords. An example of a song with simple chords would be Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" while a song with complex chords would be Charlie Parker's "Orinthology." Remember there is absolutely no quality connotation with the simple or the complex in music. Some simple music is excellent while other simple music is low quality and the same holds true with complex music. Two predominant types of chordal sounds are called 1) major chords, and 2) minor chords. Some musicians simply state that major chords by themselves seem to have a brighter, happier sound while minor chords present a darker, more somber mood. The Western harmonic musical heritage is predominantly constructed on these two types of chords and the harmonic system is called the Major-Minor tonality (This system was

4 fully developed by the early 1700s and was considered quite experimental by the society of the time). Chords can be thought of as individual words in musical sentences.


musical sentences are called chord or harmonic progressions. The musician has many different words (chords) to use in his or her musical vocabulary. The next major element of music is Timbre. Timbre (pronounced "tamber") can also be called tone color. Each musical instrument produces a unique aural "fingerprint" or timbre; thus a flute will sound different from a guitar. To our ears the flute sounds different from a guitar just as to our eyes the color blue looks different from red (unless of course you are color-blind). As with visual colors, aural colors can be mixed, thus forming a different or hybrid musical timbre or tone color. If a trumpet and a trombone play the same melody on the same pitches, our ears will hear a mixed timbre that will sound different from either the trumpet or trombone played alone. Musicians have almost an unlimited palette of timbres to choose from. How do these timbres sound different to our ears? As mentioned before, all instruments (and voices) produce unique instrumental timbres; yet these timbres are really produced by composite sounds that actually result from the simultaneous sounding of many pure sounds called partials (or overtones). The lowest and predominant partial is called the fundamental and this is the one that the ear identifies as the actual pitch of the sound. But in addition to the fundamental, there are other partials that are not heard distinctly but are nevertheless very important to the specific timbre of the sound. The reason that these other partials are not actually heard distinctly is their amplitude or intensity is much less than that of the fundamental's. All of the instrument's partials or overtones combine to form its unique timbre. Each partial in a flute sound has unique varying amplitude, much like each human has a

5 unique fingerprint. Our ears can discern these tonal fingerprints and can differentiate between the timbres. Combining instruments (each with its unique musical fingerprint of partials), can create new timbres much like a chef creates a spicy chili. The chili may taste different from another chili because of its proportions of certain ingredients. Musical timbre is the same except that musical timbre is tasted by our ears and not by the taste buds. Another common element of music is Dynamics.

Quite simply, this is the

loudness or softness in music. Some music might be loud almost continuously (such as Heavy Metal Rock) while other music may be entirely soft. Probably most music uses varying degrees of loudness and softness. In Western music, certain terms are used to designate volume.

Piano, as a

dynamic marking indicates, soft while forte suggests a loud volume. There are other terms used to suggest various shadings of dynamics (mezzo-piano {medium soft}, mezzo-forte {medium loud}, pianissimo {very soft}, and fortissimo {very loud}). If a musical tone starts soft and builds to loud, we use the term "crescendo" while the opposite, loud to soft, is called "decrescendo." The fourth major element is Duration. Duration is defined as how long does the sound last. In other words, does your ear hear the tone for 1/4 of a second or does it hear it for ten seconds? The duration of musical sounds can be very short, very long, or an endless variety of combinations of long and short sounds. A sub-element of duration is "rhythm." Rhythm is used throughout life. Our hearts beat to a rhythm, we walk to a rhythm, the waves at a beach roll with a rhythm, and so forth. Rhythm in music is a very important sub-element of duration, and in some popular music, it may actually be the most important musical ingredient.

6 Rhythm in music contains the duration quality of sounds. Sometimes rhythm may be entirely free of constant pulse (beat) but in most popular music, rhythm occurs in a constant pulse formula. Normally in popular music, rhythm is metrical with a repetition of sound, either felt or heard. This felt or heard reoccurring pulse is called the beat. The beat is what we dance to, clap our hands to, or stomp our feet with. Sometimes the beat is very strong (such as in hard-driving jazz or rock), or it may be very subtle and fragile. The beat is a constant force; yet the speed of the beat (tempo) can vary greatly. Many times the tempo (speed of the beat) depends upon such elements as musical mood or emotion. Romantic ballads will usually have a slow tempo while up-tempo jitterbug dance pieces of the 1940s and 1950s will have a fast beat. In other words, beat does not have just one speed but it has an infinite number of possibilities. Popular music usually has beat patterns in groups of twos, threes, their multiples, or their combinations. For example, if the music has a “two beat pattern” it would be counted: 1,2;1,2;1,2;1,2 etc. while a “three beat pattern” would be counted, 1,2,3;1,2,3;1,2,3 etc. Each beat would be of equal duration or length. In most rock music the beat pattern is called 4/4 (also known as "common time"). 4/4 is defined musically with each beat unit having four equal length beats (multiples of two) but each beat is not stressed equally. 4/4 time would be counted: 1,2,3,4;1,2,3,4; etc. In 4/4, the first and third beats are considered "strong" (which means those beats are stressed) while two and four are considered "weak" (which means those beats are not stressed). Strong and weak beats are the ebb and flow of duration.

Usually in popular music, words and/or

harmonies change on strong beats while the weak beats are “enhanced”, providing a forward drive or momentum. In rock drumming, the bass drum usually provides the kick for the strong beats while the snare drum and hi-hat (the two small cymbals which open and close together) accent the weak beats. Most popular music, including jazz and rock,

7 enhance or accent the weak beats. This enhanced stressing of weak beats is called syncopation. If the music is grouped in three beat patterns (1,2,3;1,2,3) the first beat is strong followed by weak beats of two and three. Whatever the beat pattern, the first beat of the grouping is called the downbeat. Even though most jazz and rock music combines the beat in patterns of twos or threes, some music (especially some styles of jazz) group beats into units of varying lengths. These types of groupings are called odd-meters. For example, a piece of music could be written in 5/4 (perhaps grouped 3+2) and would be counted: 1,2,3,4,5;1,2,3,4,5 etc. with beats one and four being strong while beats two, three, and five being weak ({1,2,3}+{1,2}). The final common element of all music is silence. Even though music is an aural art form, silence is an important element. Without silence, music would become just an indistinguishable mush of sound. Silence can provide the clarity in music. Music is a combination of many ingredients that will vary according to the style of music and the creativity of the composer and musician. The five elements of music (Pitch, Timbre, Dynamics, Duration, and Silence) are found in all music, but the subelements, melody, harmony, and rhythm, may not be found in all music.

8 2. THE ROOTS OF JAZZ Where did jazz originate?

What musical, social, and cultural ingredients

combined to form jazz? These questions, and their respective answers, are important for the student of jazz history to investigate Jazz is the only indigenous American art form and it is truly a cultural product of the United States. Western and African musical culture were the seeds of jazz, but America was the soil where jazz grew and prospered. Jazz is not a music of any one culture but is actually a blending of a variety of traditions, heritages, and philosophies. During the early history of America, slavery was a standard social practice. Slaves were forcibly brought from Africa to America. While in America, the displaced African's (including African musicians who brought their musical traditions and talents with them) would learn from already established Western musical theories and performance practices.

At the same time, Western musicians would learn African

(Eastern) musical theories and performance practices from the African musicians. Traditional African culture places a great emphasis on music, much more so than Western societies. Music is an important aspect of many of the day-to-day activities of the traditional African societies. As a musical expression, early African music placed a great emphasis on rhythmic activity with a more simplistic use of melody and harmony. African rhythms can be sophisticated, complex and advanced while the melodies and harmonies can be simple. This strong emphasis on musical tradition and usage was brought with the African populations during their forced exile of slavery to America. While in America, these new African-Americans still expressed themselves through their musical traditions. Since they were in America, their old musical traditions could not be reproduced exactly for many reasons, including not being allowed to use traditional African instruments. To understand a comparable situation, let us assume that

9 we have a fictional American rock band that is forcibly taken to a foreign country. While in slavery, the rock musicians still desire to create their music. Unfortunately, their new "owners" give them permission to perform their rock music, but the rock band is not allowed to use any electric guitars, an electric bass, a drum set, keyboards, or any type of electronic instruments. This would cause quite a problem for the rock band, but if they have a strong enough desire to create their music, they would have to find a way to do so with the resources (instruments etc.) that were available to them.

This imaginary

scenario was exactly what the African musicians faced as slaves in America. Along with finding new instruments, the African musicians were being exposed to the Western musical culture. This exposure was a vital essence to the evolution of jazz. These new Western melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and aural traditions affected the African musicians tremendously. Of course, White musicians were also being affected by what they heard from the African musicians. As time passed, the give and take between the African and Western musical traditions would blossom into what would be called Jazz. To this day, elements that started with the African slaves can still be heard in jazz and rock. One example still in use is the African "call and response" method of early African songs. In a call and response, the soloist sings a portion of a melody while the group responds afterwards (much like a musical question and answer). Another example is "pitch-bending." During the advent of jazz, the musicians would bend pitches for expressive purposes. This bent pitch catches our ears because the ear does not know where the pitch will actually end up, thus creating a musical surprise. Countless jazz and rock musicians use this technique today. Listen to a rock lead-guitar solo and count all the pitch-bends utilized. Most of today's synthesizers even have a pitch-bend device built in.

10 The roots of jazz are from African and Western musical traditions blended together. Over a period of many years, these traditions exchanged musical qualities and slowly evolved into jazz. The African emphasis on rhythm combined with Western theoretical musical thought (including Western music’s melodies, harmonies, timbres, and forms) created a new music for all musicians and audiences to enjoy. As the jazz musical tree grew, other sub-styles of music grew from the trunk of jazz. Music styles such as Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Funk, Rap, and Rock and Roll are all descendants of jazz and the jazz heritage.

3. THE BLUES Before we enter the first major style of jazz, one form of music must be examined first. This form of music is not exactly a style but more of a musical foundation. This foundation is found is most styles of both jazz and rock as well as in many other styles of popular music, including country, gospel, and even some contemporary classical compositions. The broad term used to denote this musical foundation is The Blues. The origin of the Blues is not etched in stone. Over a period of many years, a more or less standardized blues scale and harmonic progression has been established, but these standardized concepts can and are performed in a wide variety of musical expressions. Blues can be sad, happy, slow, fast, vocal, instrumental, or just about any style or form the musician creates. One generally accepted theory on the evolution of the now standard "blues scale" (starting arbitrarily on C: C, Eb, F, Gb, G, Bb) is the thought that perhaps the African Pentatonic scale (C: C, D, E, G, A) was influenced by the Western diatonic scale (C: C, D, E, F, G, A, B) and slowly combined to form the hybrid blues scale. As mentioned earlier, bent notes were in standard usage in the early days of jazz, thus this pitch bending

11 could have created the loose tonal center of the "flat-third", "flat-fifth", and "flat-seventh" of the blues scale. These "unstable" blue-notes give the blues one of its special qualities. Along with the standard blues scale, a standard blues harmonic progression has developed. This progression is now known as the 12 bar blues (I, I, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, I, I). Each Roman numeral consists of one bar of four beats (if in a four-beat grouping) and the pattern will probably keep repeating itself throughout the blues composition. Of course there are variations on the blues scale, along with the harmonic progression, but once again, the preceding is considered standard practice. Traditional blues lyrics are usually simple but they are at times very poignant. Many blues lyrics are written in iambic pentameter. When blues lyrics are written in the iambic pentameter style, the twelve bar blues chord progression will be broken down into three equal segments (four bars each). The first section of lyrics (called the "A" section) usually repeats (second "A") with a different lyric (called the "B" section) comprising the last section of four bars. The full lyric can be represented as "A A B". An example of this style is Ma Rainey's, "Don't Fish in My Sea." My daddy come home this mornin' drunk as he could be, My daddy come home this mornin' drunk as he could be, I knowed by that he's done got bad on me. He used to stay out late, now he don't come home at all, He used to stay out late, now he don't come home at all, I know there's another mule kickin' in my stall. If you don't like my ocean, don't fish in my sea, Don't like my ocean, don't fish in my sea, Stay out of my valley, and let my mountain be. I ain't had no lovin' since God knows when, I ain't had no lovin' since God knows when, That's the reason I'm through with these no good triflin'men. Never miss the sunshine till the rain begin to fall, Never miss the sunshine till the rain begin to fall,

(A) (A) (B)

12 You'll never miss you ham till another mule be in your stall. The history of blues vocal performance is generally divided into two broad categories. Each category represents an approximate era. The first era existed from the mid to late l800s to the early l930s. This first era contained two generally recognized performance styles. The first performance style can be called country or rural blues while the second style can be represented by the label of city or urban blues. Country blues were generally sung by men with very simple accompaniments and instrumentation. The male blues singer would sing his blues song with perhaps just a guitar as background. The lyrics were simple and the sound of the music was raw and unpolished. Some of the most famous blues singers of this style were men such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Huddie Ledbetter, Big Bill Broonzy, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. City blues singers consisted of men and women vocalists. The sound of city blues had a much more polished and sophisticated sound than country blues. Instead of just a simple background, the city blues singer might use a small combo to back the vocals. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Chippie Hill were some of the most famous blues vocalists of this style. After l930, the blues performance style began to change. Along with the blues vocalists, some instrumentalists started to create excellent performances of the blues. At times, a great blues artist could perform on an instrument as well as sing. Early blues instrumentalists copied vocal performance style, but as musical time progressed, some vocalists actually began to copy the emerging blues instrumentalists. Some of the great blues vocalists from this era were Joe Turner (later to influence early Rock and Roll), Joe Williams, and Jimmy Rushing (Both Williams and Rushing sang with the great Count Basie band). Blues performers who could sing and play instruments were greats such as Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, B.B. King, and Ray Charles.

13 As mentioned earlier, the blues are used in all styles of popular music. Some examples include: "Rock Around the Clock" performed by Bill Haley and the Comets (l954); "409" by the Beachboys (l961); "Reeling and Rockin" by Chuck Berry (late l950s); "In the Mood" performed by Glenn Miller (l941); "Hound Dog" performed by Elvis Presley (l957); and "Can't Buy Me Love" by the Beatles (l965). The blues is a music foundation that developed over a period of years and is found within all styles of music. It can represent many emotions and today's musical artists still find it fresh and usable.

14 4. RAGTIME (l890-l915) The first major style of jazz and perhaps the first popular American style of music was Ragtime. This style is basically a solo piano style even though during the Ragtime era some ragtime ensembles did exist, usually at wealthy establishments. Since Ragtime is usually a solo instrumental style, the music developed as a powerful piano sound and the piano needed to literally be a complete “band-in-a-box.”. The left hand plays bass notes and chords while the right hand plays melodic lines. This style of playing is difficult and physically demanding. Along with the powerful sound of Ragtime, its melodic lines involve a generous amount of intricate syncopation. Much of Ragtime is composed music and is written as sheet music. Musicians who could compose and write Ragtime music could be rewarded financially because they could sell their compositions, much like musicians today sell records and tapes. During the era of Ragtime, radio, television, and stereos had not yet been invented or were not in wide distribution; therefore other means of home entertainment were needed. Player pianos became very popular in America during the late 1800s and are the direct ancestor of today’s home entertainment systems. Citizens could have live music in their homes, even if they could not play an instrument, simply by purchasing a player piano. These mechanical instruments used piano rolls as a source of music. Piano rolls were sold at music stores (much like records/CDs are today) and the Ragtime artists made the piano rolls (copied by mass-production). With these player pianos, Ragtime could be heard in all towns throughout America. Since Ragtime was the popular music of its time, the music was used for festive occasions. Besides being used in saloons and hotels, Ragtime was also performed at civic celebrations. Cakewalks and ragtime piano contests were popular in communities throughout the nation. People also could dance to this popular jazz style.

15 Ragtime compositions incorporated many of the classical Western musical devices. These rags were composed in a very traditional classical format of balance and form. Each rag usually contained four major melodies, each equal importance. The rag's formal sections were contrasting in nature. Perhaps the first section could be loud and active, followed by a second contrasting section of softer less active music. The most important ragtime performer and composer was Scott Joplin. Joplin was a classically educated musician who even composed opera.

Other important

musicians of this era were Tom Turpin, Joseph Lamb, and James Scott. Ragtime lasted until about l915 when the other jazz styles began to catch the public's ear. In the l970s, Ragtime (especially Scott Joplin) was "rediscovered" due to the very popular and successful movie, "The Sting" starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

The musical score won an Academy Award for best movie soundtrack.

Hollywood producers and many other American citizens rediscovered the great music of Scott Joplin almost half a century after his death.


Even while Ragtime was evolving, another style of jazz was developing. In the southern part of America, a port city with a strong economic base was becoming a prime breeding ground for a new style of jazz. The resulting jazz style, from the port city of New Orleans, became known as New Orleans style Dixieland. During the early part of the twentieth century, New Orleans established itself as a major metropolitan area. As with other economic centers throughout history, the arts usually blossom within such areas of economic power. When Venice, Italy in the l500s and l600s was an economic power, the music of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras

16 found a fertile cultural soil to grow and evolve. France and Germany in the l700s and l800s were both economic powers with a resulting artistic expansion occurring within each country's society. The United States of the early l900s had the same economic expansion and power, which once again allowed the arts to flourish, and New Orleans was a center of this new opportunity. New Orleans was a city that had a unique tolerance for different cultures and peoples. Perhaps its history encouraged this tolerance. During the city's early history, New Orleans was a French possession for almost fifty years. In 1764, it became a Spanish possession for almost forty years. After a brief return to French rule, New Orleans finally became part of the United States in l803 through the Louisiana Purchase. Thus, many different cultures at one time or another flourished in New Orleans. With this tradition of a cultural melting pot, New Orleans was a perfect location for the continuing blend of African and Western music that would evolve as jazz. Several key physical, cultural, and economic phenomena existed in New Orleans that had a profound effect on the new style of jazz. First, the New Orleans Creole (French and African-American heritage) population had the tradition of serious, classical musical training which, when mixed with the less sophisticated oral musical tradition, slowly evolved into a new jazz style. Second, a tradition of a special type of funeral procession was very popular in New Orleans. This funeral procession involved the use of a marching band. Throughout history, mobile musicians had been used during funerals, but in New Orleans, the musicians were used in a special manner.

As the marching band led the funeral

procession to the cemetery on the outskirts of the city, the band would play slow, somber music. After the ceremony, the band would again play somber music until the procession reached the gates of the cemetery where the marching band would spontaneously start to

17 play an up-tempo, happy style of music. This fast and lively style of music would lead the funeral procession back to town and hopefully help to psychologically lift the mood of the mourners. Third, along with other aspects of New Orleans' strong economic base, the city had a very special thirty-two block section of town that was called Storyville. Storyville was New Orleans' city sanctioned and regulated "red-light" district. Within each block of Storyville were usually at least four two-story houses of prostitution. The bottom floor usually was a saloon, while the top floor contained rooms for their "business" propositions. These saloons, as with many nightclubs of today, strove to have the newest and most popular music of the time performed live during business hours for their customers' enjoyment and relaxation. The hot, new music of the time was New Orleans Dixieland; thus the Storyville saloons provided ample employment for jazz musicians. As New Orleans Dixieland began to evolve, certain instrumental and stylistic characteristics became evident. A standard instrumentation consisted of trumpet (or cornet), clarinet, trombone, banjo, tuba, and drums. These bands also had to march during parades and funeral processions; thus the above instruments were all capable of being portable and available for a marching band. The trumpet was usually the loudest instrument of the Dixieland bands, and most of the time the trumpet player was the leader of the band. The trumpet player/leader was often called "King." The main musical role of the trumpet was to supply the melody line and to offer improvisations. Usually the trumpet player could alter the melody to suit an improvisatory style; yet the melody would not be changed to the extent that the public could not easily recognize the melody. Basically the trumpeter, by his own creativity, could give the tune a stronger momentum and hopefully make it more enjoyable for the listening public.

18 The clarinet supplied harmonies and counter-melodies above the pitch center of the trumpet. A clarinet is not as loud as a trumpet, but it has the capability to play fast and at times, quite high pitches. A good clarinet player can add even more forward momentum to the ensemble.

The counter-melodies and harmonies the clarinetist

supplied were usually improvised, thus adding a different sound during each performance. The third member of a Dixieland band's wind section, the trombone, supplied harmonies and improvisations below the pitch level of the trumpet. With its slide, the trombonist had the opportunity to easily use pitch-bends (a very popular musical device in jazz). The use of the trombone's slide can create pitches that fall between the set pitches of our tuning system. With all three wind instruments playing the music, a polyphonic musical texture was created. Each instrument contributed to a musical ebb and flow that helped set the unique sound of New Orleans style Dixieland. Along with the wind section, the Dixieland bands used a rhythm section consisting of tuba, banjo, and percussion. The tuba supplied the bass line while the banjo provided steady chordal progressions.

The drums or percussion instrument set the

rhythmic beat. One of the most important and influential musicians of the era was King Oliver. Oliver, a trumpet player/leader, was highly respected and he had the foresight to include many of the top musicians of the time in his bands. Some of the musicians that Oliver hired for his bands would go on to become famous in their own careers, including the great Louis Armstrong, who for a while was a member of Oliver's band. At the end of World War I, part of New Orleans' economic base evaporated with the scale-back of the large Navy base. A civic reform movement also closed down

19 Storyville. With the loss of many nightclubs and places of employment, some of the musicians started to migrate to other parts of the United States, most notably, Chicago. With this migration of musicians to Chicago, the next style of jazz would soon evolve.


The l920s in American history is remembered as the "Roaring Twenties" and the "Jazz Age." After World War I, America was a new world super-power with a full decade of great economic prosperity. Hemlines of dresses were rising, along with the stock market, and the mood of the American people soared. Women were finding new social and political freedoms. American society was in an experimental mode and jazz, America's music, was in the forefront of American society. Many of the great New Orleans jazz musicians, including King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, had migrated north to Chicago and were now performing in the vibrant environment of the city. Chicago of the l920s was a thriving metropolis, even though gangsters and organized crime (including Al Capone) controlled the city government, Chicago would provide a fertile soil for a new style of jazz. In the l920s, radio gained national success and became very important to American society. Many homes had a radio as a standard feature and the population could listen to live broadcasts daily. Included in these broadcasts were jazz musicians and their music. All of America could hear the new art form, jazz. Along with radio, the recording industry was beginning. The home phonograph was made available to the American public and jazz musicians began to make recordings for the listening public. Even though the recording technology of the l920s was very crude compared to today's standard, the public clamored for this new entertainment

20 medium.

Along with the general public, musicians could listen to other artists'

recordings and learn from them. The recording industry not only provided income to musicians and exposed the public to their music; it was also an educational device for the musicians themselves. Chicago-style Dixieland differed from the previous style of New Orleans Dixieland in several ways.

Chicago Dixieland groups were generally larger, with

additions of more wind instruments, such as saxophones or perhaps extra trumpets. Improvised solos became more elaborate and technical. The quality of the musicians' technical musical training improved. Slowly the guitar replaced the banjo and the more agile string bass replaced the tuba. Since these bands did not have to march, as the New Orleans bands did, pianos and other non-portable instruments could also be added to the Chicago style Dixieland bands. The actual musical compositions became more elaborate, with more complex harmonies, melodies, and written sections. These new compositions included actual beginnings and endings to the songs, along with written backgrounds during improvised solos. Some of the musicians that rose to prominence during this era were Don Redman (saxophone/arranger), Bix Beiderbecke (trumpet), Fletcher Henderson (band leader), Jelly Roll Morton (piano/composer), and Kid Ory (trombone/composer). Another musician who grew in maturity and popularity during this era was the jazz immortal, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong (trumpet). Armstrong was so important to the evolution of jazz that some people even call him the "father" of jazz. As Armstrong aged, other jazz musicians would call him "Pops" as a sign of respect. Armstrong was one of the first great individual soloists in jazz history and his improvisational advances helped to determine that post-Armstrong solos were usually individual and not group improvisations as was the case in earlier styles. Satchmo was

21 also one of the first jazz musicians to refine a rhythmic conception which abandoned the stiffness of ragtime, employed swing eighth note patterns, and used a style of playing that almost sounded as if he were playing behind the beat. All of these elements combined to form a more relaxed feeling or what later became known as the jazz “swing feeling.” Armstrong brought about a superb well paced, almost dramatic jazz solo conception. He always seemed to be thinking ahead so that his musical thoughts would build tensions and follow a truly musical construction, including solos that were not just embellishments of the tune, but were actually newly composed melodies based on the chord progression (this musical concept is used today in jazz improvisation). Satchmo's command of the trumpet surpassed his predecessors' and became a model for those who followed in his footsteps. Armstrong had a “fat” trumpet tone, a tone that awed his audiences and fellow musicians. Besides this exciting trumpet tone, his range was incredibly advanced for his time. Along with his trumpet performance, Armstrong had a unique singing style that was also an influence on jazz singers. He popularized a form of vocal jazz improvisation called "scat" singing. In scat, the jazz vocalist improvises with syllables instead of words and the improvised melodic line is similar to the sound of an instrumentalist improvising. Louis Armstrong was one of the first great American popular musicians. Not only was he an excellent musician, he was also an exciting entertainer. Armstrong could make audiences enjoy themselves the world over. Armstrong's humor and personality is reflected through a brief insight given by the great jazz musician, Lionel Hampton, concerning a concert they gave at the San Remo Song Festival in Italy: "But the Holy Father [the Pope] had listened to the program, and he picked out two stars to be his guests--me and Louis. We went to Rome to see him at the Vatican. He treated us beautifully. He said if there's one thing we should see at the Vatican, it has to be the catacombs. Louis said, 'What's that?' And the people said, 'It's way down in the basement, where they keep all the dead saints.' Louis looked at the Holy Father and said,

22 'Hey, pops. I'm splitting because I'm a Baptist. I'm not going down to look at no dead things.'" 1 Armstrong was a true international artist and was highly respected by musicians from around the globe. Most likely jazz would not be where it is today had Louis Armstrong not given his musical gifts to the people of the world.

7. BIG BAND SWING (1932-l945)

The stock market crash of 1929 set the stage for the following economic destruction that would become known as the Great Depression. After the economic boom and social expansion of the l920s, America experienced a significant change. At the peak of the depression, the work force had a 25 percent unemployment rate combined with a large percentage of people under-employed. As mentioned before, the arts are always greatly affected by economics and the l930s and l940s were no exception to that rule. During the very early thirties as people's incomes dropped, numerous small nightclubs started to fold because they did not have the financial resources to continue operations.

What the entertainment industry soon discovered was that if larger

nightclubs were opened, the proprietor could charge less per customer and still make a profit by drawing a larger number of customers. To fill these new, larger nightclubs with a musically pleasing volume of sound, bands slowly had to enlarge their instrumentation. By enlarging the band's instrumentation, a foundation was developing which helped create a new style of jazz. Big Band Swing would become the most popular style of jazz and would have a world wide sociological and musical impact. 1Joe

Smith, Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music, ed. Mitchell Fink (New York: Warner Books, l988), 5.

23 Before the true big band swing style developed, a sub-style of jazz, known as Preswing, evolved as a transition during the very early l930s.

As bands started to

experiment with larger instrumentations, the sound of the music changed. Chicago Dixieland bands consisted of four to five wind instruments plus a rhythm section, but the new pre-swing bands began to incorporate seven to eight winds plus the rhythm section. The winds slowly became divided into the woodwind section (saxophones and clarinets) and the brass section (trumpets and trombones). With the increase of instrumentation, more performance control was required; thus the art of jazz arranging evolved. Fletcher Henderson and Don Redman were both influential in this new orchestration technique. Henderson adopted the policy of the independent use of the woodwind, brass, and rhythm sections along with the use of independent solos. This orchestration foundation is still used today. These new bands of the early l930s did not contain two of the most important aspects of the swing era, swinging the eighth notes and the full big band size. In a very short period, the sub-style of pre-swing would evolve into one of the most popular of all jazz styles, Big Band Swing. The swing era of jazz was incredibly popular with American and international populations. Both adults and young people both enjoyed this new style. The bands became larger and their audiences grew with a steady increase in devotion and excitement. A standard instrumentation evolved during this era, an instrumentation still in popular use today. This standard instrumentation consists of the woodwind or saxophone section (five saxophones: two altos, two tenors, and one baritone), the trumpet section (four trumpets), the trombone section (four trombones), and the rhythm section (piano, guitar, string bass, and percussion). The trumpet and trombone sections combined are

24 called the brass section. Some of the wealthier big bands even included vocalists and string sections. The largest big bands could be up to fifty musicians. Even though the preceding instrumentation is considered the "standard", many of the famous bands altered it to create their own unique sound. All swing bands did not sound alike. The top bands made a conscious effort to be unique. For example, Glenn Miller used a clarinet lead in his woodwind section and Woody Herman used the "four brothers" sound of three tenors and one baritone sax instead of the standard saxophone section. Generally speaking, big band music was for dancing, and during this era dancing was very popular. The jitterbug dance evolved during the swing era, and the big band audiences loved the jitterbug dancing as well as slow dancing to the big band's ballads (a ballad is a slow, usually romantic, big band composition). During the depression people wanted to forget their hard times, and dancing, along with listening to big band swing, was just the entertainment and escape Americans needed. Even small towns had a large dance hall that could possibly hold up to five thousand dancers. During dances, at which the major bands would perform, part of the audience would rush the stage just to listen to the musicians (very similar to rock concerts today) while the remainder of the audience would dance. The recording industry grew in power and influence during this era. To fit within the time allotment of the records (usually 2 1/2 to 3 minutes), the bands had to record brief, powerful versions of songs that lasted much longer when performed live. These records were listened to at home, on the phonographs of the time, or perhaps the records were enjoyed on the many jukeboxes located in places of business throughout America. The American population (especially the younger segment) clamored to hear the newest recordings and the live performances of their favorite bands.

25 Many big bands were also used in Hollywood movies. Musicians could help promote or sell the movie and Hollywood used many of the popular big bands as a drawing card. There were many important musicians in this era. Most ended up with bands of their own, even though they may have begun their careers in other bands. One of the most popular and well known big band leaders was the "King of Swing," Benny Goodman (clarinet). Goodman's clarinet playing was exemplary and it forced other clarinet players to try to achieve his performance quality. Along with his excellent clarinet ability and his impeccable musical leadership, Goodman also helped to break down the racial barriers in the entertainment world. By hiring great AfricanAmercian musicians such as Lionel Hampton (vibraphone) and Teddy Wilson (piano) and by Goodman's refusing to perform if all of his musicians were not allowed to participate (some communities, movies, and concerts would not accept racially mixed bands), Goodman helped to force society to liberalize racial barriers. A magazine article written by Nat Hentoff ("T.V. Guide," March, l5, l986) as a preview for a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) special on Benny Goodman traces some of Goodman's musical experiences. The following are excerpts from the previously mentioned article: "The real beginning," as Benny Goodman puts it, was in August l935 at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. He and his year-old band had dragged into California after a dismal series of one-nighters across the country. Even though the band had been heard on network radio earlier in the year and had recordings out, the tour was going so badly that it was almost canceled before the players got to the West Coast. But at the Palomar, Goodman decided that if he and the band were going to disappear, they might as well swing into oblivion as hard and joyously as they could. Taking out the Fletcher Henderson arrangements he and his sidemen [slang for band members] especially liked, Benny let go. Half the dancers stopped dancing and gathered round the band, swaying and cheering, and the news began to go around the Nation that the swing era had begun.

26 By l937, when the Goodman band played the Paramount theater in New York, teenagers started lining up at the box office at 7 in the morning. "The theater," Benny recalls, "was completely full an hour before we were suppose to go on, and when we finally came up on the rising platform, the noise sounded like Times Square on New Year's Eve." For the rest of the big-band era into the l940s, Benny Goodman remained by far the most popular of the swing-era band leaders. And this was truly popular music, pulsing across the generation--the last time parents and their children enjoyed the same kind of musical kicks. The dramatic impact of the Goodman band did not come from the personality of the leader. Goodman was, and is [Goodman was alive when this article was written], shy. He has no skill at small talk or at being ingratiating. He was, however, obsessive about having a brisk, precise, sharply disciplined band that made the crackling ensemble passages sound and look breathtaking. Goodman also had a shrewd ear for risk-taking soloists at whom the crowd would marvel for the daring of their improvisations: soloists such as Harry James, Bunny Berigan, Ziggy Elman, Gene Krupa, and Lionel Hampton. Because Benny had no patience with slipshod musicianship, his orchestra always came on the stand like the New York Yankees of the big bands. The leader's nickname among his musicians was "The Ray." As I have seen, during a rehearsal, if he heard a wrong or missing note, Goodman would fix the miscreant with a baleful stare that would have made Medussa's a mild wink by comparison. "I didn't ask for good musicianship," Benny once said. "I insisted on it. When somebody let me and the band down, I let him know it. I lived that music and expected everybody to live it too." Goodman was harder on the clarinetist than on anyone else. Harry James used to say that Benny would practice his instrument "15 times more than the entire Goodman orchestra combined." . . . Another reason the Goodman bands had a special aura was that Benny knew how to listen to advice. His principal adviser through the years was John Hammond, who has discovered more world-class jazz figures than any other layman. One of them was guitarist Charlie Christian, whom Hammond persuaded Benny to add to the band. Hammond had earlier been responsible for Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton joining Goodman. Benny Goodman is not what anyone would call a political activist, but by hiring Wilson and Hampton [both black musicians], he did become the first white band leader to integrate his forces. And when the pressure came down on Benny to play a dance date or a movie without his black players, he turned on "The Ray" and would not budge. As when, while making the movie "Hollywood Hotel" in l937, Goodman was told to omit his quartet with Wilson and Hampton and just feature his big band. That way the racists could come see the movie too. Benny, however, played it his way.


In Stanley Dance's "The World of Swing," Lionel Hampton says of Benny's historic breaking down of the color line, "Benny pushed me to star, and this was before Jackie Robinson [first black major league baseball player] and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Benny took us all over the country, all over the South, and insisted we stay in the same hotel." It wasn't only that Goodman would not allow anyone with whom he was associated to be demeaned. He had great respect for superior improvisers, and letting them be humiliated would be the same as letting their music be humiliated. For all his strong disinclination to verbalize what he feels, Benny loves the music. As Lionel Hampton says, "When Charlie Christian and I would play and get into a terrific grove, you could see tears come into his eyes. He had that soul, that feeling. He wasn't doing it just for money." . . . "Well," Benny has said, "you might say that a guy had to prove himself--or make a name for himself--before I'd know who he was." To this day, of course, everybody knows the name of "The King of Swing."

Glenn Miller (trombone) was another popular big band leader. His band's classic, "In the Mood," could almost be thought of as the theme song of the big band era. Miller joined the armed services (as did many musicians) during World War II and helped in the war effort by performing throughout the world (Miller was killed during the war while on active duty). A member of Glenn Miller's band, Tex Beneke, discusses what is was like being in Miller's band: "He expected everybody to be dressed immaculately at all times. All the jackets had to be buttoned, the handkerchiefs had to be just right in the pockets. The shoes and socks had to match. There was no such thing as a man crossing his legs on the bandstand, one leg over the other. . . We went into the Paramount for one of those long six- or eight-week engagements, and Glenn told us, 'You've got three days to memorize the whole show. The music stands are coming out at the end of the third night. We're going to sit up there and we're going to play the entire show, top to bottom, without anyone having a note of music in front of him.' It looked fantastic. The audience ate it up. They thought, 'Wow! How can they do that?'. . .

28 Records were everything to us, those thirty-five cent Bluebirds. Glenn watched the charts like crazy to see where he was standing in regard to record sales. He was the first one, you know, to ever be given a gold record ("Chattanooga Choo Choo")." 2 There were so many important, creative musicians during this time that only a brief listing can be accomplished in this limited synopsis. Some of the great musicians during this era were: William "Count" Basie (piano); Harry James (trumpet); Duke Ellington (piano/composer); Billie Holiday (vocal); Ella Fitzgerald (vocal); Woody Herman (clarinet/saxophone); Tommy Dorsey (trombone); Jimmy Dorsey (saxophone); Coleman Hawkins (saxophone); Lester Young (saxophone); and Artie Shaw (clarinet). ARTIE SHAW: "In l938, I was the highest-paid band leader in America, and yet I was beleaguered. The audience would not support me if I did what I wanted to do. I had to do what they wanted me to do. Music to order. . . . T.S. Elliot once made a very smart remark. He said, 'No one who ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards.' You get monumentalized, you take yourself too seriously. The best music I made was when people left me alone. . . . At the peak of that l938 band, I was making $60,000 a week, which is the equivalent of $600,000 today. It seemed insane. I began to ask myself, 'How can I make $60,000 a week when the first clarinet in the philharmonic [symphony orchestra] only gets $150.00 a week'?. . . It began to dawn on me that it was lunacy. . . . I was enjoying myself, but that's when the demon 'success' hit. Or the 'bitch goddess,' as Harry James used to say. . . . I was through with playing. I never touched the instrument again." 3 The start of World War II signaled the beginning of the end of the big band era. Gasoline and tires were rationed;

so travel by large bands very difficult.


musicians were drafted, or they volunteered for the armed services, thus reducing the talent for the bands. America loved the swing era, but jazz continued its evolution into the next jazz style, Bop.


Smith, Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music, ed. Mitchell Fink (New York: Warner Books, l988), 3. 3Joe Smith, Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music, ed. Mitchell Fink (New York: Warner Books, l988), 1-2.

29 8. BOP (1945-1950)

As with many styles of music, styles that follow one another may be artistic revolts against the preceding style. Bop jazz (sometimes called Be-bop or Re-bop), was such a phenomenon. During the swing era the bands were large and thus required certain musical restrictions. When groups are large, confinement is necessary or cacophony is the result. The new bop musicians resented these restrictions and decided to challenge swing's convictions. World War II was being fought and the world was full of tension and turmoil. Art, at times, has the tendency to reflect society and perhaps bop was reflecting what was happening in the world.

By using brilliant flashes of melodic construction, a new

complex elaboration of harmonic chord changes, and new freedoms in rhythmic concepts, bop musicians strove to expand jazz music. Big band jazz used large ensembles, but bop generally reverted to almost Dixieland-style instrumentation of a rhythm section and two or three winds. (Occasionally one could hear a big band using the bop style during this era.) Since the bop musician desired more freedom than swing allowed, his compositions were not as rigid and complex as swing's were. Usually a melody was composed of perhaps eight bars, repeated, with the next eight bars different, then followed by the original eight, thus creating thirty-two bars or an AABA construction. This would be called the "head" of the chart (composition) and after the original statement a middle section would be improvised usually consisting of several 32 bar lines. The bop composition would end with the return of the "head" with an entire overall form of A B A (A=head, B= extended improvised section, and A= return of the

30 head). Even the original tune was many times just played in unison by the wind section, thus keeping a minimal amount of prearrangement. By stretching the limits of melody and harmony, the bop musician strove to find fresh and new sounds. Chord substitutions became common even during performances. The use of the rhythm section changed during the bop era. In the swing era the rhythm section was basically used to keep the large ensemble together, but during bop each member became a soloist with a different function. The string bass became the standard time keeper along with laying down the harmonic foundation. The percussionist began to play more melodically by using the bass drum, cymbals (except for the ride cymbal which was used to assist with time keeping), and snare drum more for accents and less for solid time. With the invention of the amplifier and speaker, the guitar became equal in improvisational capability. Perhaps the two most important changes during the bop era were the musician's attitude and the change of the music's philosophy. No longer was jazz a music to be danced to (one would have a difficult time attempting to dance to many bop compositions), but it was now a concert music to be listened to intently. Bop musicians developed an attitude that was almost anti-audience. The bop musician's music was, "Art for art's sake." If the public enjoyed their music fine, if the public did not enjoy their music, fine too. The bop musicians even dressed in a unique manner, different from the standard public attire of the day. The word "hip" and "hipster" were coming into vogue. Bop almost became a lifestyle. Two











(saxophone/composer) and Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet/composer). Both of these excellent musicians made significant advances in the art of improvisation and in the technical quality of jazz performance.

31 Other influential bop musicians included: Ray Brown (bass); Charlie Mingus (bass); Thelonious Monk (piano/composer [also associated with the Cool era of jazz]); Bud Powell (piano); J.J. Johnson (trombone); Kenny Clarke (drums), and early Miles Davis (trumpet). Bop was a revolt against the restrictions of swing so the next style of jazz, Cool, was perhaps a revolt against the extremes of bop.

9. COOL (l950-l955)

After World War II, many of the musicians who served in the armed forces became eligible for college, most for the very first time because of the government's new program, the G.I. Bill. By graduation, these new college students brought into jazz some new classical music elements along with some experimental musical elements. Cool jazz was a contrast to the previous jazz style bop. Whereas bop jazz was fast and turbulent, cool jazz was more of a restrained chamber music, laid back, and mellow. Bop jazz could almost be thought of as bright colors such as red and green while cool jazz could be compared to the pastel colors such as soft blue. The classical influence could be heard in some of the new instruments introduced to jazz during the cool era. Such orchestral instruments as the oboe, bassoon, French horn, and the fluegal horn were becoming a part of cool jazz ensembles. Experimentation with classical forms and with odd time meters began in cool jazz. This style of jazz, like bop, was for listening and not for dancing. With the advent of long-playing records, jazz musicians found new freedom for their compositions and, most important, for their improvisations. The length of both

32 compositions and improvised solos were now flexible. Strict adherence to bar lines was slowly eliminated and solos could now finish wherever the musical thoughts ended. One of the most important cool era musicians was the jazz pianist/composers, Dave Brubeck. Mr. Brubeck elaborates on part of his life: ". . . Early on people would say about me, 'He has black blood in him.' I was in college, working in places like Cool Corner in Stockton, California. I was usually the only white person in the club. No one in college could understand why I'd be down there working every night. . . . I was on the cover of Time magazine in l954 [and] a lot of people think my career started with my Time Out album, but I can't stress enough how important those early years were, the period when the quartet [Dave Brubeck Quartet] first got going, when we played nothing but standards. In those years, almost every job I took I was lucky to break even. You'd work for [union] scale and then have to give half the money back to the guy who owned the club. I'd get a check, then endorse it back to the owner. Maybe we'd wind up with twenty dollars a week, some ridiculous amount. . . . I relate back to being white and playing in all black places. . . A lot of the clubs would have a rope down the middle with all the black people on one side and all the whites on the other. It didn't take long before everyone began ignoring the rope and having a good time. But I would not play a club unless it was integrated. . . . Like Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Beethoven, critics also bothered me. I've been out on tour with guys who were so loaded they couldn't even go out and play, and yet they'd go out, destroy themselves, and then get a good review. They were people the critics knew. Unbelievable. In good papers. My favorite was one night when we played Carnegie Hall. That night I had it planned for all of us to be playing this one piece in a different time signature. It came off perfectly, and the next day the critics said, 'They couldn't even keep time together.' " 4

Some other influential musicians of the cool era were: Miles Davis (trumpet); Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone); Stan Getz (Tenor Sax); Gil Evans (arranger); George Shering (piano); Paul Desmond (alto sax) [member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet]; Clark Terry (Fluegal Horn/ trumpet); Lee Konitz (alto sax), and John Coltrane (alto, tenor sax [also a very important musician from avant-garde jazz]).


Off the Record, 50-51.

33 The following is an excerpt from an article written by Michael Bourne on the jazz musician, Gerry Mulligan. 5 "When I was a kid growing up, there was a lot of music on the radio," states composer/arranger and baritone sax great Gerry Mulligan, "and I loved the bands. There was a lot of variety among the bands. They ran the gamut. And for a kid growing up it was an exciting time. The bands were important. The leaders were famous, respected. I liked the music from the time I was little; everything, classical, jazz, show music, whatever I could hear." Was there a moment when he'd known he'd become a musician himself? "It was conditioned in me from childhood to have a band, to write for bands, to play with bands. I have a feeling that no matter what era I lived in, a hundred years ago or a hundred years from now, I'd always be interested in orchestration. . . . . I really wanted to go to music school and study composition but I never got the chance. My family thought I was crazy, that I was being cute and showing off. 'He'll come to his senses and someday want to be something real!' But, of course, I never did. I never came to my senses. To me the music was real.". . . . It was in the later l940s that Mulligan became a sensation as both a baritone player and a writer, working with Miles Davis on what was called "The Birth Of The Cool." The Miles Davis Nonet--featuring Lee Konitz on Alto, J.J. Johnson or Kai Winding on the trombone, John Lewis at the piano, among others. . . . . Working with a nine-piece ensemble became, in retrospect, a natural evolution for Mulligan away from bands and into the combos. . . . ."I evolved into a small band context more because all my friends were playing in small bands: Brew Moore, George Wallington, Kai Winding. It was logical. That was really the end of the big band era. Economically the bands were being strangled." What with "entertainment" taxes, the Musicians Union strike, changes in clubs, changes in taste, and all the other factors, Mulligan watched the bands he loved falling apart. "It made me so sad to see my heroes not being able to function anymore, especially to see what happened to Claude Thornhill. That band was so beautiful and was popular, and then next thing he's working with smaller and smaller bands trying to sound like a big band. It was heartbreaking.". . . . . Gerry Mulligan is older now, 61 last April [l988], yet what's most obvious when he's talking about music is that he's nonetheless that kid who listened to the radio and dreamed of playing. "People don't always learn right away, and sometimes never learn, that to survive as a professional musician, or anything else for that matter, you have to maintain your enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm it really doesn't mean a damn thing. And don't be looking for things outside yourself to provide enthusiasm. It has to come from inside. You must be self-motivated to spend your life with music. Something as difficult, as stress-making as being a professional musician--if you don't have enthusiasm, if you can't keep it going inside yourself, look for something else. 5Michael

Bourne, "Singing a Song of Mulligan," Downbeat, January l989, 23-25.

34 Another thing I try to get across to young musicians is: don't disregard your history. One of the things I like about jazz, and this was 40-50 years ago, was that there was a tradition going on, and I liked the tradition. I admired the musicians who went before: Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, the band leaders, the writers, Sy Oliver, wonderful people like that. Everybody was putting in their best efforts. Everybody was trying to make his own mark but there was a feeling of a concerted effort for an overall excellence. People were trying their best, and I think they did it. There is a mainstream and each succeeding generation becomes part of the mainstream. But don't lose sight that the mainstream goes a long way back. I think it's a good idea to explore it and be able to understand why the music had the attraction it did. What is the magnetism that made the music what it is?" Through the years he's played around the mainstream, played with everyone: Ellington and Monk, Dizzy and Bird, Coleman Hawkins. Name them and he's played with them. "Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Pee Wee Russell, Pres, Billie Holiday. They were nice people. I was lucky. That's what I wanted--to have the opportunity to play with those people and be accepted by them as a musician and friend." He's known the greats--and Gerry Mulligan has become one himself.

By the mid l950s, jazz was stretching the boundaries of popular music to its very limits and a new style of music to be known in the future as “Rock and Roll” would slowly become the new American popular art form. Jazz continued to expand into new musical territories where perhaps a popular music cannot easily travel. Jazz had become a true art form, the only indigenous American art form. Jazz had not only made its mark in America, but now had become important to the international music scene.

10. Pre-Rock

By the late l940s, the popular music of America, jazz, was going through an important transformation.

From the first major style of jazz, Ragtime, jazz was

danceable; thus jazz could fulfill the definition of a popular music. But by the Swing Era, jazz was beginning to be also concert music and once Bop became the new style of

35 jazz, all ability to dance to the jazz style evaporated.

This was not a negative

development for the true artistic and musical elements of jazz; yet the fact that jazz was difficult to dance to by the Bop era destroyed the role of jazz as the American popular musical style. After World War II, America emerged as a world super power with a very powerful and prosperous economy. The American people after the ravages of the Great Depression and the turmoil of World War II now had growing disposable income to spend however the public desired. Before the l950s, American society was divided into two major age groups, adults and children. But in the early l950s, a new age sub-group began to form in America and in other countries of the western world. This new section of society would soon become known as “teenagers.” These teenagers would be a separate entity, not quite adults yet not children and, as the group evolved, it would seek its own unique identity and purpose. This "baby-boom" generation (those born from approximately l942-64) would have a profound effect on American society. Along with the sheer numbers of the new teenager sub-class, the baby-boomers had one other power that would shape American society: a new power of economic clout! America was prosperous and teenagers shared in the prosperity. Record companies in the late l940s and l950s featured three major recording charts (a chart is a listing of songs by a major musical style). These three major charts were the Pop chart, Rhythm and Blues chart, and the Country and Western chart. The Pop chart had by far the most economic power especially since the major record companies controlled it. These major record companies had a vast network of distribution throughout America and the world. Pop music consisted of big stars who sang and performed a very conservative and non-threatening style of music (actually a

36 very watered down version of Jazz). Its lyrics consisted basically of white middle class sentimentality and were safe and clean. Some of Pop's major artists included Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Doris Day. Rhythm and Blues was a hard driving music with earthy, sexual, and tangible lyrics set upon a 12 bar blues harmonic foundation (and with many other elements of jazz). Unlike Pop, Rhythm and Blues (R+B) did not attempt to be squeaky clean. Its lyrics could consist of any subject the composer or performer felt was fitting for the message of the song, be it sex or an everyday occurrence. This style was not popular throughout the country (as Pop was) but seemed to concentrate around the major urban centers or in the South.

Major record companies would seldom touch R+B music

because of its content and because of the African-American artists who were its primary performers. Independent record companies were the primary suppliers of R+B, but unlike the powerful major labels, the independents did not have extensive distribution networks nor large financial foundations; thus R+B could only have limited exposure. Some important musicians from the Rhythm and Blues style of the early l950s include Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, and Muddy Waters. One of the great R&B artists was Muddy Waters (born McKinley Morganfield in l915). Muddy Waters had a dramatic influence on many styles of American popular music. As a performer, writer, preserver of traditional African-American music, and pioneer electric guitarist, Waters contributed to developments in blues, R&B, country, and rock. One of his most famous songs, "Rollin' Stone," inspired the name of the British rock group (Rolling Stones), a song by Bob Dylan, and an important rock magazine, The Rolling Stone. 6


Stambler, The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock, and Soul, revised edition, (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989), 731.

37 Another important early R&B artist was Ray Charles.

The following is an

excerpt from an article (interview) written by Jeff Levenson featured in the January l989 edition of Downbeat magazine. 7 JL: Ray, let's talk about singers. Aside from Nat [King] Cole, have other classic jazz singers influenced you? RC: When I was a youngster, the people I heard were Blind Boy Fuller, Tampa Red, Lonnie Johnson, Joe Turner, and people like that. That was when I was a child-maybe nine, ten, eleven years old. These people were very big. I remember Big Boy Crudup. I don't know if you are familiar with him, but I bet you Elvis Presley knew about him. You better believe he knew about him, because Elvis did some of his stuff--[sings "That's Alright, Mama."] That's where he got that from. Elvis got a lot of stuff, my friend, from the old blues singers. People may not realize it because he never stopped to credit them. I'm not knocking the man and I'm not starting no racial shit or nothing like that. I'm just telling you where the stuff came from. Elvis did "Hound Dog"--that was Big Mama's Thornton's. Elvis did "Jailhouse Rock"--that belonged to a friend of mine, Shifty Henry; he wrote that song. As a matter of fact, if you listen closely you'll hear [Elvis] sing about Shifty--there's a verse in there about him. Shifty Henry was a real person. He got 20 bucks for that song. Twenty fucking dollars. The reason I know this is that Shifty Henry was a very, very good friend of mine. When I first came to L.A. he was one of the few people who took me by the hand and tried to take care of me. The only problem was he was fooling around with drugs and he ended up selling his soul to the devil. You know what I mean? Be that as it may, when I was young coming up the people I listened to were a lot of the people that I later discovered Elvis was listening to. I don't mean no harm, but I'm telling you the truth. On the other hand, these people were my inspiration too. And of course, I always remember the first song that I heard that really captured me, that really made me fall in love with Billie Holiday. She did a song called "Hush Now, Don't Explain." I have to tell you, I never heard anything like that, before or since. It was incredible. JL: What was it about the song that got to you? RC: Something about her voice. Something that was so haunting. Billie Holiday was one of those people--you've got to give them credit, these singers who came up in the early years--who were so unique they could say one word and you knew who they were. One word! You never had to ask who was singing when Ella Fitzgerald opened her mouth. You didn't have to ask nobody. 7Jeff

Levenson, "What'D I Say--A Conversation With Ray Charles," Downbeat, January l989, 17-19.

38 And that's the thing I miss today in our modern society,. . . .The record companies want [youngsters] to sound like whoever had the last hit. . . . We're in a kind of lull, right now. . . . I'm very saddened because I don't see a lot of youngsters coming up to where you can say, "Hey man, give this guy another three or four years and he's going to be a bitch." I'm talking about originality. I'm talking about somebody who has a sound of his or her own--they've got it, it belongs to them. That's what I'm looking for and that's what I'm not seeing. JL: Why is it different today than when you were coming up? RC: What we had then that we don't have today, is a lot of small record companies. In fact, Atlantic was very small. . . . When I was coming up, I was blessed, man, because I was with a company that said, "Hey Ray, you play the music and we'll put it out." That was it. Now you got 15 producers and a guy tells you what song to record. I never had no guy telling me shit like that. . . . JL: Today, how do you feel about performing? RC: Sir, believe me sincerely, my performing is my existence. . . . I really mean this. You have two kinds of people in entertainment. Those who do it on the side, and they can play piano and dab in medicine and do this and that; it's a side thing and they enjoy it. And then you have another kind of person like myself, for whom music is like the bloodstream. It is their total existence. When their music dies, they die. That's me. That's the difference. How can you get tired of breathing? Music is my breathing. That's my apparatus. I've been doing it for 40 years. And I'm going to do it until God himself says, "Brother Ray, you've been a nice horse, but now I'm going to put you out to pasture."

The third popular music chart, Country and Western (C+W), was very different from Country music today. Country and Western music of the l950s was, along with R+B, controlled and marketed by the independent labels and not by the major labels. Country and Western was also called "hillbilly" music. Its audience was basically white and lower to middle class, and it was centered in the southern farm-belt of the United States. Compared to today's Country music, C+W of the l950s was crude and "twangy" with very simple "down-home" lyrics. Unlike R+B's 12 bar blues format, C+W hovered close to American southern folk music in harmony and melody.

39 Several styles of C&W including Western Swing, hillbilly boogie, honky-tonk (when honky-tonk combined with the Blues, a style known as rockabilly was created), and bluegrass, influenced the birth of rock music. 8 American teenagers were looking for a music to call their own and, very simply, this new music would evolve from the combination of the preceding three styles of music. By the l950s, the predominantly white, middle class teenagers were not yet ready for the earthy and sexy lyrics of R+B, but they loved the sound of that music. To accomplish an acceptable blend, white musicians borrowed the R+B sound and combined it with clean Pop style lyrics. Some of the early white stars began their music careers as C+W musicians; thus the C+W influence could also be heard as an ingredient of the new style of American popular music that was evolving. Slowly musicians and audiences began experimenting with this new combination and the new style emerged. According to many rock historians, in l956 came the advent of this new style of American popular music, which would become known as Rock and Roll.

11. Bill Haley and the Comets

In l954, Hollywood released a film entitled, The Blackboard Jungle. This movie explored the rebellious mood of the new social class, the teenager. Singing the title track, "Rock Around the Clock," was Bill Haley and the Comets. The new sound of this song would help ignite the fire of rock and roll. Originally, Bill Haley was a C+W singer. When "Rock Around the Clock" burst on the musical scene, the resultant sound was a mixture of the three major styles of the 8Katherine

Charlton, Rock Music Styles: A History, (Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown, Publishers, l990), 58.

40 day (Pop, R+B, C+W). The melody, harmony, and some of the instrumentation came from R+B, while the lyrics were basically clean Pop lyrics, and the steel guitar and drum clicks were brought over from C+W. A short time after "Rock Around the Clock," Bill Haley released "Dim, Dim the Lights," which actually made number one on the R+B chart (a first for a white band). Bill Haley started to do "cover" versions of famous R+B songs such as "Shake, Rattle, and Roll."

(A "cover" is when a musician re-records a previously released song

originally recorded by another musician) Towards l957, Bill Haley's popularity in America was waning, but he found new audiences in Great Britain. He did a successful tour and stayed in the rock spotlight for a few years more. Even though many other artists performed better than Haley, he can be credited with cracking open the door of rock, thus allowing following rock musicians a chance to push the door open wider.

12. Elvis Aaron Presley

"Wow, looka right here. I don't know who this dude is, but somebody done opened the door."--Jerry Lee Lewis 9

For several years many excellent African-American musicians were creating Rock and Roll, but unfortunately because of their skin color, they would not receive the


Off the Record, 98.

41 promotion and recognition they so richly deserved. The record companies wanted a white musician who was talented enough and who had the right charisma to promote the new sound of rock and roll. Elvis Aaron Presley was that person. Some people said that Elvis sounded "Black," and, if he did, maybe the record companies could use that phenomenon as a process to appeal to the newly created audience clamoring for rock and roll.

Not only did Elvis have an excellent voice

(something many rock singer's do not possess), but he also moved well on stage. Elvis moved so well on stage that many adults found his stage presence repulsive. (Of course the more the adults hated and feared Elvis, the more the teenagers would love him) Adding to Elvis' air of "forbidden fruit," was Elvis' appearance on nationwide television (The Ed Sullivan Show) that would only show Elvis from the waist up! This helped to fuel the curiosity of the teenagers as they wanted to see what was happening from the waist down! Elvis was at the right place at the right time. Meeting important people such as Sam Philips (Sun Records) and later "Colonel" Tom Parker (Elvis' manager) also helped his career. When Tom Parker took over the management of Elvis' career, his career dramatically escalated. Parker's idea was to make Elvis a total "package," including record contracts to RCA, movie contracts, and, perhaps most important, television contracts. Parker was one of the first people to recognize the importance of the new medium, television. Elvis was drafted into the Army in l958 and, as a surprise to many of the American public, he went into the Army without hesitation. After two years Elvis was honorably discharged and, upon his homecoming, he became more popular than ever.

42 Elvis continued to make movies and release songs, but by the early l960s he withdrew from rock.

43 Jerry Lee Lewis recounts an experience with Elvis Presley that could have seriously altered the history of Elvis' career, thus the history of rock music also: "I once went to a party at Jack Clement's house, me and Elvis, and we got naked and rode our motorcycles down the street. Buck naked [later Lewis says Elvis may have had shorts on]. And this policeman on a horse sees us. It was two-thirty, three o'clock in the morning. It was awful. If anybody would have seen us, they never would have bought another record. If that cop would have arrested us, we never would have gotten out of jail." 10

Throughout Elvis' career he made 45 gold records and, most important, he opened the door for many other rock musicians of all ethnic backgrounds. Rock and Roll was now becoming big business and the question was whether rock was merely a "passing fancy" or a musical style that would last and evolve.

13. Shout Singers

Today's rock vocalists have the roots of their vocal styles in the shout singers of rock and roll in the l950s who have their roots in the jazz blues singers of the l930s and l940s. Thus we have a musical tradition of rock growing out of the past styles of jazz. When singing in the shout style, lyrics are sung in a rhythmic manner rather than a smooth lyrical (melodic) line as is usually done in classical music and in many styles of jazz and earlier popular American song forms.

During the l950s, popular music

maintained the "crooning" style popularized by Sinatra, but the new shout style would catch the hungry ears of the teenagers. Two of the early shout singers, Richard Penniman (a.k.a. Little Richard) and Jerry Lee Lewis (a.k.a. The Killer) influenced many musicians,


Off the Record, 99.

44 and both are exemplary of this style. Richard was African-American and Lewis was white; yet they shared a common musical bond, shout singing. Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis are masters of attitude, i.e. "blowing the socks off" of the middle class of the l950s who were filled with pent-up social emotions. Elvis Presley was generally a soft spoken, well mannered southern gentleman, but Richard and Lewis were wild; they seemed almost out of control for the lifestyle of the l950s. Both men sported alien attire including zoot-type suits, bop shirts, fake leopard and lame jackets and longish hair. The two musicians also shared a similar way of playing the piano; they were heavy on a repeated, jabbing motion of the right treble hand along with an unconventional piano posture such as standing-up while playing or even sitting on the keyboard. Little Richard's voice was a screaming machine and when combined with saxophone packed jump bands, his music could really enliven the thrill seeking teenage audiences. His music was based on the sound of R+B with lyrics that had almost no meaning. Jerry Lee Lewis, like Little Richard, was wild on stage. White parents found Lewis more unacceptable because he was white.

Singing songs that were openly

sexually suggestive while pounding disrespectfully on the piano, Lewis could excite teenage audiences and strike fear in their parents. Upsetting parents was a desired goal for many rock musicians. Another shout artist who many people actually consider the "father" of rock and roll, is Chuck Berry (guitar). Not only is Berry a prolific composer (one of the first rock composer/performer), he is also an excellent technical guitarist.

Berry's guitar

performance became an influence on and a model for countless guitarists following him. Unlike Richard and Lewis, Chuck Berry was more reassuring to America's middle class.

45 Topics that were at the center of teen life, such as girls, romance, and cars filled Berry's compositions. Berry reflected the new teenage society and at times, American society in general. Chuck Berry's style in the l950s had a very distinctive sound. He could use the bold "rocking" beat used in "Maybelline," filled out with "rolling" rhythms achieved mainly by swiftly alternating between a handful of chords including the "blues" notes. His compositions also were recognizable by the wailing, fast, high-pitched guitar introductions and the overall impression of speed was strengthened by the machine-gun rhythms of his lyrics along with those lyrics being clearly articulated. 11 Chuck Berry would influence many later rock artists such as the Beachboys, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and even Bob Dylan. The Beatles recorded Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Rock and Roll Music." The Rolling Stone's first single was Berry's "Come On" and later the Stones would perform and record other Berry compositions. Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" was adopted by the Beachboys and by adding new lyrics and a different vocalization became a Beachboy hit titled, "Surfin' USA." When Bob Dylan adopted a harder rock style in l965 with his "Subterranean Homesick Blues," he based the tune, the metric pattern, and even the mood of the lyrics on Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business." 12 A guitarist colleague of Berry's was Buddy Holly. In the few short years before Holly died in a plane crash in l959, he helped to add to and define the role of a rock and roll composer/performer. Originally a C+W musician, Holly had a love of R+B which he used to create a new teen sound. As with Berry, Holly was a fine guitarist and he wrote music the teenagers could relate to and understand.


Holly was a pioneer of the

Hardy and Dave Laing, Encyclopedia of Rock, (New York: Schirmer Books, l988), 48-49. 12Ibid., 49.

46 subsequently standard two guitar, bass, and drums rock band line-up and of the recording technique called double-tracking. 13

14. The Teen Idol Era (late 50s/ early 60s)

During the first couple of years of rock, many people, including the major record companies, believed that this new music would be just another American passing fad. Once the major record labels realized their mistake, they tried to rectify it by participating in the new music. Major labels tried to determine what the teenagers wanted and then manufacture a musical product to fit the need. This product became known as the "Teen Idol Era." By the late 1950s, many of rock's early pioneers were no longer participating in the rock scene. Elvis was in the Army, Little Richard had joined a Christian ministry, Buddy Holly had died in a plane crash, Chuck Berry was in jail, and Jerry Lee Lewis was in disfavor for marrying his fourteen year old cousin before divorcing his previous wife. (Jerry Lee Lewis comments on the problem he faced with the public, "In this business, whatever you do you answer to the public. . . When I married my cousin, I paid. . . Everybody warned me--Sam Philips, Judd Philips. They Said, 'Oh, Jerry Lee, you are going to ruin the greatest career in the world if you marry her.' Even Elvis. He laughed. Elvis Presley said, 'You're not going to marry this little girl, are you? This is a joke, isn't it?' I said, 'No, I'm going to marry her.' And he said, 'Well, God bless you, Jerry Lee. You just saved my career.' ") 14 Since the records companies believed there was money to be made along with the major rock stars out of the way, the record companies saw a vacuum and decided to fill it with the new Teen Idols. 13Ibid.,

218. Off the Record, 97-98.


47 Instead of producing true musical artists, the record companies created squeaky clean singers that were hired not for their singing ability but for the image that the record companies wanted to package. Most of these new teen idols were very young and inexperienced. These idols included Paul Anka, Frankie Avalon, Fabian Forte, Bobby Rydell, and Neil Sedaka. The music they performed was wholesome and reflective of a clean and innocent type of romance--nothing beyond holding hands with a possible occasional kiss. Adults had no fear of these idols, and because the adults loved to have their children listen to the teen idols, they gave them money to purchase the records. During this era, and for several years preceding the era, many white musicians would do cover versions of R&B songs. A "cover" version was a song that was rerecorded, usually with "cleaned-up" lyrics and a more polished, packaged sound. A Teen Idol who was famous for doing "covers" was Pat Boone. Mr. Boone discusses the cover record: "Regarding this thing about covers, everybody was aware that the original artists were not going to get played on 90 percent of the radio stations in America. They were not going to play an R&B record by Chuck Berry, or Fats Domino, or Little Richard. In fact, the original artists hoped and prayed their records would get covered by someone who could get airplay because it meant their records were going to get more recognition in their own field. It would change later on, and the cover record would become virtually nonexistent, but we were sort of like catalysts who helped R&B become rock 'n' roll. It was not until the covers died that I became aware of how people had looked down their noses at us. . . . I felt a great sense of camaraderie with the original artists. I knew I was benefiting them as writers. I had to change the lyrics to several of Little Richard's songs. The changes were minor, but they were important to me. And they didn't seem to bother him. Part of "Tutti-Fruitti" went, 'Boy, you don't know what she's doing to me.' I just couldn't sing that, so I sang, 'Pretty little Suzie is the right girl for me.' It worked just as well. The kids didn't care. I mean, they weren't listening to the words much anyway." 15


Off the Record, 110.

48 Record companies created packaged promotions to advance their teen idols' careers. Fan magazines were used along with Hollywood "B" movies. The record companies thought they knew exactly what rock was, and for a while the major labels threatened rock with extinction. It was not until the early l960s that true rock was revived, and its evolution could continue.

49 15. Twist Music

Before the early l960s, almost all popular dancing was commonly known as "touch" dancing because the dancers actually touched each other during the dance. With the arrival of the new dance form of l960, The Twist, the manner of dancing in popular society changed.

The Twist became the first major international rock dance form

wherein couples did not touch during the dance.

The Twist immediately became

controversial and some people wondered whether the Twist was truly a dance or a gymnastic event. Of course, the teenagers loved the new dance, especially if the adults disliked it. The leading artist of Twist music was Chubby Checker. In fact, Chubby was so popular with his Twist music that the public would not allow him to sing any other styles of music. Unfortunately for Chubby, if he wanted to work, he needed to perform Twist music, thus limiting his artistic evolution. Twist music is very simple, usually following a 12 bar blues pattern with shout style lyrics. The music has a strong beat, and the songs do not have to carry any true meaning except dance, dance, dance. Chubby Checker discusses the evolution of The Twist: In l959 Kal Mann called me from Cameo and said, "We got this record called 'The Twist.' " I said, "Hank Ballard and the Midnighters did that tune." Kal said, "Yes, I know, but I think we can put a little dance to it, and then you can show the people how it's done." I said OK. I already knew the tune because Hank Ballard was a favorite of mine, one of the great X-rated singers of the fifties. He did songs like "Annie Had a Baby" and "Work with Me, Annie." You couldn't sing songs like that. People thought they were smut. Radio stations didn't play Hank's songs, but the kids loved them. So I went to Cameo-Parkway and we did "The Twist" in three takes. The problem was, how do we explain it to the audience? How do we explain the movement to them. I truly don't know who came up with it, but somebody said, "It's like putting out

50 a cigarette with both feet, and wiping your bottom with a towel, to the beat of the music." That little formula literally changed this planet. . . . In a way, "The Twist" really ruined my life. I was on my way to becoming a big nightclub performer, and "The Twist" just wiped it out. It got so out of proportion. No one ever believes I have talent. 16

From the foundation of the Twist, other popular dances soon followed within the same "couples-apart" formula. Dances such as the Jerk, the Watusi, the Fly, and the Pony became briefly popular. As mentioned before, for a music to have popular music stature, it must be a type of music that one could easily dance to, and Twist music, along with other types of rock music, would continue that tradition.

16. The Southern California Sound (early l960s)

To many people in the early l960s, especially teenagers, southern California was almost a fantasyland. California had the glamorous life of Hollywood, the carefree and child-like fun of Disneyland, and the nirvana of teenagers--a constant party scene. Perhaps to many Americans, southern California represented a perfect life and the new rock style emerging from the area would become a musical painting of the fantasy. In the early l900s, southern California was a sparsely populated agricultural area, but by the l950s and early l960s, it was growing fast with a population of people from many parts of America. "Laid-back" lifestyles began to emerge and blend with a very conservative political environment. When it was snowy in the midwest, the population could hear and dream of California's sun, beaches, and "endless" fun through a new style of rock music, the Southern California sound (or sometimes titled “Surf Rock”). 16Smith,

Off the Record, l96-l97.

Surf music is a

51 conservative, simple style of music. Its lyrics reflect the laid-back party atmosphere of the fantasy lifestyle of southern California. Topics of the lyrics include romance, girls, surfing, cars, sun, and the beach. None of these topics roused much controversy as the music attempted to reflect an ideal lifestyle.

The background instrumental music

consisted of simple harmonies and melodies along with simple infectious dance rhythms. Complex sophisticated vocals could be sung with a thick, rich chordal sound including counter-melodies usually sung by a male falsetto. Once this style was created, hundreds of songs matched the sound of the new style; yet one band was the exemplary surf band, The Beachboys. The Beachboys, formed by Brian Wilson in l961, were clean cut and allAmerican in attitude and style. Members of the Beachboys included the teenage Wilson brothers (Brian, Dennis, and Carl), their cousin Mike Love, and their friend, Alan Jardine. Their original name was the Pendletones (after a make of heavy plaid shirt that surfers wore and that became their early uniform), then Carl and the Passions, and finally as the Beachboys. 17 Once Wilson created the sound, it too was packaged and promoted just as Elvis Presley had been in the l950s. The Beachboy sound was full of smooth, rich vocal harmonies, simple lyrics, and unobtrusive instrumental backgrounds, all performed with an excellent musical ensemble. Many of the early Beachboys' hits were composed by the talented Brian Wilson. The early Beachboys continued to highlight their "goodtime" message. Even though some rock critics downplayed the musical qualities of the Beachboys, their music was, and is, extremely popular since it does try to reflect an ideal. Toward the mid l960s, the Beachboys started to change their sound as they were slowly influenced by the Beatles and folk-rock artists such as Bob Dylan. In l966 the Beachboys released their album, Pet Sounds, which contained a much higher level of 17Phil

Hardy and Dave Laing, Encyclopedia of Rock, (New York: Schirmer Books, l988), 37.

52 musical experimentation than in their previous records. During the mid to late l960s, rock was maturing and changing, and so were the Beachboys. Other important surf groups included Jan and Dean, who were good friends of the Beachboys, The Hondas, and the Surfaries. Surf music was a very popular style and the public demanded the sound. Good music does not always have to be socially significant to be popular. At times, an art form which can just make people feel good has a place in artistic history. Surf music was such an art form.

17. Folk-Rock (l960-l965)

When rock music began, the music did not have to accomplish anything except to be fun for teenage audiences. As rock began to mature and grow into a true art form, it was not enough to be just fun; rock music sometimes needed to be serious and to make social commentary. This new important element of rock emerged during the style period known as folk-rock. Usually folk music is a simple art form of the common people; folk music reflects attitudes, cultures, and life styles important to regions and groups of people. Often folk music is vocally dominated with importance placed upon the lyrics. These lyrics are set to music and repeated, creating many stanzas. In America, folk-rock evolved out of this same foundation of musical heritage and tradition. The l960s would be a watershed of social transformation for America. Several important topics would become paramount to the society of the l960s. Folk-rock became a sounding board for Civil rights, the environmental movement, the Vietnam War, and other social concerns of the l960s.

53 Before folk-rock, lyrics in rock music could almost be thought of as ‘throwaway’ lyrics; musical sound and beat were the main concerns of musicians. But during the folk-rock era, lyrics were sometimes more important than the music.


composers were thought of as musician/poets and they would produce social commentary within their music. This era had many important individual musicians and groups. Some, such as Peter, Paul, and Mary, made folk-rock an acceptable performance medium because of their extremely high quality performance standards while others, such as Bob Dylan, were known primarily for the power of their lyrics and musical compositions. Bob Dylan continued the minstrel tradition of conveying messages through words set to music. His singing style (which was crude compared to the classical style) made it almost impossible to misunderstand the meaning of his lyrics, especially since his style of singing had no Pop overtones. Many musicians and audiences treated Dylan almost as a social prophet. Dylan's importance to American popular music, especially rock, cannot be overstated. This style of folk-rock music became very popular on college campuses. Social commentary and action also became an important element in American society especially on the campuses of colleges and universities. An acoustic guitar strapped across the back of a student became a common sight throughout America. An excerpt from an article written in l986 by Sandra Hansen Konte (distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate) offers some insight into this era of rock and to some of its important musicians: Twenty-two years ago this month [Joan] Baez led 1,000 UC Berkeley students in a chorus of "We Shall Overcome" as they occupied Sproul Hall as part of the Free Speech Movement. And 21 years ago, Peter, Paul, and Mary sang "Blowin' in the Wind" while 3,000 people marched on Selma, Alabama.

54 The '60s were an angry, turbulent time, and nothing seemed to exemplify the hopes and dreams of a nation eager for social change more than the protest song. The works of such artists as Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and a young man named Bob Dylan were a mainstay of rallies, sit-ins, and demonstrations. As Bob Dylan's most famous song admonished us, "The Times They Are A Changing," and such stirring anthems served as dramatic background music for young Americans eager to institute those changes. But it is doubtful that young Bob Dylan would have envisioned this scenario for a "world that is rapidly aging." The audience for protest songs has fallen like a famous dragon's green scales. But the fault, some of the medium's greatest performers believe, is not in our stars, but in our times. "Our society is in the midst of a moral, spiritual, and intellectual collapse," says Baez. "Why wouldn't it be? We have a president [Reagan] who likes Rambo and reads Louis L'Amour books. People say we've seen the rebirth of patriotism. But it's a stagnant patriotism." Jesse Colin Young, whose '60s hymn to brotherhood, "Get Together," is one of the most durable songs of that era, still sings about peace, but to smaller and smaller audiences. "People seem unable to deal with the issues of our time, like the threat of nuclear war," he says. "They can't confront their own fears on a real level, and are resistant to anyone they think is trying to make them do so." Pete Seeger and Mary Travers [of Peter, Paul & Mary] continue to sing political music between their audience-pleasing renditions of "Turn, Turn, Turn," and "If I Had a Hammer." "We sing a song about El Salvador in our new show," Travers says proudly, "and songs about apartheid and nuclear power. We feel there's a growing understanding and appreciation of this music, and it's sparking a new level of optimism, a sense of, 'Hey, we do have the power, if we take the power.' " Jesse Colin Young also believes music with a message can still wield its power, from the way his audiences react when he sings "Get Together." "The song was a touchstone, and when I play it now, it's a chance for people to retouch that stone and that feeling. I see their faces, and I feel altruism isn't dead. That it's not just a product of the '60s. That there are people like me. And I get high on the song again. I begin to feel hopeful, instead of jaded and cynical." "I live for those moments," he says softly. Other important folk-rock artists included Pete Seeger, The Kingston Trio, and Joan Baez. These and other folk-rock musicians drastically influenced rock music. After folk-rock's influence, the top rock groups of the l960s were almost expected to include socially relevant lyrics within their music. No longer would rock be a totally party-style of music. Rock was growing up and was continuing its evolution.

55 After the acoustic folk-rock era, a sub-style emerged called Electric Folk-Rock. Basically this style included many of the same elements of acoustic folk-rock such as acoustic instruments and significant lyrics, but this sub-style used electronic instruments too. Amplification was now important and these bands would reach different audiences. Important artists and bands of this sub-style included Simon and Garfunkel, the Byrds, the Mamas and Papas, and the Lovin' Spoonful. The Lovin' Spoonful existed for barely two years in the mid l960s, yet they turned out many hit songs. Many of their fans heard a music the was filled with energy, wild humor, and that was a curious blend of rock, roaring l920s ricky-tick, folk, blues, and perhaps even at times, down-home hoe-down themes. 18 The electric folk-rock group, the Byrds, brought to the rock audiences, electrified versions of folk-rock songs, especially those of Bob Dylan's. Their version of Dylan's, "Mr. Tambourine Man," became a major hit.

18. The Beatles

The Beatles, a musical product of the l960s, were perhaps the most musically important rock group of all time. Their music evolved through three style periods while society bestowed upon them a very special and unique role. Not only were their musical experiments, innovations, and statements of utmost importance to rock, but their lifestyles and philosophies greatly affected many people. The importance of rock music, both socially and musically, was growing during the turbulent l960s, and the Beatles always seemed to be riding the crest of the social wave.


Pop, Rock, and Soul, 422.

56 Originally from the lower middle, working class town of Liverpool, England, the Beatles would be thrust into a world-wide spotlight. Along with the home grown British pop music, skiffle, British youth enjoyed American popular music. American artists such as Bill Haley and Little Richard drew large, enthusiastic audiences during their tours of Great Britain.

The Beatles, living in a seaport town, had access to the records of

American musicians such as Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Liverpool teenagers loved hard-driving rock and were not happy with watered down British Pop of the British teen idols (comparable to the American teen idols) that the British major record companies had created. John Lennon originally organized a skiffle band called the Quarrymen and through a variety of names and personnel changes (including the addition of Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best), it slowly evolved into the Beatles. During the early stage of the Beatles' career, they traveled between Germany and Liverpool, sharpening their musical skills and expanding their musical repertoire. The Beatles performed at the Indra club in Hamburg, Germany and the atmosphere surrounding that club and their job was usually for a bar-band of that era. Paul McCartney states, "The club was in the tourist area. When people stopped by the door, the first thing they would look at was the price of beer, you know, to see if they wanted to come in and have a cheap drink and hear this band. As soon as we saw them at the door, we would change the number, do a better song as a way of enticing them in. Our role in life was to make people buy more beer. That's actually how we started off. The more beer they bought, the more likelihood of our pay going up." 19 In l961, with the addition of Brian Epstein as their manager, George Martin as their record producer, and Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey), replacing Pete Best, as their new drummer, the Beatles were ready to enter their first major style period.


Off the Record, 200.

57 The Beatles loved American rock and roll and their first style period (l960-l964) consists of their performance of American rock classics (performed in the Beatles own unique style) in addition to their own compositions.

George Martin states, "We

reexported American music back to America. A lot of things John and Paul did were dead copies of the things they heard. Paul's falsetto singing and the way they shook their heads was a takeoff of Little Richard. They would listen to American records, lift phrases, and work out how they'd want to do it. If George Harrison mastered a Chuck Berry riff, he would come home very proudly and play it ad nauseam." 20 As the Beatles became better known in Great Britain, this first style emerged with some common musical elements. These basic stylistic traits included simple bass lines, simple rhythmic patterns, simple and carefree lyrics in a innocent, romantic mood, similar to the lyrics of l950s American rock and roll, and a clean background accompaniment. Basically the Beatles were performing musical styles of the past, but performing them with a high degree of professionalism and with their own personality. Even though the Beatles had become a British national obsession by l963, they were almost unknown in America. But by l964, the Beatles would conquer the American rock scene along with much of American society with their fresh sound, sharp wit, and a great entertainment package. Within the first six months of l964, the Beatles accounted for sixty percent of all single 45s sold, and they had six singles in the American top 10; this was a rock musical phenomenon never again repeated. Paul McCartney states, "The cheekiest thing the Beatles ever did was say to our manager, Brian Epstein, that we didn't want to go to America until we were number one." 21 Paul McCartney was correct and by l964, "Beatlemania" had obsessed America and rock music would never be the same.

20Smith, 21Smith,

Off the Record, 203. Off the Record, 200.

58 The first style period of the Beatles included such songs as "Love Me Do," "Please, Please Me," and "She Loves You." By the end of l964, the Beatles were evolving into their second style period, the Experimental stage (l965-l966). During this period, folk-rock began to influence the music of the Beatles.

Their music slowly added a more complex background

accompaniment, more electronic instruments and techniques (musique concrete);


became less percussive and more folk-like, using poetically complex lyrics, along with greater verbal symbolism, and a more extravagant harmonic, melodic, and orchestral timbres.

The Beatles began to experiment with non-traditional rock instruments,

especially East Indian, orchestral, concert band, and jazz instruments, and they incorporated advanced electronic technical devices. This period was active musically and socially, and the Beatles were becoming spokespersons for an entire generation. George Martin became affectionately known as the"5th Beatle" because his musical contributions to the Beatles were extensive and extremely important to the Beatles' musical evolution. As a classical trained musician, Martin understood many of the musical concepts such as music theory and orchestration that the Beatles originally only possessed with a limited degree of knowledge. The Beatles had a musical drive which allowed them to use other more knowledgeable musicians as teachers. George Martin was at the core of this type of collaboration. Martin became especially important during the Beatles' second style period. George Martin comments on this collaboration between himself and the Beatles: "I was very much in charge because I was a kind of school master teaching them everything. They had to do everything I told them. They brought me a raw song and I'd tell them, 'This has got to last two and a half, three minutes. You just played me about fifty seconds of music, so let's make a little more out of this.' I would structure it for them. I'd tell them, 'Two chords here, the second one needs a guitar solo. We need an introduction and an ending.'

59 . . . Of course, as the songs became more interesting, and more complicated, and as the boys got to know the studio better because they were very canny boys, it became more of a democratic team." 22 The Beatles second style period included songs such as "A Hard Days Night," Eleanor Rigby," and "Yesterday." Paul McCartney discusses "Yesterday": "When I wrote "Yesterday," I was aiming to impress people who knew music, rather than just get the teeny-boppers. We'd been around musicians who played in dance orchestras up in Manchester. They were kind of hardened guys that Sinatra would have played with if he ever got that far north. We hung out with a lot of those people and we wanted to be respected by them. We had the kids, but we wanted their parents to like us, too." 23 Their third and final style period, the mature period (l967-l970), consisted of a much higher technical level of music, almost symphonic in scope and intensity. With the release of their masterpiece album in l967, Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles established the "concept" album. A concept album consists of one musical thought or goal divided into individual songs or movements (much like a classical symphony).

The musical world

was stunned with the musical advances made in Sgt. Pepper. No longer would rock music be solely a ritualistic dance music, but now, thanks to the Beatles, rock would stand on its artistic merits and continue its evolution towards art-form. Beatles' songs of their third style period include "Hey Jude," "Let it Be," and "The Long and Winding Road." Paul McCartney discusses what each Beatle brought to the group as they pertained to the band as a whole unit: "The four of us brought different things to the table. John brought biting wit. I think I brought commerciality and harmony. . . George was serious, always very good on the business side, and always very good on his instrument. Ringo was simply the best drummer in Liverpool. Ringo also had native wit. He didn't know when he was being funny. The three of us went to grammar school, Ringo didn't. Ringo said he only went to

22Smith, 23Smith,

Off the Record, 204. Off the Record, l99.

60 school for three days because of this bad operation he had when he was a kid. . . His parents were told that he died at age three, so with Ringo everything was always a bonus. He would say to us, 'God, it's been a hard day's night.' We'd say, 'Say that again.' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' is also one of his. Ringo talked in titles. We had to follow him around with a notebook and pencil. You never knew what he would say next." 24

SGT. PEPPER Never before in rock history had a single album created such an impression and evolutionary leap as the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper. Released on June 1, l967, in the United Kingdom and on July 2, l967 in the United States, the album took 700 hours of studio time (compared with 12 for their first album) and cost twenty times what their first album did. 25 Sgt. Pepper, sold 2.5 million copies within its first three months and stayed on the charts for a staggering 113 weeks. Since l967, it has sold over 15 million copies. Perhaps this album proved with irrefutability that rock music could be, and is, a true musical art form. Before Sgt. Pepper, long-playing (LP) records were basically a collection of singles but with the concept album, an LP could be one musical work with different sections, much as a classical symphony. Sgt. Pepper blended songs and even modulated keys within the song link. Within the first few weeks of recording, the Beatles had recorded "When I'm Sixty-four," "Strawberry Fields Forever," and "Penny Lane." George Martin states, "I was so knocked out with both 'Strawberry Fields' and 'Penny Lane,' that I knew the Beatles were on a new wave. They'd shed a lot of simplicity of even 'Revolver,' which had been a bit more complicated than 'Rubber Soul.' Now they were on a new plane." 26


Off the Record, 200. Francisco Chronicle, 31 March l987, p. 21. 26Kurt Loder, Sacramento Bee, 3 May l987, p. 18. 25San

61 By mid-January of l967, EMI was anxious to release some new Beatles' singles so the Beatles gave EMI "Strawberry Fields" and "Penny Lane". Towards the end of March, the Beatles added "When I'm Sixty-Four," and others originally titled, "Meter Rita," "A Day in the Life," "Good Morning, Good Morning, Good Morning," "She's Leaving Home," and "Sgt. Pepper's Blues." 27 Alan Livingston, the head of Capitol Records, was invited to the Abbey Road studio to hear the Beatles latest efforts. As he was listening to playbacks of "A Day in the Life," Livingston recalls, "I was not prepared at all. I said, 'What is that? Who is that?' I couldn't believe it. I raised two feet off the floor." 28 The magic in the grooves occurred under extremely crude recording conditions compared to recording technology of today.

There were none of the electronic

instruments used today, such as sampling machines or even synthesizers. The tracks were recorded on four-track machines similar to models available for today's home recordings. George Martin remembers this recording process: "We had to invent our own tools rather like cave men, therefore it was much more exciting. The coming together of Pepper was a kind of eruption of combined genius...everybody sparked each other off." 29 An example of this improvisation occurs during, "Lovely Rita." To obtain the "wobbly" piano sound, later to become a hallmark sound of psychedelia, Martin put a piece of adhesive tape on a tape machine capstan to achieve a distorted recording. Then Martin mixed that sound back into a direct piano signal thus creating the new effect. Another example of the Beatles' creativity and experimentation occurred during the recording of "A Day in the Life." In actuality, this song was a combination of two

27Ibid. 28Ibid. 29Ibid.

62 songs, one by Lennon and the other, the middle section, by McCartney. According to Martin, "It was Paul's idea to have the big orchestral buildup. He was a bit naive in a way, because he said, 'Let's get a symphony orchestra in, and we'll just tell them to play anything.' I said 'You can't tell 90 people just to play anything, because it wouldn't sound very good.' We actually had to organize the chaos." Martin continues, " It really grew into something great. I think for me the most magical moment is, in fact, the beginning-the way the song emerges out of the reprise and cross-fades into the piano. It set up a mood. And John's voice coming in there--'I said the news today oh boy...' That still sends shivers down my spine." 30 At the conclusion of the track, all four of the Beatles and Martin sat at three pianos and struck the same chord simultaneously. As the sound faded, the recording engineer kept inching up the level so the chord would float for a rock eternity. Now that the tracks were almost completed, the album cover needed to be created. The Beatles had their uniforms made and it was suggested that the picture should look as if they might be posing after a concert even including a background crowd of people. Several lists of possible crowd people were drawn up, including long lists from John and Paul; George's list contained mostly gurus, and Ringo's list just said, "Whatever the other chaps say is fine." 31 A final master list was created involving over sixty people, including Bob Dylan, Karl Marx, Marylin Monroe, a Snow White figurine, and even a large doll wearing a Rolling Stones T-shirt. After everything was planned and assembled, the album cover was shot. Each track of the album was unique, yet each blended into the concept album philosophy. The first track, "Sgt. Pepper," is a lively rock introduction featuring the 30Ibid., 31Ibid.

p. 22.

63 Beatles in a mono recording. Once Sgt. Pepper's band is introduced, the sounds break into full stereo. Ringo sings the lead in, "A Little Help From My Friends." Originally titled, "Bad Finger Boogie," it was recorded last. Even though it sounds musically innocent, VicePresident Spiro Agnew once tried to have the song banned because of the use of the word, "High." "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," was banned by the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) because of the song's supposed drug reference. According to the composer, Lennon, the inspiration came from a picture that his son Julian drew. One of the funkiest tracks was, "Getting Better." The song contains sharp rhythm guitar and a rhythm and blues feeling. Paul plays harpsichord in, "Fixing a Hole," another controversial BBC banned song. George plays a wonderful guitar solo. Perhaps a social commentary, "She's Leaving Home," is a melodrama with strings. Only Lennon and McCartney sing on the track. The carnival-like music and lyrics off a circus poster combined to form, "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" George Martin included randomly spliced organ sounds to create a whirling musical effect. "Within You, Without You," had George Harrison singing lead.

This song

showcased Harrison's attraction for East Indian philosophy. No other Beatles were included on the track. McCartney wrote, "When I'm Sixty-four," for his father.

Ringo left spaces

instead of fills and changed beats, at times stopping altogether to allow room for the song to evolve rhythmically. Ringo's sensitive drumming would set a new standard for rock percussion.

64 "Lovely Rita," has some fine bass playing by McCartney, and George Martin performs honky-tonk piano on the track. The bridge of the song contains a comb-andpaper trio of Harrison, Lennon, and McCartney. A cornflake cereal television commercial inspired Lennon to compose, "Good Morning, Good Morning." The track contains barnyard sounds, including a chicken's cluck that is transformed by Martin to a guitar lick. The "Sgt. Pepper," reprise is more hurried and uses different chords than the introductory track, but this track prepared the encore and solidified the single, long, musical idea. The final track, "A Day in the Life," closes the album with a great surge of creative energy.

65 Recording Sessions: The Beatles recording sessions were of great importance to their music and to the evolution of their art. After l966, the Beatles stopped touring and performing live because of the difficulties associated with touring and of the obstacles created by their more complex musical experimentation. Unlike other rock bands who rehearsed and then went to the recording studios to record their songs, the Beatles used their recording sessions as a musical laboratory, constantly experimenting and redefining their compositions. Mark Lewisohn has compiled the Beatles' recording sessions (l962-l970) in his book, The Beatles:

Recording Sessions. 32

EMI Records made available to Mr.

Lewisohn its unpublished documentation for every recording session the Beatles ever did. The following excerpts are from the preceding book. NOVEMBER 26, 1962: . . . The group arrived at the studio at 6:00pm for a one hour rehearsal. Later, when they started recording, it was decided that "Please Please Me' should be taped without the distinctive harmonica wailing. This was superimposed later, by doing a tape-to-tape overdub, because it was difficult for John to sing, play harmonica, and play guitar simultaneously. Including the harmonica edit pieces the song was recorded in 18 takes, and at the end George Martin spoke to the group over the talkback. "You've just made your first number one." He was not wrong. JULY 1, 1963: . . . "She Loves You" was another very new song, John and Paul composed it in a Newcastle-upon-Tyne hotel room on June 26. . . "I was sitting in my usual place on a high stool in studio two when John and Paul fist ran through the song on their acoustical guitars, George joining in on the choruses, " recalls George Martin. "I thought it was great but was intrigued by the final chord, an odd sort of major sixth, with George doing the sixth and John and Paul the third and fifths, like a Glenn Miller arrangement. They were saying, 'It's a great chord! Nobody's ever heard it before!' Of course I knew that wasn't quite true." "I was setting up the microphone when I saw the lyrics on the music stand," says Norman Smith. "I thought I'll just have a quick look. 'She Loves you Yeah Yeah Yeah, She Loves you Yeah Yeah Yeah, She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah, Yeah.' I thought Oh 32Mark

Lewisohn, The Beatles: Recording Sessions (New York: Harmony Books, l988), 23, 32, 90, 91, 93.

66 my God, what a lyric! This is going to be one I do not like. But when they started to sing it--bang, wow, terrific, I was up at the mixer jogging around." DECEMBER 9, l966: There was still much overdubbing to be done on "Strawberry Fields forever" so to make the best use of limited space on the four-track tape, the previous night's work, the best of which was the edit of takes 15 and 24, was mixed down to just one track and called take 25. After this it was time to start the series of overdubs for the three vacant tracks. Onto track two Ringo added various bits of percussion, including some decidedly heavy drum sounds, and George added a swordmandel (an Indian instrument, not unlike a table harp). [Also] more backward cymbals [were recorded]. . . .the taping of the cymbals was no easy task. The pattern was worked out in the normal manner but it was then written down in reverse so that when recorded and the tape was played backwards the sounds would fit the bars precisely. . . . DECEMBER 15, l966: Four trumpets and three cellos, brilliantly scored by George Martin, provided the distinctive brass and string sound which he and John Lennon had decided was necessary for the re-make of "Strawberry Fields Forever.". . . The trumpets and cellos were superimposed onto track three and four of the fourtrack tape so once again all four tracks were full and there was another reduction mix, take 25 becoming take 26. Onto this was added two separate recordings of John Lennon's lead vocal, tracks three and four. At the end of the second overdub John Lennon muttered the words "cranberry sauce" twice over. . . . By the end of the evening the re-make of "Strawberry Fields Forever" had taken on an intensity of almost frightening proportion. With its frantic strings, blaring trumpets, very heavy drum sound, and two manic, exceptionally fast Lennon vocals it was far removed from the original, acoustic take one of the song recorded November 24, l966. Would John be satisfied with it now? For the time being, at least, it was labeled "best" and was thus subjected to more remixing. DECEMBER 22, l966: "John Lennon told me that he liked both versions of 'Strawberry Fields Forever', the original, lighter song and the intense, scored version," recalls George Martin. "He [Lennon] said 'Why don't you join the beginning of the first one to the end of the second one?' 'There are two things against it,' I replied. 'They are in different keys and different tempos. Apart from that, fine.' 'Well,' he said, 'you can fix it.!' " . . . George [Martin] and Geoff [Emerick] carefully studied the two versions and realized that if they speeded up the remix of the first version (take seven) and then slowed down the remix of the second (take 26) they might match. They were originally a semitone [minor second] different. "With the grace of God, and a bit of luck we did it," say Martin. All that was left now was to edit the two pieces together and the song-almost a full month after it was started--was finally finished. "We gradually decreased the pitch of the first version at the join to make them weld together," says Geoff Emerick. They did it so well that few people, even today, know exactly where the edit is. "That's funny", says George Martin, "I can hear it every time. It sticks out like a sore

67 thumb to me!". . . .[the edit can be found precisely 60 seconds into the released version of the single, after one of the "let me take you down" lines] DECEMBER 29, l966: . . . One of the most distinctive aspects of "Penny Lane" would be its keyboard sound and this entire evening session saw the recording of these parts. The most important contribution was the main piano piece, so Paul took great care in perfecting this, recording six takes until he was satisfied, although only the fifth and sixth were seen through to completion. The piano went onto track one of the four-track tape. Happiest with the sixth take he then began to apply the overdubs, working alone in the studio. Onto track two of the tape went another piano, played this time through a Vox guitar amplifier with added reverberation to give an entirely different sound. Onto track three went yet another piano, played at half-speed and then speeded-up on replay to give another different effect. A tambourine was also shaken for this overdub. Superimposed on track four were two-tone high-pitched whistles from a harmonium, again fed through a Vox guitar amplifier, various strange percussion effects, one of them sounding at times like a machine gun, and extremely fast and sometimes drawn-out cymbal notes. . . JANUARY 17, l967: [Paul McCartney, after watching Bach's Brandenburg Concerto Number 2 in F Major performed on the BBC2 television series, hires the same trumpet player, David Mason, for this recording session of "Penny Lane."] . . . True to form, there was no prepared notation for Mason to follow. "We spent three hours working it out," says Mason. "Paul sang the parts he wanted, George Martin wrote them out, I tried them.". . . Mason has one other distinctive memory of the session. "Although Paul seemed to be in charge, and I was the only one playing, the other three Beatles were there too. They all had funny clothes on, candy-striped trousers, floppy yellow bow ties etc. I asked Paul if they'd been filming because it really looked like they had just come off a film set. John Lennon interjected 'Oh no mate, we always dress like this!'." . . ."Penny Lane" was completed about three weeks after it had begun.

The final days of the Beatles seems to stir up controversy whenever it is discussed within music history circles. Accounts differ regarding the breakup. Music historians debate several possible scenarios. The following is an excerpt from an interview of Paul McCartney in Rolling Stone magazine and may shed some personal insights into the Beatle's breakup. 33


Loder, "The Rolling Stone Interview: Paul McCartney," Rolling Stone, 11 September, l986, 100-101.

68 Question: Thinking about you and Linda, and John and Yoko, inevitably recalls the end of the Beatles. After all this time, the cause of the group's breakup still seems murky. What really happened? Paul McCartney: The actual story in my mind is that it was getting a bit sticky during the White Album. And Let It Be was very sticky--George left the group then, and so did Ringo, but we managed to patch that back up. The dates are all a purple haze to me, but at some point--after Let It Be was finished, and about the time I was wanting to put the McCartney album out--we had a meeting at the Apple office, and it was like, "Look, something's wrong, and we've got to sort it out." I had my suggestion: I said, "What I think we ought to do is get back as a band--get back as the little unit we always were. I think we ought to hit small clubs and do a little tour." I just wanted to learn to be a band together again, 'cause we'd become a business group. We'd become businessmen. So that was my big suggestion. And John looked me straight in the eye and he said, "I think you're daft. In fact, I wasn't gonna tell you but I'm leaving the group." To my recollection, those were his exact words. And our jaws dropped. And then he went on to explain that it was rather a good feelin'' to get it off his chest--a bit like when he told his wife about a divorce, that he'd had a sort of feeling of relief. Which was very nice for him, but we didn't get much of a good feeling. At first we agreed not to announce it. But after three or four months, I got more and more guilty bout people saying, "How's the group going?" when we sort of knew it was probably split up. So I did a kind of dumb move in the end, and when I look back on it, it was really. . . it looks very hard and cold. But I was releasing the McCartney album, and I didn't really want to do much press for it; so I told a guy from the office to do me a list of questions and I'll write the answers and we'll print it up as a pamphlet and just stick it in with the press copies of the album. The questions were quite pointed, and it ended up being like me announcing that the Beatles had broken up. John got quite mad about that, apparently--this is one of the things he said really hurt him and cut him to the quick. Personally, I don't think it was such a bad thing to announce to the world after four months that we'd broken up. It had to come out sometime. I think maybe the manner of doing it I regret now--I wish it had been a little kinder, or with the other's approval. But I felt it was time. Question: Weren't the others also upset that your album, McCartney, was released a month before Let It Be? Paul McCartney: Yeah, I think John thought I was using the press release for publicity-as I suppose, in a way, I was. So it all looked very weird, and it ruffled a few feathers. The good thing about it was that we all had to finally own up to the fact that we'd broken up three or four months before. We'd been ringing each other quite constantly, sort of saying, "Let's get it back together again." And I think me, George, and Ringo did want to save things. But I think John was, at that point, too heavily into his new life--which you can't blame him for. He'd always wanted to be a little more avant-garde, and so living in New York, and Yoko's influence, obviously helped him do that. It was very exciting for

69 him on a lot of levels. So it became clear about that time that the group wasn't gonna get back together. And that was it.

Rock music today most likely would not have evolved as it has without the genius of, Sgt. Pepper. This album was only one of the many wonderful albums created by the Beatles; yet, it was the one album that helped rock achieve a true art form. Throughout the Beatles' career, John Lennon and Paul McCartney evolved into two of the most important pop music composers of popular music's brief history. During the early part of the Beatles' career, Lennon and McCartney wrote, at times, in an almost 50/50 style of composition, each individual contributing approximately equal amounts. As they evolved musically, that ratio would change to become less equal.


McCartney discusses how he and John would compose: "There were three ways that John and I would write. We would sit down with nothing and two guitars, which was like working with a mirror. I could see what he was doing, and he could see me. We got ideas off each other. . . So, that was like writing from the ground up. 'She Loves You,' 'From Me to You,' 'This Boy,' were all written that way, as were most of the earlier songs. Another way of writing was when one of us had an idea. I used to drive out to John's house. He lived out in the country, and I lived in London. I remember asking the chauffeur once if he was having a good week. He said, 'I'm very busy at the moment, I've been working eight days a week.' And I thought, 'Eight days a week! Now there's a title.' So when I got to John's house, I said, 'Eight Days A Week.' So that was the second way. One of us would have an idea, and then we'd both sit down and write together. . . . The Third way was when one of [us] had an idea, and we weren't going to be seeing each other for a week, and the idea was just too hot to stop." 34 Not only did the Beatles compose excellent rock songs, their musicality and technical expertise was exemplary. George Harrison played excellent lead guitar along with other string instruments such as the East Indian sitar. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were quite competent on a variety of instruments. Ringo Starr is perhaps one of


Off the Record, 201.

70 the most underrated drummers in rock history. Not only was his personality important to the Beatles success, his sensitive, musical percussion performance was exquisite. David Barton of the Sacramento Bee wrote an article exploring Ringo's importance to the Beatles success. The following is excerpted from the article 35 When I recently mentioned to a drummer friend that I thought Ringo Starr was one of the best drummers pop music ever enjoyed, he looked at me as though I were trying to be amusing. When he realized I was serious, he looked sorry for me. But I was dead serious. Ringo Starr was the drummer for the Beatles, which was probably the most demanding position a drummer could have had during the l960s.. . . . He was a great song drummer. And he had to be: He played for the two best songwriters of his generation. . . Max Weinberg (the drummer for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) say this about Ringo: "More than any other drummer, Ringo Starr changed my life. The impact and memory of that band on Ed Sullivan's show in l964 will never leave me. I can still see Ringo, in the back, moving that beat with his whole body, his right hand swinging off his sock cymbal [hi-hat] while his left hand pounds the snare. He was fantastic. But I think what got to me the most was his smile. I knew he was having the time of his life. . . . Ringo's beat was heard around the world and he drew the spotlight toward rock-n-roll drumming. From his matched-style grip to his pioneering use of staggered tom-tom fills, his influence in rock drumming was as important and widespread as Gene Krupa's had been in jazz.". . . . . From his ragged-but-right bashings, cymbals flashing all through the mix, on early tracks like "Boys" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand," to his thumpy, minimalistic percussion on "Come Together" and "Don't Let Me Down," Ringo's greatest strengths were his depth of imagination and dearth of canned licks, which combined to keep him fresh and innovated. . . . [Ringo had to do it all] On the "White Album," Ringo was called upon to do everything from the proto-heavy metal of "Helter Skelter" (at the conclusion of which he yelled, "I've got blisters on my fingers!") to the music-hall kitsch of "Honey Pie," and was invariably restrained and appropriate. Ringo favored a reverb-less, dead sound that's so primitive it's contemporary. That's also true of his minimalistic approach in general: When Ringo did a fill, it was an event, and all the more so because of the weird way he did them. Instead of rolling to the right, as most drummers do, Ringo just couldn't get it that way, so he had to cross his hands over to the left, thus creating the strange "backward" drum rolls that were imitated right into the permanent drummer's lexicon. Perhaps Ringo's greatest strength was his exquisite malleability: He would do what was asked of him. He gave the songwriters what they wanted, but with value added: He wasn't a sessioneer who could deliver canned rhythms and fills on command, so what he came up with added another dimension to the music. 35David

Barton, "The Drummer Heard 'Round the World," Sacramento Bee, 27 August l989, Encore 3-4.


Comments by John Lennon (Playboy Magazine, April l981) regarding selected Beatles songs: "Across the Universe": "It was one that drove me out of bed. I didn't want to write it. I was just slightly irritable and I went downstairs and I couldn't get to sleep until I put it on paper, and then I was able to go to sleep. It was a lousy track of a great song. I was so disappointed by it. The guitar is out of tune and I'm singing out of tune because I was psychologically destroyed. Nobody was supporting me or helping me with it, but we would spend hours doing little detail cleaning on Paul's. When it came to mine, somehow this atmosphere of looseness and casualness--'Let's try a few experiments'--would come over. He will say this doesn't exist, that I'm paranoid, but I'm not paranoid. It's the absolute truth. So I just gave the song to the World Wildlife Fund with no plans to do anything else with it, but then Phil Spector dug it up for 'Let It Be'." "All My Loving": " 'All My Loving' is Paul, I regret to say [laughing]. Put that laughter in brackets, right? It is a damn good piece. [Singing] 'All my loving, I will send to you...' But I do play a pretty mean guitar in back." "And I Love Her": " 'And I Love Her' is Paul again. That was his first 'Yesterday'. You know, the big ballad. I believe I put something in the middle eight." "Ballad of John and Yoko": "Guess who wrote that one. There is only me and Paul playing on the record. George and Ringo weren't there. I wrote it in Paris on our honeymoon. We had it before we were married. It is a piece of journalism, a folk song. It's like a traditional folk ballad." "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite": "The whole song is from a Victorian poster, which I bought in a junk shop. It is so comically beautiful. It's a poster for Pablo Fanques Fair, which is a genuine thing that must have happened in the l800s. Everything in the song is from the poster, except the horse wasn't called Henry. Now, there are all kinds of stories about Henry the Horse being heroin. I had never seen heroin in that period. No, it's all just from the poster." "Can't Buy Me Love": "That is Paul completely. There is a middle eight I probably helped on. . . Maybe I had something to do with the chorus> I don't know. I always considered it his song." "A Day in the Life": "Just as it sounds. I was reading the paper one day and I noticed two stories. One was the Guiness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash. On the next page was a story about

72 4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. In the streets, that is. They were going to fill them all. Paul's contribution was the beautiful little lick in the song 'I'd love to turn you on'." "Eleanor Rigby": "Paul's first verse, and the rest of the verses are basically mine. Paul had the theme, the whole bit about Eleanor Rigby in the church where a wedding had been. He knew he had this song and he needed help, but rather than ask me to do the lyrics, he said, 'Hey, you guys, finish up the lyrics,' while he sort of fiddled around with the track or arranging or something at another part of the giant studio at EMI. I sat there with Mal Evans, a road manager who was a telephone installer, and Neil Aspinall, a student accountant who became a road manager, and it was the three of us he was talking to. I was insulted and hurt that he had thrown it out in the air that way. Actually, he meant for me to do it, but wouldn't ask. That was the kind of insensitivity he had, which made me upset in the later years. It's just the kind of person he is. It meant nothing to him. I wanted to grab a piece of the song, so I wrote it with them sitting at the table, thinking, How dare he throw it out in the air like that? Part of it we worked out together: Paul didn't have the middle---'Ahh, look at all the lonely people.' He and George and I were sort of sitting around the room throwing things around and I left to go to the toilet. I heard someone say that line and I turned around and said, 'That's it!' I remember we first put Father McCartney in place of Father McKenzie, but Paul thought his dad would get upset by it. I can't take credit for the violins and the beautiful arrangement. Jane Asher, who Paul was with at that time, turned him on to Vivaldi and he got the arrangement straight out of his work." "The Fool on the Hill": "Paul's again, proving that he can write lyrics if he's a good boy." "From Me to You": "We were writing it in a van on a early tour heading for Scotland or Newcastle or somewhere like that. The first line was mine> Then we took it from there. It was far bluesier when we wrote it. That was truly a combination-written song. It was written together singing into each other's noses." "Get Back": "Paul's. That's a better version of 'Lady Madonna.' It's a potboiler record. I think there's some underlying thing about Yoko in there. Every time Paul sang the line 'Get back to where you once belonged,' he'd look at Yoko. Maybe he'll say I'm paranoid." "Give Peace a Chance": All we were saying is give peace a chance. I didn't write it with Paul, but he got credit on the song, because I wasn't ready to take his name off yet." "Good Morning, Good Morning": " 'Good Morning' is mine. It's a throwaway, a piece of garbage, I always thought. The 'Good morning, good morning' was from a Kellogg's commercial. I always had the TV on very low in the background when I was writing and it came over and then I wrote the song."

73 "Got to Get You Into My Life" : Paul's. One of his best songs, I think. The lyrics are good and I didn't write them. When I say he can write lyrics if he takes the effort, here's an example. The song actually describes his experience taking acid; at least it's the result of that." "A Hard Days Night": It was pure commercial writing. The title came from an offthe-cuff remark of Ringo's. . . .It was a Ringoism. . . .Dick Lester saw it and said we were going to use it for the title of the movie and the next morning, I brought in the song. . ." "Help": "I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I was really crying out for help. It was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: He--I--is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was." "Here, There, and Everywhere": Paul's song completely, and one of my favorite Beatle songs." "Hey Jude": Paul said it was written about Julian. He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian then. He was driving to see Julian to say hello. He had been like an uncle. And he came up with 'Hey Jude.' But I always heard it as a song to me. . . Think about it: Yoko had just came into the picture. He is saying, 'Hey Jude'--'Hey John.' Subconsciously, he was saying, Go ahead, leave me. On a conscious level, he didn't want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying, 'Bless you.' The Devil in him didn't like it at all, because he didn't want to lose his partner." "I Am the Walrus": "The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend. The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko.Part of it was putting down Hare Krishna. . . The reference to 'Element'ry penguin' is the elementary, naive attitude of going around chanting, 'Hare Krishna,' or putting all of your faith in any one idol.. . . The Walrus comes from 'The Walrus and the Carpenter. Alice in Wonderland.' To me, it was a beautiful poem. It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system. I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles' work. Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy. I thought, Oh, shit, I picked the wrong guy." "Imagine": ". . . If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denomination of religion-not without religion but without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God-thing--then it can be true. ." "I Want to Hold Your Hand": "We wrote it in the basement of Jane Asher's house."

74 "Let It Be": "That's Paul totally. It had nothing to do with the Beatles. It could have been Wings. I think it was inspired by 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' He wanted to write one." "The Long and Winding Road": "That's Paul. He had a little spurt before we finally split up. . . That was the last gasp from him." "Michelle": " 'Michelle' is Paul up until the middle eight, where I suggested this bit from Nina Simona. [Singing] 'I love you.' That bit. Going French was Paul's idea." "Norwegian Wood": " 'Norwegian Wood' is my song completely. It's the first Pop song that ever had a sitar on it. I asked George to play this guitar lick on the sitar. In this song, I guess I was very careful and paranoid, because I didn't want my wife at the time to know that there was really something going on outside the household. I always had some sort of affair going, . . . .I can't remember any specific woman that it was to do with. I don't know how the hell I got to Norwegian wood." "Rain": " 'Rain' is me. It's the first backward tape on any record anywhere. Before Hendrix, before The Who, before any fucker. . . " "Revolution": "You look at the song and see my feeling about politics, radicalism and everything. I want to see the plan. . . If you want to change the system, change the system. Don't go shooting people." "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band": "Paul wrote it after a trip to America. . . " "Ticket to Ride": "That's me, one of the earliest heavy-metal records. contribution was the way Ringo played the drums."


"Yellow Submarine": "Paul's baby. Donovan helped with the lyrics. I helped with the lyrics. We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but it was based on Paul's inspiration, his idea, his title. I count it as his song. It was written for Ringo."

George Martin describes briefly each of the Beatles in an article from the USA TODAY newspaper (2/8/84): Paul McCartney: "Paul had the uncanny ability to make all his romantic songs seem as if they were touching each listener personally. He gave the Beatles a very direct, romantic, commercial sound. When he did create a song like 'Eleanor Rigby,' and really let himself go, the results could be haunting and emotionally memorable. He was the perfect counterbalance to John's more sarcastic rock-edged songs."

75 John Lennon: "John was very sly, witty, and in control of the type of music he wanted the band to play. He enjoyed sparring with the press, exchanging a joke with whoever was around him and being amused as to where Beatlemania was taking them all. He never took it too seriously. What he did with the music was subtly make the band feel that they couldn't rest on their laurels--that they had to push themselves musically and be satisfied with their work. He made the Beatles constantly feel hungry and not take their success for granted." George Harrison: "George was very shy and much more talented than people knew. We were always trying to encourage him to write his own songs and not feel that he was competing with John and Paul. George really introduced the band to Indian [East] music and transcendental meditation, which contributed immensely to the musical feel of the later albums, especially 'Sgt. Pepper'." Ringo Starr: "Ringo was the class clown. Whenever things got too tense in the recording studio he would make a joke or do something funny. Perhaps more than any other Beatle, Ringo enjoyed Beatlemania. He saw it as a way to prolong his adolescence." Included within the same article in the USA TODAY, are a few Beatle trivia questions: 1. Q: The Beatles have sold more records than any other act history. How many have they sold?


A: More than 200 million singles and albums worldwide. 2.

Q: What was the Beatles' biggest hit [single]?

A: "Hey Jude," nine weeks at No. 1 on the pop charts, followed by "I Want to Hold Your Hand," seven weeks. 3. Q: On March 31, l964, the Beatles achieved a first in pop that has never been matched. What was it?


A: They had the No. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 singles in the pop charts. In order, the songs were: "Can't Buy Me Love," "Twist and Shout," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and "Please Please Me." They had five other singles in the top 100 that week. The Beatles accounted for 60 percent of all 45s sold in the USA from January to June l964.

76 4. Q: During the two weeks the Beatles spent in the USA in February l964, how many newspaper stories were written about them? A: 13,882 separate stories appeared in USA newspapers during those two weeks, according to Capitol Records, whose publicity people kept count. 5. Q: Who was Bonnie Jo Mason, and what was her tie to the Beatles? A: She recorded the novelty song, "I Love You, Ringo." The song was soon forgotten, but Bonnie Jo wasn't. She later became known as Cher. 6. Q: "I Wanna Be Your Man" wasn't a hit for the Beatles, has special significance in the history of pop music. Why?



A: John and Paul wrote it on the spot backstage at a club in Richmond, England, where the Rolling Stones were playing. The Stone's version of the song became their first hit. But more important, after seeing John and Paul put together a song so quickly, Mick Jagger and Keith Richard were inspired to try songwriting. 7.

Q: Who introduced the Beatles to marijuana?

A: Bob Dylan. In August l964, when the Beatles were touring the USA, Dylan worked his way into their New York hotel to meet them. When he offered them some grass, to his surprise they replied that they didn't smoke it. Dylan was puzzled because he thought they had written a song about it. He asked about the lyrics, "And which I touch you, I get high, I get high, I get high." John explained that the actual words (in "I Want To Hold Your Hand") were, "When I touch you, I can't hide, I cant' hide, I can't hide." After locking the room and stuffing towels under the doors, the Beatles agreed to try the drug. John, still nervous about the effects of the drug, insisted that Ringo go first. 8. Q: Who said, "I don't mean to belittle the Beatles when I say they weren't this, they weren't that. I'm just trying not to overblow their importance as separate from society. And I don't think they were more important than Glenn Miller or Woody Herman or Bessie Smith?" A: John Lennon.

77 "John and I as writers, and the Beatles as a whole, we were virtually an impossible act to follow. Ours was a rich time. Meeting the Queen for the first time. Coming to America for the first time. It was incredible, unbelievable. I mean, I would not be impressed going down to Florida now and seeing a motorcycle cop ride by and wave. But then, it was like heaven. We would be riding along and a motorcycle cop would breeze by on his bike and take photos of us. It was magic."--Paul McCartney 36

19. Motown and Soul (l959-70)

During the late l950s and early l960s, a special independent record company headed and created by Barry Gordy Jr. evolved. This new company would become known as Motown and would be based in Detroit ("Motown" is slang for Detroit or "Motortown").

Motown would produce a formula-type sound that would feature

African-American artists and would become very popular with Pop teenage audiences of all ethnic backgrounds. Of the 535 singles promoted by the Motown complex between l960 and l970, 357 made the Pop charts, a success rate of 67 percent (the average record company charts 10 percent of their releases) 37 Much of the success rate was due to the influence of Motown's founder, Barry Gordy Jr. and to the quality of his musicians. Within Motown, Gordy created a total record production complex. Resident or house musicians were available for the vocalist's use. Most of the early Motown music consisted of a vocal group, usually with a lead singer (high tenor if male) and background singers, backed by an almost anonymous instrumental band. At times, the same house band backed several different vocal groups. This early sound of Motown included simple Pop lyrics, simple harmonies and melodies, but all done with a technical perfection. But later Motown arrangements


Off the Record, 202. T. Brown, The Art of Rock and Roll (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., l983), p. 113. 37Charles

78 would become more sophisticated and complex. Producer Gordy would constantly listen to and revise the music until the final product was created. Gordy would go as far as to listen to the recordings over a car radio system to determine at what points harmonic adjustments would be made. 38 Motown would tour with a complete package called the "Motortown Review." This review presented long evenings of entertainment with as many as forty-five performers. Gordy would instruct his Motown artists in these reviews with all aspects he felt were important for Pop success, including levels of musicianship, showmanship, behavior, and etiquette. Many of his musicians would wear formal attire, including tuxedos, suits, and formal gowns. Gordy demanded sophistication in sight and sound. To add to this sophistication, many of the groups would choreograph their movements on stage. For a glimpse inside Motown through the eyes of some of the studio musicians participating within Motown, an excerpt from an article featured in the December l988 edition of Guitar Player magazine written by Doctor Licks follows: . . . While almost everyone has heard or played the guitar intros from the Temptations' "My Girl" or the Miracles' "Tracks Of My Tears" at one time or another, Motown is generally considered to be vocal rather than guitar music. Yet, buried in the mix somewhere on every Motown track are usually two or three, and sometimes as many as five different guitarists. From l958 until l972 Robert White, Eddie Willis, and Joe Messina created pop music history in a small Detroit studio nicknamed "the Snakepit." During grueling recording schedules that usually averaged two or three three-hour sessions daily, they would routinely complete one finished song per hour. More than 60 such songs became #1 hits, and hundreds more dented the Top 40. Motown was so hot and the producers were so hungry for the services of the Funk Brothers that it drove the musicians to hide out at local bars in the vain hope of catching a breather from the pressure-cooker atmosphere. Earl Van Dyke recalls, "Sometimes we would hide from the producers at Coles Funeral Home because we knew they wouldn't come in there, and if they did, we'd always send a mortician with a bloody apron to the door to scare them off." 38Ibid.,


79 The Motown hit-factory mentality demanded creativity, speed, and efficiency. In conjunction with the natural talents and backgrounds of White, Willis, and Messina, this brought about the evolution of a division of labor that allowed the Funk Brothers' guitarists to create masterpieces of R&B in very short periods of time. The formula had lots of variations, but in its simplest form, someone would play backbeats, another guitarist would strum some kind of rhythmic pattern, and the third player would play fills or a written line. "All three of us played a little bit of everything," says Messina. "It all depended upon who the producer was or who grabbed the part first. As we were funning it down, you might hear something, and you'd play it. So it was your part." "It was like a Dixieland band," adds White. "Everyone knew his given job. Mine was rhythm, Eddie would play bluesy fills, and Joe would usually read something or play backbeats. We did a lot of role playing, and this is why we got along so well. Motown wasn't giving album credits in those days, so there was nothing to be gained from thinking you were better than someone else--and besides, we knew what we had to do to make money.". . . . . .Whenever Motown scored a hit, another company artist would usually cover the same song, in order to generate more royalties for the publishing company. For example, Robert White may have played backbeats on Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," but Joe Messina or Eddie Willis could have played the same thing on the Gladys Knight version of the same tune. . . White recalls, "Everybody lied about everybody's parts, depending on which girl asked him. If the girls asked me, 'Robert, did you play that wah-wah part on "Cloud Nine"?,' I'd say, 'Yeah, baby, that's me.' I didn't do it to spite the guys, I did it to impress the girls.". . . . . . [musical concepts] "Another concept," says Van Dyke, "was that we tried not to use the melody not of the vocalist as the top note of our voicings. That way we wouldn't detract from the vocalist. The guitarists divided up the neck so that the guitar section wouldn't sound muddy. One guy would play up high, one would play in the middle, and the third guy would play down low. The section sounded like one big chord voicing.". . . . . .Until the mid'60s most of the rhythm section tracks were cut live with the horns, strings, and sometimes even vocalists. There was no punching-in, so if you blew a take, you had to go back to the beginning and start all over again. "We would always rib the guy who messed up," Earl says. "Then he'd get an attitude like, okay, see who makes the mistake this time. We never did a lot of takes, but some producers were perfectionists, like Smokey Robinson or Norman Whitfield. On [Smokey's] 'Tears Of A Clown,' we did 44 or 45 takes. At least 40 of them were perfect, but there was something that Smokey was looking for." In the beginning, the guitarists were given basic chord charts that used mostly simple triadic voicings, since the songs weren't very sophisticated. . . From the mid 60s on, as the music became more complex, the charts and voicing styles became very specific and intricate. The 13th(b9) chords before the harmonica solo in Stevie Wonder's "For Once In MY Life" are a good example. . .

80 Some of Motown's top artists included Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Mary Wells, The Marvelletts, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Stevie Wonder who was discovered by Motown at age 12, originally known as Little Stevie Wonder, his real name is Steveland Morris. Towards the end of the l960s, African-American artists did not need the exposure of Motown since a new sound was developing, called Soul, and the record companies were now more willing to sign African-American musicians. The Motown sound created by Barry Gordy Jr. and his musicians was an important part of the evolution of rock music. As with Motown, a popular musical style known as "Soul" rose to prominence during the 1960s. Early Soul music had a unique relationship between secular and sacred music traditions of black society: like two "ends" in a circle, they were as far apart as possible, yet adjacent. 39 A prominent element of Soul was the continuing use of call and response, and the use of a horn section. Early Soul artists included Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding. Several distinct styles of Soul developed including Memphis and Chicago styles. Memphis Soul relied more on Gospel and Rhythm and Blues while Chicago contained more of a "doo-wop" sound. 40


Stuessy, Rock and Roll: Its History and Stylistic Development, 2nd Edition (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1994), p.220. Charlton, Rock Music Styles, 87-88.40

81 20. The Northern California Sound (late l960s)

At the cutting edge of American society, California can be almost thought of as two separate states, Northern California and Southern California. Rock music audiences in the l960s would hear two different and contrasting major styles from California. Southern California was noted for its conservative, sun-worshipping, and laid-back atmosphere while Northern California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area, was liberal, artistic, and perhaps just a bit snobbish. The San Francisco Bay Area, with its University of California at Berkeley, became a hotbed of liberal beliefs expounding the Free-speech movement, drug experimentation, social and sexual freedoms, the anti-war movement, and perhaps most important, the "counter-culture," more commonly known as the "hippie generation." The Northern California sound started as a mixture of folk music and rock. This style of folk music was radical with inspired messages of the l960s liberal views, and it would be centered in the San Francisco Bay Area. During the mid l960s, San Francisco became the mecca for the counter-culture. The Haight-Ashbury section of the city became the fantasyland of people seeking new awareness and a new function of society. The new music would reference these ideals. The Northern California sound not only included the music but a lifestyle. At first, many bands did not care about financial success or international recognition. The groups were happy playing free gigs (concerts) at neighborhood celebrations of peace and free-love. Famous San Francisco groups such as the Grateful Dead became heroes of cult-like followers and they have given probably the most free concerts of any rock band. The Grateful Dead's sound achieved a synthesis of "hippiedom's" freeness and country-rock's precision and discipline. Band member Jerry Garcia "Captain Trips,"

82 despite his denials, became a kind of guru figure for the counter-culture. 41 The Grateful Dead, unlike their contemporaries The Jefferson Airplane, did not ever have a large total of record sales to their credit. Jon Pareles of The New York Times (July 26, l987) relates one unique characteristic of the band that made record industry executives cringe: "Where too many rock bands aim to re-create their records in concert, the Dead are known to warp and nudge and fiddle with their songs, risking mistakes while courting inspiration; they'll start a freeform jam with no idea what they'll end up playing. They're inconsistant and unpredictable, unwilling to repeat themselves;

they're a marketing

expert's nightmare." 42 Members of the Northern California rock band, The Jefferson Airplane, were wild, unruly, and unpredictable as individuals, yet they combined to form an exciting and cohesive band. The Airplane's music might be characterised as an imaginative, but sometimes nerve-jarring acid-raga-blues-folk-rock sound that well represented the range of feelings about society felt by most of its audiences and peer group. 43 Originally major record companies refrained from signing the Jefferson Airplane because of their association with the hippie drug culture, however, as the Airplane's reputation grew, the Airplane was signed by a major record company (RCA Victor). After the signing, as far as record sales were concerned, the Airplane became one of the most successful Northern California rock bands. Sometimes the Northern California sound is defined as acid rock or psychedelic rock, but those styles were actually sub-styles of the Northern California style. This era included concerts regarded as a "total experience," which meant that, along with the aural stimulation of the music, visual stimulation with light shows were included and


Encyclopedia, 198. Pop, Rock, and Soul, 264-265. 43Ibid., 328. 42Stambler,

83 sometimes the concerts even featured added aroma and tactile phenomena. The audience was part of the "happening" and not merely sitting in straight rows listening passively. The acid bands used loud volume and multiple banks of speakers. The music was to be felt and not just heard. Some groups extolled the virtue of being under the influence of mind-altering chemicals during their performances. The aroma of marijuana became common at concerts along with the open use of LSD. Important groups in the Northern California sound included Moby Grape, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company or the Full-Tilt Boogie Band, the Grateful Dead. (The Beatles' use of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" as a band title is a homage to the long band names of the Northern California sound), and Creedence Clearwater Revival. [CCR did not exactly fit the mold of the Northern California sound. With their lead singer, John Fogerty, CCR's unique sound did not reflect the stereotyped Northern California sound's psychedelic exploration, hippie sloganering, and "progressive" political orientation. Their sound reflected more of a l950s rock and roll sound with songs evoking images of riverboats, Louisiana swamps, and bayou dances.] 44 The Northern California sound was anti-establishment. It became the central symbol for the new student rights movement, the sexual revolution, the anti-war movement, drug usage, and the new social counter-culture. This sound was in contrast to its relative of the south, Surf music; yet both were important to the evolution of rock and American society.


Encyclopedia, 120.

84 21. The British Invasion (mid l960s)

Just as American rock bands invaded Great Britain in the late l950s, the British bands invaded America on the coat tails of the Beatles in the mid l960s. Once the major record companies saw the effect the Beatles had on America, the companies rushed to sign almost any band that sounded and looked British. Just as in the Teen Idol era, many of the British groups signed by the record companies became a flash in the pan of Pop music yet a few would actually achieve artistic and commercial success. One of the most enduring of the British Invasion bands is the Rolling Stones. Originally using a R+B sound, the Rolling Stones (sometimes simply called, the Stones), had by l963 evolved towards the typical rock and roll sound. By l963, the personnel of the band had stabilized to include Mick Jagger (lead vocalist), Keith Richard (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass), and Charlie Watts (percussion). The Stones' manager during the early period was Andrew Oldham, and just as Brian Epstein changed the Beatles, so Oldham altered the Rolling Stones. In some of the Stones' earliest appearances, they wore suits and ties just as many of the early British groups did. At first, the Stones had difficulty selling tickets for their concerts. At one of their first American concerts, the Stones only sold 300 tickets in a theater that held 3,000! Oldham noticed that the audience reaction was more fervent when the Stones did something socially unacceptable; thus Oldham directed the Stones to change their persona to become the "bad-boys" of rock. They began to purposely flaunt the decadence of society and, of course, society and the press began to condemn them for their outrageous behavior. The Stones soon became "anti-heroes" and their popularity increased. Whereas the Beatles might have been strange to society, at least they were cute and were acceptable to the middle-class, but the Stones offended the middle-class.

85 As rock artists of the l950s discovered, once musicians become anti-establishment, a certain segment of the populace will be attracted to the groups. As trouble with the law increased, through their arrest for possession of drugs, their "bad-boy" image grew along with their anti-establishment popularity. The Stones' early music was basically composed by others, but by l965, the Stones began to produce and perform their own material.

The Beatles had

Lennon/McCartney while the Rolling Stones had Jaggers/Richards as composers. Even though the Stones did not approach the technical and artistic advances of the Beatles, their stature in the history of rock greats is assured. Other groups of importance within the British Invasion include, The Who, The Moody Blues, Elton John, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, the Dave Clark five, Donovan, the Kinks, and Pink Floyd (Some rock critics include groups such as the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd in a sub-style titled, Symphonic Rock). Many British bands, just as many American groups, had short, popular careers, significant only for pop entertainment value, yet these British groups contributed to the artistic evolution of rock music.

22. Electric (late l960s, early l970s)

The Electric era of rock evolved during the late l960s, almost as an off-shoot of the Northern California style. Many bands of this time became popular with an almost "larger-than-life" atmosphere surrounding them. The style is noted for its tremendous use of electronic amplification, guitar feed-back, dazzling stage spectacles (using lights and other theatrical props), simple chords, melodies and rhythms, and at times, drugoriented lyrics along with liberal doses of psychedelia. Some music historians declare

86 this style as the predecessor to rock's Heavy Metal style. The term, Acid-Rock, is derived from this style. An early pioneer of this style was the guitarist, Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix developed a virtuosity on the guitar that would influence countless rock guitarists of future generations. Along with technical advances on the guitar, Hendrix also introduced new timberal creations with the guitar. Hendrix established an almost cult-like following. Unfortuantely, Jimi Hendrix died of a drug overdose and his short, important career ended. Michael Nesmith of the Monkees fame (the Monkees were a popular "manufacted" rock band of the late l960s designed for use on Television) discusses how the Monkees actually discovered Jimi Hendrix and brought his talent to America, and to the world of rock music: There were a few incredibly unusual side effects to the Monkees, not the least of which was the strange case of Jimi Hendrix and the Monkees. It is a little-known fact that Hendrix was introduced to the United States by the Monkees. Actually, he was discovered by Mickey Dolenz [a member of the Monkees] in a small club in London. I can't remember why we were in London at the time, but I was hanging around the London pop scene with John Lennon. The Monkees were due to start an American tour and we needed an opening act. So Mickey comes to me and says he heard this trio in a club the night before, and the rock'n'roll they played was unlike anything any of us had ever heard. At this point, we had enough control of our tours to demand who we wanted. Mickey says he wants the trio, and I say fine, OK. Later that night, I trundled off to a club and met Lennon and McCartney and George Harrison and Eric Clapton. This was like me being with the Vatican, the pop priests of the time. Lennon says, "Listen, you guys have to hear this." And he pulls out this little Sony tape recorder and plays "Hey Joe," by Jimi Hendrix, the same guy Mickey wants on the tour. The table all of a sudden gets very quiet. It seems as though we're listening to a guy who has invented a new kind of music. [Nesmith talks about his first meeting with Hendrix in a hallway] Then the door opens, almost as if by magic, and there stands Jimi Hendrix in all of his colors. Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding are standing on either side of him. Jimi's hair is standing straight up. He appears back-lit. And he begins to waft down the hall with these long,

87 flowing, multicolored paisley things. He has pinwheels for eyes. And I'm thinking, "Who is this?" And he walks up to me and says, "Hi, Mike. I'm Jimi Hendrix." I say, "Oh." That was all I could say. I was totally blown away by this man's presence. . . I thought, "Well, I want to hear this guy live." Going to the arena early posed some security problems, so I disguised myself. I'm standing there, and he comes on, and the first song he does is "Purple Haze." I can remember being moved back, physically back, about two feet. I had never heard such music in my life. I thought, "The man has plugged into some celestial outlett." [Nesmith talks about the Monkees young audience's indifference to Hendrix] From Raleigh to Forest Hills, and four to six dates in between, things went downhill. The girls would start yelling out, "We want the Monkees," somewhere in the middle of one of his songs, and it was very depressing to Jimi. Devatated him. Here was this guy, a musical giant, opening for four guys who are trying to duplicate a reasonable facsimile of their television soundtracks. Finally in New York, at Forest Hills, the yelling for us got so bad during Jimi's set that he walked offstage. He was in a middle of a number. He threw his guitar down, flipped everyone the bird, said, 'Fuck you,' and walked off the stage. I was standing with Mickey Dolenz, and I turned to Mickey and I said, "Good for him." 45 Some other important artists and bands during this style included Steppenwolf, Cream, Vanilla Fudge, Jethro Tull, the Yardbirds, The Doors, and the Animals. An important member of several of the preceding rock groups is Eric Clapton (guitar). When Clapton became a member of the Yardbirds, he had his first encounter as a rock guitar hero. After his tenure with the Yardbirds ended, Clapton performed with several other bands before he and his fellow musicians, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, formed the rock band Cream. Clapton's popularity, especially with the British blues fans, began to grow enormously. During this period Clapton began to explore new areas of rock improvisation. Eric Clapton has also performed with other important rock artists such as George Harrison, Steve Winwood, and Leon Russell. 46 The Doors, a Los Angeles rock band, became an important rock music influence during this time period. With their lead singer, an almost would-be poet Jim Morrison, 45Smith, 46Hardy,

Off the Record, 223-225. Encyclopedia, 102.

88 the Doors were the group who most successfully carried "underground" music beyond an audience of "freaks" and students to a mass teenage market. Their music explored the mysteries, totems, and taboos of contemporary America. 47

23. Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music styles can be considered loud and aggressive. These styles developed out of the sounds of such bands as the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Yardbirds, the Who, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

There are certain stylisitc

overlaps between these two styles however Hard Rock maintained a closer connection to its Blues and folk-rock roots. 48 Hard Rock singers were generally able to sing lyrical ballads and loud, heavy rock songs. Heavy Metal singers generally concentrated on screaming often obscured lyrics to audiences caught up on the power of the sound, not on the meaning of the lyrics. Hard Rock bands frequently used amplified "acoustic" guitars stummed in a folk-rock style while Heavy Metal bands tended to use electric guitars in the manner of Led Zepplin and Cream. 49

Distortion and feedback were characteristic of both styles.

Important Hard Rock bands included Steppenwolf, early Aerosmith, Heart, and Boston. Heavy Metal bands included important ensembles such as Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple. Led Zepplin, an achitype of Heavy Metal, was originally formed as a blues revival band playing cover versions of songs by such blues artists as Howlin'Wolf and Willie Dixon. Early Led Zepplin used bass riffs as heard in Cream and Jimi Hendrix.


146. Rock Music Styles, 175. 49Charlton, Rock Music Styles, 175. 48Charlton,

89 Led Zepplin incorporated long instrumental improvisations as an outgrowth of Psychedelic Era's attempt to allow the listener to connect with thoughts and images portrayed in the music. 50


Ibid., 181.

90 24. Music Festivals

In August of l969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair (with a promotional title of "3 Days of Peace and Music") was held on a 600-acre farm near Bethel, New York. Over the three-day festival, approximately 400,000-500,000 rock fans participated in the historic gathering. Featured performers included many, but definitely not all, of the most important rock bands of the l960s. Musicians and bands such as Joan Baez, The Grateful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, Richie Havens, Crosby-Stills-Nash-and-Young, Santana, The Who, The Band, Ten Years After, Sha Na Na, John Sebastian, Melanie Safka, Blood-Sweat-and Tears, Johnny Winter, Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat, Arlo Guthrie, Ravi Shanker, Sly & the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, came together to perform in what was to become an important sociological and musical event. Even though rock music had already established the rock musical festival format (for example, The Monterey Pop Festival), Woodstock developed into something unique, perhaps never to be repeated. On Monday, within twenty-four hours after the festival's conclusion, the mythologizing of the festival began. The Jefferson Airplane, David Crosby, and Joni Mitchell (who did not play at Woodstock but subsequently wrote the festival anthem), appeared live on Dick Cavett's network-TV talk show to give their euphoric account of the weekend, complete with a live, uncensored Jefferson Airplane rendition of "We Can Be Together," (they sang, "Up against the wall, motherfucker," as the credits rolled). 51 The movie documentary on Woodstock was released the following year and Woodstock's myth accelerated.


Fricke, "Minor Epiphanies and Momentary Bummers," Rolling Stone, 24 August l989, 63.

91 The promoters of the festival originally planned for an audience of approximately 150,000-200,000 spread over the three day period, but once the festival began they realized their extreme miscalculation. The festival was, at first, a concert requiring purchased tickets for entry, but that too became an impossibility. Before the concert began, the event turned into a free concert.

The audience and performers also

encountered logistical hardships. Since the promoters had miscalculated the incredible size of the audience, food, water, and sanitary facilities were grossly inadequate. The roads to the festival became giant parking lots and the performers had to be flown in by helicopters. In addition to the lack of adequate facilities and supplies, heavy summer rains turned the grassy field into a muddy quagmire. Because of the rain, musicians on stage had to worry about electrical shocks and the concert promoters were concerned that the huge speaker and lighting towers may collapse. But Woodstock was Woodstock and the people turned the miscalculations, misfortunes, and discomforts into, at the least, a livable situation. Today Woodstock's mythology has turned whatever negatives there were into a fantasy of the l960s generation and its ideological hopes.

Four months later, the

Altamont rock festival (with its main support by the Rolling Stones) turned into a violent, ugly spectacle which brought the fantasy inspired by Woodstock and the l960s ideals to a crashing halt. The following quotes by actual Woodstock performers and/or participants are included to provide first-person observations. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead: "It was raining toads when we played. The rain was part of our nightmare. The other part was our sound man, who decided that the ground [electrical] situation on stage was all wrong. It took him about two hours to change it, which held up the show. He finally got it set the way he wanted it, but every time I touched my instrument, I got a shock. The stage was wet and the electricity was coming through me. I was conducting! Touching my guitar and the microphone was

92 nearly fatal. There was a great big blue spark about the size of a baseball, and I got lifted off my feet and sent back eight or ten feet to my amplifier." 52 Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young: "Backstage was totally chaotic. There was so much dope that it's very hard to remember anything. Whenever the three or four of us would get together, especially with the [Jefferson] Airplane and the Grateful Dead and [John] Sebastian, it was just nonsense. Woodstock was only our second gig, but we weren't afraid of the crowd. We were more concerned with our peers. I think Stephen [Stills] and I were a little nervous that Hendrix and the Band and Blood, Sweat, and Tears were there." 53 Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane: "I have a bladder the size of a dime, and I couldn't go to the bathroom all night. I'm real fastidious. I like toilets that flush. I like showers with plenty of water pressure. I'm kind of a spoiled brat, but it didn't bother me at the time. We all thought it was funny. And the audience was the same way, despite the fact that they were in the mud and there were about twenty outhouses way the hell across the other side of the field." 54 Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane: "I was drunk, and I passed out on the roof of some automobile in a car caravan. When I woke up, I was at Woodstock. At the hotel, I played poker with the other musicians to pass the time. I remember Janis [Joplin] was winning most of the time. Janis, Hendrix, the Who, Sly, Crosby, Stills, and Nash-all kinds of people would sit in for a few hands, then it was, 'Okay, the helicopter's leaving. Time to go.' It was fun. People playing cards, jamming, partying. It was kind of like a fraternity rush. Woodstock was also a spiritual event. When those kids were sitting in Tiananmen Square [China], it brought tears to my eyes. I thought, 'That's a beautiful thing. It reminds me of Woodstock.' " 55 Country Joe of Country Joe and the Fish: "I get kind of mystical about my solo performance at Woodstock. I think I was fated to do it. I was hanging around, and I was just filling time, singing a few country and western songs and folk songs. Then I did 'Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag'--the 'F-U-C-K' cheer--and the rest is history. From the first response to 'Give me an F,' when they all stopped talking and looked at me and yelled, 'F,' I knew there was no turning back. . . . I walked around through the crowd and over to the Hog Farm, where they were serving food. It was a very mellow, happy crowd. I wasn't aware of any hard drugs-opiates, cocaine--at all. There was hashish and psychedelics, but there were none of the drugs that tend to make people violent or antisocial. All the drug taking was friendly and 52David

Fricke, "Woodstock Remembered: The Artists," Rolling Stone, 24 August l989, 67. 53Ibid., 68. 54Ibid., 75. 55Ibid.

93 cordial. Too many people read serious political and sociological meanings into the event, way beyond its significance. I think it was a pretty innocent gathering from any point of view." 56 Arlo Guthrie: "I was in awe of the immensity of what was happening. It was much more than a big concert. We were aware that it was a historic event in progress, which was rare. I think that people who were there and even people who weren't there knew it instantly, and that's what was so exciting. There were people being killed in the streets of the U.S. by the police and the National Guard. It was dangerous for large groups of people who looked like we did to get together in those days. Maybe we were a little innocent or naive about who we were and what we were doing, but it certainly wasn't just a fun thing to do. . . . I've heard a lot of people over the years saying that Woodstock wasn't important, that people were blowing it out of proportion, but something must have happened, or we wouldn't still be talking about it twenty years later." 57 Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane: "Woodstock was the last great burst of innocence in the face of the oncoming 70s and war and hard drugs and [President] Nixon and disco. You could fill an entire page with the horrors that came after Woodstock. But people gained a certain audacity and confidence from the strength of numbers there that led to realizing we could deal with Nixon and the environment and end the Vietnam War. When I went to Nicaragua recently, I felt the same spirit there." 58


87. 88. 58Steve Hochman, "Rock of Ages," Sacramento Bee, 15 August l989, 2(D). 57Ibid.,

94 25. Jazz of the l960s and l970s.

Once the Cool era of jazz ended in the late l950s, a more eclectic style emerged. This new style is difficult to define because of its inherent eclectic nature. Jazz was, and is, an art form that is still evolving and growing artistically. Even though it may be difficult to pin-point exact contemporary jazz styles, the eclectic era of the l960s and l970s does possess some very important musical elements and, of course, jazz artists. Jazz musicians continued to experiment. Some used elements of past styles while others experimented with entirely new musical concepts. Older musical elements were given new life and the new uncharted aspects of jazz were explored. A new term, Third Stream, developed during the early l960s and continues today. This music explores elements of classical music and jazz, then combines these two major musical forms to create a new music. The various combinations of the two major musical forms can vary widely; thus third stream jazz can have an infinite amount of musical color. Hubert Laws, a third stream jazz flutist, performs many classical works using contemporary instruments such as electric piano in place of the more traditional classical instruments. He also performs jazz-oriented pieces in a classical approach, creating a unique blending of both major forms. Even in the l980s, third stream music continues with the popular emergence of the New Age style. Once again, classical elements are combined with jazz and, at times, rock or pop elements, producing yet another musical vehicle. Experiments in traditional styles of music were begun by such avant-garde jazz artists as Ornette Coleman and Joe Harriot (Avant-garde is defined as any new and experimental art).

This type of experimentation became known as Free-Form jazz

95 because even the basic elements of musical form are not present until the actual composition is performed. The musicians react to one another without many prearranged conditions, much as the avant-garde classical composer, John Cage, strives to do within his contemporary classical compositions. Free-Form jazz does not restrict itself to any type of musical scale, harmony, or meter, or to even any specific type of improvisation. Free-Form stretched our musical system to its known limits. Another pioneer of the eclectic age was the saxophonist, John Coltrane (sometimes called "Trane"). Coltrane began on the tenor saxophone but by the end of his career he was also very popular with the soprano saxophone. Perhaps his most important legacy was his freeing the saxophone (thus other instrumentalists too) from its normal melodic limits by exploring the altissimo (high upper) range of the saxophone and by his improvisations centering around chord extensions. His technique was powerful and his "sheets of sound" became a trademark of his performance. Even though the big band era of the l930s and l940s was long past, the big bands were not dead and they experienced a resurgence beginning in the l960s. Jazz started to become a serious subject in academia during this era and the big band format became the popular performance medium. At first, colleges established jazz big bands; then high schools did the same, and by the late l960s, even some elementary schools had jazz big bands. Contemporary big bands of Woody Herman (clarinet/saxophone), Stan Kenton (piano/composer), Buddy Rich (percussion), Maynard Ferguson (screech trumpet), and Don Ellis (trumpet, trombone, drums, and composer), were all very popular and successful in jazz nightclubs and educational institutions throughout America and the world. The bands were, at times, experimental; yet they proved that the big band jazz format was alive and well.

96 Don Ellis was one of the first big band leaders to incorporate elements of rock music, electronic instruments, Eastern instruments, and odd-meters into big band jazz. Ellis enjoyed experimentation, and his line-up would fluctuate, but he kept jazz traditions alive. Buddy Rich and his big band contrasted with Don Ellis' band because Rich was much more of a jazz traditionalist.

His powerful and technically demanding drum

performance set a standard for all contemporary jazz big band drumming. Not only was Rich a respected and popular artist, but he was also a regular on several popular television interview shows including the Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson, whose fantasy is to become a big band drummer. Buddy Rich's personality contributed to his appeal as his big ego and quick wit carried him through any situation. Buddy also made some interesting observations abouts Rock concerts of today: "Today, kids feel like they have to light matches and scream whenever they're enjoying something.

I don't

understand the screaming. How can you listen? In the old days, people would save their yelling for the end of the chart [song]. If you played a tune and they liked it, they'd let you know it. Today, you're out there playing and the people are making more noise than the music." 59 Even near the end of his career, when he was almost fifty years older than some of the musicians in his band, Rich would say, "I can outdo anything they can do. I'm stronger, tougher. And I'm better!" He was correct! 60 Shortly after Buddy Rich's death in l987, Craig Wilson writing for USA Today, April 3, l987, discusses Buddy Rich: Jazz drummer Buddy Rich, who called women broads and modern-day drummers wimps, died Thursday afternoon at UCLA medical center . . . . 59Smith, 60Craig


Off the Record, 23. Wilson, "Buddy Rich: He followed his own beat," USA Today, 3 April


. . . A self-taught drummer and a sixth-grade dropout, he leaves behind a legacy of playing hard, with and without drums. Often called the world's greatest drummer, he always agreed with the billing. "What he did was display an enormous, forceful, crisp energy in his playing," band leader Artie Shaw said Thursday night. "Nobody had quite the beat that he had. It was a powerful propulsion that he gave a band. Sometimes overwhelmingly so. You couldn't hold him down. He had this energy that was absolutely unstoppable. You couldn't contain it." . . . Although he was 50 years older than most of the men in his band on his last tour last summer, Rich said, "I can outdo anything they do. I'm stronger, tougher. And I'm, better." He was the driving force, saying he was "up" every night. "I sweep me away," he told USA TODAY last summer. "I'm responsible for all I do. I can't afford to let down. My ego's too great." . . . Surveying New York from the window of his apartment high above Lincoln Center last June, Rich said, "I'm a rule breaker." It may have been the understatement of the century. On women, he once said, "Every broad looks the same today. Ugly. They all want to look like day wrestlers." He was no kinder to fellow drummers. "Most drummers went to the Con Edison School of Music. They all sound like a drum machine." . . . What you saw and heard was what you got. He was a Marine, a judo instructor, and the winner of every award a jazz drummer could get. "There's an inbred rhythm involved that I'm not sure people can learn," Rich said of drumming. "You have to be born with it. A great drummer has to be one and the same with his instrument." . . . He played with the Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey bands before starting his own after World War II. He then toured with trumpeter Harry James, and in the '60s again formed his own band, criss-crossing the USA to play in big theaters and small high school gyms, wherever fans gathered. "I don't make any substitutions, and I don't change the music whether it's a concert hall or high school," Rich said. "You buy Buddy Rich and his band, that's what you get." He loved being on the road. "There are still a few of us trying to keep an American art form alive," he said. Rich never thought of retirement. "I'll play till I drop," he said. Agent Jackie Green said Rich told him Wednesday to get the band ready to go back on the road.

98 Throughout this eclectic era of jazz some of the musical experiments were successful, and others were not. A living art form continues to evolve and jazz did so and continues to do so.

26. Jazz/Rock

It was inevitable that, since rock music had its roots in jazz music, someday elements of both styles would blend. Thus in the late l960s, a new style of music, jazz/rock or fusion, evolved. The crossover between jazz and rock occurred once old attitudes held by jazz and rock musicians were dropped. Some jazz artists had felt rock was too simple and primitive and that rock did not require much skill or musicianship. Some rock musicians had believed that jazz was too complex, thus restricting its popularity with the general public. Once the folly of these beliefs was discovered, the evolution of popular music could continue. This fusion or jazz/rock style occurred in many different forms. Some jazz groups would include a rock style tune in their repertoire or a rock band could use a few jazz-style instruments in their songs, but some fusion groups used significant amounts of both styles, blended to form an exciting hybrid sound. Some of the more popular jazz/rock bands, such as Chicago, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and Tower of Power, combined a rock rhythm section and rock lyrics with jazz instruments, jazz-like improvisations, and jazz harmonies.

The resultant blend was

commercially successful. Rock supplied the exciting forward compelling beat while the jazz elements fueled a technical and coloristic advance of the musical spectrum. Even though some rock and jazz fans would not move from the conservative, limiting positions

99 and thus would not listen to jazz/rock, many rock and jazz fans would broaden their musical tastes by listening to this new hybrid style of jazz/rock. Other important artists in the jazz/rock style included: Chick Corea (keyboard); Earth, Wind, and Fire; Herbie Hancock (keyboard/composer); Weather Report; Tom Scott (woodwind); John McLaughlin; and Miles Davis (trumpet).

100 27. Theatrical Rock

Towards the end of the l960s, rock was exploring many different directions and was continuing its growth as an art form. One of the grandest and most dramatic forms of music is opera. Rock music would use this musical form in two rock operas, "Jesus Christ, Superstar," and "Tommy," and in an important rock musical, "Hair." "Jesus Christ, Superstar," composed by the British musician Andrew Lloyd Webber (later to also compose "Cats," "Evita," "Starlight Express," and "The Phantom of the Opera,") with lyrics by Tim Rice, became one of the most artistically important events in the evolution of rock music. In Webber's composition, rock used the same important musical form, opera, as some of the greatest classical composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Puccini, and Wagner did. "Superstar" had all the important operatic elements, such as drama, music, choreography, visual art, and a libretto. Of course, the opera was controversial from its beginning. Some musicians felt it shameful that rock elements would even be used to create an opera. The opera itself had four major controversies that would, and still does, create turmoil. First, the opera concerns Christian religious beliefs; many felt it was blasphemous even to put Christian thought with rock music. Second, Judas was portrayed as somebody trying to save Jesus rather than betraying him. Third, the opera perhaps implies a romantic relationship between Jesus and Mary.

And four, the opera ends with the crucifixion and not with the

resurrection. If "Jesus Christ, Superstar," is dissected only for its musical elements, the opera proves to be worthy of high praise and it will most likely occupy an important category in the evolution of music. Even though the rock musical "Hair" does not contain the same elements of an opera, it too was a landmark rock composition. The musical is a time capsule of society

101 of the l960s. Within the script are all the important sociological topics of the l960s including war sentiments, drug experimentation, social class conflicts, racism, politics, the justice system, sexual experimentation, and the conflict between the establishment and the counter-culture. As with "Jesus Christ, Superstar," "Hair" was controversial but very popular, providing several hit singles. Both works, originally stage productions, were made into successful major motion pictures in the early l970s. Movie critics, Siskel and Ebert placed "Hair" as one of the ten best movies of the l970s. 28. Art Rock

The increase of interest in theme albums and the flourishing of FM radio stations playing longer versions of music (beyond the "three minute" barrier), influenced some rock-oriented musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s to expand rock music formats. The simplest form of Art Rock used instruments normally associated with symphonic (band and orchestra) music such as violins, violas, cellos, woodwinds, and brasses and combined these larger ensembles with the basic rock instrumentation (perhaps an extension of earlier music experiments by George Martin and Phil Spector) Art Rock became a more complex style by incorporating expanded instrumentation, multimovement compositions, using odd time-meters, and utilizing the influences of avantgarde classical and electronic musicians. 61 Important bands of the Art Rock style included the Moody Blues, Genesis, Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, and Emerson/Lake/Palmer.

29. Punk Rock and New Wave


Rock music Styles, 205.


Although named after a English clothing style, Punk Rock had its origins in the United States and was developed out of the "garage" bands of the mid-sixties but gained prominence in the mid-1970s. Most of these bands were formed by teenagers who learned to finger basic, simple guitar chords and flail away at drum sets while playing at a high decibel levels. The result was a rough, raw, and musically undisciplined style but a style that expressed the interest of the teenagers at the time. 62 Punk was not only a musical style, but a cultural phenomena. It was nihilistic, pessimistic, and presented a bleak outlook on life. 63 Early Punk bands opposed the "commercialization" of rock. Essentially, punk philosophy was dadaist or antiart.

The messages were generally

political or social, and musical technique was not important. 64 Important Punk musicians included Iggy Pop and the Stooges, MC5, the Velvet Underground, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and Patti Smith. After the Punk Rock style formalized, sub styles began to emerge such as New York Punk, British Punk, and West Coast Punk. New Wave music began in the late 1970s and the style is not fully defined. During the late 1070s, many rock fans felt rock needed a new infusion of energy. Punk Rock had the energy but was too violent and musically limited to appeal to the "mass" pop music audience. Some bands incorporated Punk's half-beat pulse, monotone vocals, and emotional alienation but performed in a more "mainstream" popular rock styles thus became known as "new wave." 65 New wave was a generic term used to categorize a wide range of rock bands. Punk usually only used guitar, bass, and drums, new wave


231. The Art of Rock and Roll, 241. 64Ibid., 242. 65Charlton, Rock Music Styles, 241. 63Brown,

103 bands added electronic keyboards, saxophones, or other instruments. New Wave bands produced a cleans, slick sound. Important new wave bands included Devo, Blondie, the Cars, the B-52's, Elvis Costello, and the Pretenders. Both styles were trimmed down from the grandiose rock styles of the seventies played in large arenas, which created an large distance between audience and performer. Punks even resented a rock music that was so complex that most teens could never achieve the necessary technical proficiency to play it--at least not without years of serious musical study. New wave used modern electronic instruments and created a slick, clean sound but maintained punk's energetic pulse. 66

30. Final View

Since the l890s, America has nourished its one and only, truly indigenous art form, Jazz. Until the l950s, jazz was America's popular music. Jazz has now proved to be a viable, progressive, and active art, one that is known around the world. As with any great style of music, jazz has produced artistic giants.

Musicians such as Louis

Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and Charlie Parker have clearly advanced not only jazz but music in general. Some people say that jazz has had a true revival in the l980s. Jazz clubs are either reopening or starting; courses in jazz appreciation and history, along with jazz performance groups, are being offered in many academic institutions, ranging from elementary schools to the most prestigious universities. But is this l980s revival truly a revival or is it merely a continuance of the jazz evolutionary process? Jazz music has


Rock Music Styles, 247.

104 never disappeared, and this art form should continue to grow and be enjoyed by its musicians and its audiences. Not only is jazz recognized as a great musical art form in America, its importance is supported throughout the world (perhaps even more than in its birthplace, America). Quincy Jones relates a comment associated with the worlds view of jazz compared to America's: "Funny, but the Europeans understood the change in music better than the Americans. I did a [U.S.] State Department tour with Dizzy [Gillespie] in '56, and we got more trouble from the U.S. Information Agency than we did from anybody else. When we went to North Africa, the USIA people there thought Dizzy was a baseball player-Dizzy Dean. They didn't have a clue. After the tour, we went to the White House. [Richard] Nixon was vice-president, and he asked Dizzy, 'Was the tour fun?' And Dizzy said, 'It was the most fun I've had since I've been black.' I never forgot that line." 67

Though started as a passing fad in the l950s, rock music too has grown into an art form in a very short period of time. With its roots in jazz, this new music of rock has become America's most popular style of music. Just like jazz, rock has progressed through different style periods and it has had its truly great musicians such as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles. Rock music today continues its evolutionary process just as jazz does. The history of jazz and rock is important to artistic and musical evolution in America and throughout the world.


Off the Record, 79.

105 Appendix A Names of Rock Bands

Throughout the history of jazz and rock there have always been items of interest which may or may not be of importance to the musical evolution, yet some of these items may be of interest because of their own unique trivia. One such item regards the names of rock bands. The following is an excerpt from an article written by Peter B. King of the Scripps Howard News Service titled, "Names of Bands Range From Ridiculous to Repulsive." Oh immortal rock'n'rollers! Who among us can forget Ultimate Spinach, the Strawberry Alarm Clock or Gang of Four? True, we may not remember their music, but their wondrous names echo through the corridors of time. Whimsical, profound or merely shocking, names have been sticking like syrup from the earliest rock'n'roll to the psychedelic era to the nihilism of the latest trash. Before the dawn of rock, solo performers, rather than groups, got the best tags-especially blues and R+B performers. Certainly Blind Lemon Jefferson, "Sleepy" John Estes, Little Miss Sharecropper, and Bull Moose Jackson certainly have a ring to them. With the advent of rock in the early l950s came band names that fascinate us simply because they so effortlessly conjure up that era. Bands singing humorous songs picked names to match--Dicky Doo and the Dont's. the Trash Men, and Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers. But most names until l964 or so were just plain lame. How about Dannie and the Juniors, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, or Joey Dee and the Starliters? With the British Invasion, things loosened up a bit. The Rolling Stones and the Pretty Things were certainly offbeat. Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders presaged the psychedelic world to come. The most memorable British name? I vote for the Troggs, from troglodytes or cave dwellers. Appropriate for a group that did, "Wild Thing." On our side of the ocean, don't forget ? and the Mysterians, the Delfonics, or Archie Bell and the Drells. (Does anybody know what a Drell is?) The first great flowering of names took place during the psychedelic era of the mid-'60s. Obviously, it did away with the need to name a group in the plural. But it changed far more than that, legitimizing every imaginable kind of wierdness. . . Some of the more outrageous: Blue Crumb Truck Factory, Colossal Pomegranate, The Drongos, Family Cow, Finger of Scorn, Freudian Slips, Frumious Bandersnatch, G String Quartet, Granny Goose and the Soul Ships, The LBJs, Little Miss Cornshucks and the Loose Troupe, Magnesium Water Lilly, Martha's Laundry, William Penn and his Pals,

106 Transatlantic Chicken Wicken No. 5, Truman Coyote, The Vast majority, The Vast Minority, and Peter Wheat and the Bread Men. Not that you had to be from San Francisco to have a good name in the late '60s or early '70s. The Floodgates had opened: The Lovin' Spoonful took their name from a sexy folk-blues tune by Mississippi John Hurt. Pink Floyd's name also goes back to folkblues--it's a combination of the names of two Georgia singers: Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. . . Judas Priest picked up on a Bob Dylan song, "Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest.". . . The next trend in names blew in with the punk scene in the late l970s. The Sex Pistols, certainly, was a terrific name for its genre--threatening and nasty enough to sum up in two words the angry pose of an entire subculture. For more choice examples of punk names (some, alas, not printable in a family newspaper), let's turn to a copy of the Village Voice, dated August 14, l978, at punk's peak. Among the bands advertised: Erasers, the Cramps, Stillettos, Miamis, the Shirts, the Rudies, the Nuns, Shrapnel, the Dead Boys, the Misfits, the Ghosts, the Terrorist, the Brats, Murder Inc., Tight Squeeze, Fractures, and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. And in their quest to be repulsive, bands even looked to Nazi Germany. Joy Division took its name from the prostitutes attached to Hitler's army. The ugliness of punk tradition lives on today in heavy metal and thrash, which combines elements of metal and punk. For example: Slayer, Violence, Anthrax, Death Angel, Nuclear Assault, and Overkill. Or how about Megadeath, Rigor Mortis, Armored Saint, Guns 'n' Roses, Metal Church, Lizzy Borden, and Iron Maiden, which is the name of a medieval torture device. Trash also has graced us with probably the most offensive name of all time--Sharon Tate's Baby. Of course, bands who wouldn't be caught dead playing metal or trash have interesting names. Take Mr. Mister, a-ha, 10,000 maniacs, Scritti Politti, or the Bonedaddys. One of my favorites is The Sex Clark Five, which of course is an alteration of the old Dave Clark Five. Isn't that absurd? Appendix B Top 100 Rock Albums The following is a list of the top twenty albums along with other selected albums excerpted from the, "Top 100 Rock 'n' Roll Albums of All Time," from Paul Gambaccini's book polling 81 critics from around the world (listed in the "USA Today" newspaper, March 24, l987). 1. 2. 3. 4.

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band," the Beatles. "Born to Run," Bruce Springsteen. "Blond on Blond," Bob Dylan. "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye.

107 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

"Born in the U.S.A.," Bruce Springsteen. "The Sun Collection," Elvis Presley. "The Velvet Underground and Nico," the Velvet Underground and "Pet Sounds," the Beach Boys. "Astral Weeks," Van Morrison. "The Beatles," the Beatles. "Exile on Main Street," the Rolling Stones. "Let It Bleed," the Rolling Stones. "Abbey Road," the Beatles.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 23. 25. 30. 33. 36. 38. 42. 45. 47. 65. 71. 72. 75. 85. 87.

"Songs in the Key of Life," Stevie Wonder. "Dark Side of the Moon," Pink Floyd. "Live at the Apollo, Vol. 1," James Brown. "Revolver," the Beatles. "Highway 61 Revisited," Bob Dylan. "Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols," the Sex Pistols. "Who's Next," the Who. "Rubber Soul," the Beatles. "Thriller," Michael Jackson. "Blood on the Tracks," Bob Dylan. "Tapestry," Carole King. "Beggars Banquet," the Rolling Stones. "Live!," Bob Marley and the Wailers. "Innervision," Stevie Wonder. "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," Simon and Garfunkel. "Synchronicity," the Police. "The Unforgettable Fire," U2. "Here's Little Richard," Little Richard. "Beatles For Sale," the Beatles. "Sports," Huey Lewis and the News. "King Creole," Elvis Presley. "Imagine," John Lennon. "Making Movies," Dire Straits.


108 Appendix C Music Definitions Definitions (List of Musical Terms) : (some of the preceding definitions are excerpted from: Mark C. Styles, 3rd. edition, (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc.,1988).

Gridley, Jazz

ax: most general slang name for any instrument. Ballad: a slow jazz or rock composition. big band: an ensemble of ten or more performers. blue note: a pitch between either: a major third and minor third; a perfect fourth or perfect fifth, or; a minor seventh or major seventh of the scale. bomb: a pronounced accent played by the drummer. break: the portion of a piece in which all band members stop playing except the one improvising the solo. The tempo and chord progressions are maintained by the soloist, but, because the band has stopped, it is called a stop-time. Rarely do such breaks last longer than two to four measures. bridge: the B part of an AABA composition; also known as the channel, the release, or the inside. chops: slang term for music performance facility. comping:

syncopated chording which provides improvised accompaniment for

simultaneously improvised solos, flexibly complementing the rhythms and implied harmonies of the solo line. counterpoint: two or more melodic lines of approximately equal importance sounding together. double-time: a sudden doubling of the tempo. double-time feeling: the feeling that a piece of music or a player is going twice as fast as the tempo, although the chord progressions continue at the original rate.

109 fill: in general, anything a drummer plays in addition to basic timekeeping patterns; in particular, a rhythmic figure played by a drummer to--1) fill a silence, 2) announce the entrance or punctuate the exit of a soloist or other section of the music. gig: concert, performance, or job. head: the melody or prewritten theme for a composition. head chart: a band arrangement that was created extemporaneously by the musician. high-hat: a part of the drum set where two cymbals are brought together by the use of a foot pedal. Usually used in jazz to help keep the time. Also called the sock cymbal. horn: general label for any wind instrument. jam session: a musical get-together where improvisation is stressed. laid back: an adjective used to describe a feeling of a relaxation of the jazz musical and rhythmic line. lick: a phrase or melodic fragment. ride cymbal: the large cymbal suspended over a drum set, struck by a drum stick to set timekeeping patterns called ride rhythms (the most common being: ching-chick-a-chingchick-a). riff: 1) phrase, 2) melodic fragment, 3) theme, and 4) a short section of music played over and over. turnaround: a short chord progression that occurs just prior to the point at which the player must "turn around" to begin another repetition of a longer chord progression. vamp: a short chord progression which is repeated many times in sequence. Often a vamp is used as an introduction or ending.

Appendix D How is a record rated as a #1 hit on the "charts?"


Excerpted from an article written by David Barton in the Sacramento Bee 3/15/87:

What, exactly, would it mean? First, simply to be No. 1, you must be so in Billboard [magazine]. Because of Billboard's size and influence--it reportedly has the largest and most efficient charts staff--the magazine is considered the "charts of record." The weekly magazine has been around for nearly a century and its weekly charts are reprinted in newspapers across the country. They are almost always the charts quoted as the definitive source. If you are not No. 1 in Billboard, you're not No. 1. That stature is determined by a staff of 23. They work in New York, Nashville, and Los Angeles, and log some 800 hours per week on the phone and in front of the computer screen in the weekly compilation of Billboard's 21 charts. The Top 200 album chart is based exclusively on sales reports, which are filed by 205 retail "contacts." Those contacts represent almost 4,500 retail outlets around the country, since one "contact" could be the head office of a retail chain, such as Wherehouse Records, which might represent as many as 700 stores. Of the 205 outlets reporting, Billboard uses about 160 per week so that no one knows exactly whose reports are being used. Of those 160, the larger accounts (about two-thirds) are "constant" and the remaining third, most of them smaller accounts, are "rotating," randomly chosen each week by the computer. Reporting contacts are "weighted," divided by sales volume into seven or eight categories. An enormous chain is worth more than a mom-and-pop store because it sells more records. The standing of each record is then multiplied by the "weight" the contact has been assigned and the points tallied with totals from other contacts.

111 The Hot 100 chart follows a similar formula, but also includes airplay figures, according to Michael Ellis, who overseas Billboard's Hot 100 and several other charts. Besides sales reports, Billboard gets reports from 225 radio stations (a small sampling of the nation's 10,076 radio stations). The stations give Billboard their current play lists, and Billboard gives each record a value based on its play-list position. It then multiplies the figure by a "weight," which is a measure of the stations' average number of listeners per week. A station that has more than a million listeners per week has a weight of 2.5, while the smallest stations (with less than 100,000 listeners per week) are given a weight of .5. In between are stations with weights of 2.0, 1.5, and 1.0. That figure is then totaled with other figures gathered from around the country, balanced with the sales figures, and a chart position is determined. That's how Billboard uses the industry. The industry [record stations and record stores] uses Billboard, but not quite so comprehensively. Billboard is only part of the radio programmer's guide. Many stations prefer the more detailed, radio-focused charts published by the weekly tabloid, Radio and Records. College radio stations usually follow the charts in the College Music Journal. Dozens of tip sheets cover smaller, [separate] regions of the country. Those regional differences are crucial, because every radio station is, at bottom, a local one. So what does it all mean? The charts are important for partial insight into the current music business scene, for their entertainment value, their use as sales tools, and for the clues they offer to the state of music itself.

Appendix E Controversies associated with music and its lyrics.

112 The following is an excerpt from a newspaper article written by Leo N. Miletich, Sacramento Bee, 3/1/87 [originally written for Reason magazine]. Music hath more than the power to charm wild beasts; according to some people, it can drive the beast in you wild. The current overreactive surge of music mania fueled by preachers, "concerned parents" and exploitative politicians leaves the average person with the idea that this is something dreadfully new, an unparalleled threat never before seen.

In fact, it's

something as old as music itself, which proves that people never learn from their mistakes, or else are just ignorant of the past. "Music was invented to deceive and delude mankind," the Greek historian Ephorus declared in the fourth century before Christ. The suspicion was carried over in the works of Aristotle ("The flute is not an instrument which has a good moral effect; it is too exciting") and Plato ("Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them"). Neither man seemed inclined to march to the tune of different drummers. Or flutists. A Vienna ordinance of l572 on public dancing stated, "Ladies and maidens are to compose themselves with chastity and modesty and the male persons are to refrain from whirling and other such frivolities." Violators were fined. Author Jeremy Collier (l650-l726) decreed in A Short View of the Immortality and Profaneness of the English Stage that "Musick is almost as dangerous as Gunpowder. . . and a publick Regulation might not be amiss." In An Irreverent and Thoroughly Incomplete Social History of Almost Everything, Frank Muir describes the effect of the waltz when it was introduced into England from Germany in 1812: "Guardians of public morality immediately pronounced the waltz to be 'will-corrupting,' 'disgusting,' 'immodest'; an 'outright romp in which the

113 couples not only embrace throughout the dance but, flushed and palpitating, whirl about in the posture of copulation.' " It seems the dancers were not the only one heatedly panting. What would they have thought of Soul Train? Today we take ragtime in stride, but in its heyday--perhaps because its roots were in bawdy house parlors, performed by itinerant black musicians like Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin--ragtime was strenuously condemned. The newspaper Musical Courier declared in July, l899: "A wave of vulgar, filthy and suggestive music has inundated the land. Nothing but ragtime prevails, and the cake-walk with its obscene posturing, its lewd gestures. . . Our children, our young men and women are continually exposed to its contiguity, to the monotonous attrition of this vulgarizing music. It is artistically and morally depressing and should be suppressed by press and pulpit." Violinist Maude Powell made a similar demand in a l913 speech before the National Federation of Musical Clubs in Chicago: "I am heartily in favor of a board of censorship for the unspeakable de- praved modern popular song. It's effect on young folk is shocking. The vicious song is allowed in the home by parents, who, no doubt, have not troubled themselves to look at the words. As a result, the suggestive meanings are allowed to play upon immature minds at a dangerous age. It is allowed from the popular song the the popular suggestive dances spring. Together and apart, they are a menace to the social fabric." Two years later, the New Orleans Times-Picayune editorialized against the music that is now a trademark of that city. Jazz, the paper insisted, "is the indecent story syncopated and counterpointed," a form of "musical vice" with no value, "and its possibilities of harm are great." Possibilities of harm? In l986, the parents of a teenage boy who killed himself while listening to heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution" sued the singer, arguing that a low-noise hum on the record somehow had a disturbing influence on the boy and made him more lyrically pliable. But a judge dismissed the suit, giving

114 First Amendment protection to the song. The ruling also means listeners are responsible for their own behavior. . . . . . From the somber dirge of the Great Depression, America leaped into the Swing era, and that, too, was roundly condemned. On October 25, l938, the Archbishop of Dubuque, the Most Reverend Francis J. L. Beckman, labeled the swing music of Benny Goodman and others "a degenerated musical system. . . turned loose to gnaw away the moral fiber of young people." One of the most actively banned composers of the era and indeed of this century was Cole Porter. From his first l928 hits "Let's Do It" ("Let's fall in love") and "Let's Misbehave," Porter's saucy lyrics have been deleted and banned with amazing consistency. "I'm a Gigolo," "You've Got That Thing," "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," "Love for Sale," and others were often attacked and kept off the airwaves. Rodgers and Hammerstein came in for cleansing, too. In the l956 film version of "Carousel," the song "My Boy Bill" was sanitized and its impact lessened when "damn" was changed to "darn" and "skinny-lipped virgin" altered to "skinny-lipped lady." Occasionally, there were voices of sanity in all this. During a l957 congressional debate about network TV censoring Stephen Foster songs (dumping words like "darkies"), Kentucky Representative Frank Chelf told his colleagues, "If we are to change every song that has something in it that somebody does not like, there are not enough rewrite men in America to even get the project started." From that point on, however, the prime target of the music censors was rock'n'roll. Elvis and his twitching, pumping pelvis, almost anything by the Rolling Stones, and even the insipid banality of "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul, and Mary became the focus of conservative outrage. It is arguable, that Richard Nixon's exploits

115 during Watergate had a more disastrous and disillusioning influence on public ethics than did the controversial music of the Fugs in the '60s or AC/DC in the '80s. Of course, some people will believe anything if it's screeched at them from a pulpit. In April, l986, according to the American library Associations Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, the Reverends Steven W. Timmons of Beloit, Wisconsin, and William A. Riedel of Jackson, Michigan, spoke hell-raising sermons against "satanic" rock groups. Named as part of Lucifer's legion were such innocuous songsmiths as Abba, Stevie Nicks, and "probably the most powerful figure in this," John Denver. Timmons told a flock of young people that "Rocky Mountain High" teaches "witchcraft." The parishoners, worked up to a lather, buried a batch of rock records (and some Harlequin romance novels) under a tombstone that read, "Never to rise again." That same month, a South Point, Ohio, evangelist named Jim Brown told his congregation that the theme song of TV's "Mr. Ed" contains hidden messages from Satan. He says he played the song backwards and heard, "The source is Satan." While singing "Oh, How I Love Jesus," he and his psalmsters set about burning rock and country records and tapes. . . . . .Lewd and obscene waltzes; scandalous ragtime and jazz; showtunes and blues red-penciled by bluenoses; Mr. Ed an agent of Satan; John Denver a Warlock. Truly, it's a depressing catalog of narrow-minded boobery at work. You might just as well ban cars because some people drive drunk.

APPENDIX F Corporate Rock

116 The following is excerpted from an article by Peter Newcomb, "Welcome Back, Grace Slick," Forbes, 15 May l989, 56-64.

On the rock music concert scene, what's new is what's old. Pink Floyd, for example. The psychedelic rock group, known for its cerebral music and outrageous light show staging, was created in l966. When cofounders Roger Waters and David Gilmore went their separate ways, in l984, the band fell apart. Then last year Gilmore, now in his 40s, put together a band and took Pink Floyd back on the road. And watched the money pour in. According to Pollstar, which monitors the $1 billion (l988 gross ticket sales) concert industry, Pink Floyd concerts grossed over $27 million in just 23 cities, a smashing $1.2 million per venue. And that's just ticket sales. Add in sales of T shirts and other concert memorabilia, and the tour of this 23-year-old group probably grossed about $35 million. Of that, the band's three members took in at least $20 million. Not bad pay for just 35 nights' work. Pink Floyd has company. The l970s hard rock group Aerosmith splintered apart in l979 and reunited a few years back. Last year Aerosmith, led by 41-year-old lead singer Steven Tyler, grossed over $20 million. The Grateful Dead, which was formed in l965 and is today a cottage industry (Forbes, 18 May, l987), also sold over $20 million worth of tickets on its tours last year. . . . Remember "Never trust anyone over 30"? Well, the people who said that were under 30. Now they are 40 and even 50. . . . Old groups offer promoters the same kinds of advantages Oreo cookies, Budweiser beer, and other brand names offer to the people who do leveraged buyouts: They are brand names with established consumer followings. The old stars may be expensive. But they are proven products that reduce the promoter's risk. . . . .

117 Bill Graham, who promoted most of the big rock acts in the l960s at his Fillmore concert halls in San Francisco and New York City, notes that more groups are now gearing their touring schedule toward the summer months and playing in parks and outdoor stadiums. Why? More familylike atmosphere. The older part of the audience will attend the show for nostalgia's sake, take their children and sit on the lawn and picnic. Says Graham: "There are now three generations of rock 'n' roll fans." Note that these aging rock groups are selling concert tickets. They are not topping the record charts. . . . Since the old-time artists have established images and fairly assured gates, they don't come cheap. A rock concert's gate usually splits something like this: The band aims to take 50% of gross ticket sales, the theater or hall would take 20%--plus parking, concessions, and merchandising rights--and the promoter would get 15% tops. The balance covers miscellaneous operating expenses. . . . [Discussion of the rock band's names] Who owns these increasingly valuable names? That's a sticky question that will only grow stickier. When David Gilmore resurrected Pink Floyd and took the act on the road, the original band's cofounder, Roger Waters, sued Gilmore over the use of the band's name. More recently, three original members of the l960s group the Byrds reunited for three shows in California. When they heard that the band's former drummer had also taken the name on the road, the three reunited musicians reregistered the Byrds trademark under their names. It will be getting harder to distinguish between the sound of the musicians' music and their lawyer's arguing.

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