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date: 23 February 2020

Rock and roll [rock ’n’ roll]locked

  • Robert Walser

Extract

[rock ’n’ roll]

A term sometimes used broadly to refer to the popular music of the second half of the 20th century, but which often narrowly designates a style of the 1950s. The phrase can be found as early as the 1930s in blues lyrics, where it typically served as a euphemism for sex. Bill Haley and his Comets were the first rock and roll group to be listed on Billboard charts with their song Crazy Man Crazy (1953), and when their 1955 hit Rock Around the Clock went to number one, the sounds of rock and roll became ubiquitous. The genre is often described as a merger of black rhythm and blues with white country music, with more emphasis on the contributions of black musicians; indeed, some historians argue that rock and roll began in the early 1950s, when many white teenagers began listening and dancing to rhythm and blues....

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