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Chronology of Rock ‘n Roll
Elvis & Theosophy
It is reported that several
definitive Theosophical texts were
in a personal library that Elvis took on tour.
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To the British public, Rock ‘n Roll began
in 1954 with the release of Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets.
The term Rock ‘n Roll and the musical style
had been around in the United
States for many years previously.
Rock ‘n Roll had been a popular term, for
decades, in Black American Culture to refer to dancing or sex and had been used
in many songs.
Prior to the late 1940s the term used to
denote music by black American artists for black audiences was Race Music. The
record industry introduced the less emotive term Rhythm ‘n Blues as a marketing
ploy to sell black music to white audiences.
The term Rhythm ‘n Blues has run side by
side with Rock ‘n Roll since that time.
In 1951 Disc Jockey Alan Free used to term
Rock ‘n Roll to refer specifically to music when he started his radio show
“Moondog Rock 'n Roll Party” which played black music for a white teenage
Bill Haley and His Comets
The term Rock ‘n Roll became mainstream
with Bill Haley and His Comets in 1954 but the style he adopted was very close
to that of Louis Jordan who had been playing in that style for a over a decade.
Bill Haley’s popularity burnt out after a couple of years, although he had
several revivals up to 1974, and Rock ‘n Roll was carried forward by Elvis
Presley, Little Richard and others.
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Rickenbacker invents the electric guitar.
puts out its first record sales chart in 1936.
Robert Johnson records his first record.
and Joe Turner cut their first boogie records in Kansas City.
boogie woogie in Chicago.
helps develop magnetic tape for use with tape recorders.
Hammond's 'Spirituals to Swing' concert in NYC
Louis Jordan leaves Chick Webb's sax section to form his Tympany Five. This
might well mark the beginnings of what we know as Rock and Roll.
founds a record store in Cleveland, the "Record Rendezvous",
specializing in black music. This was a revolutionary and bold step in selling black
music to white customers
Louis Jordan launches "jump blues"
(rhythm and blues) with "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie "
Los Angeles bluesman T-Bone Walker incorporates jazz chords into the blues guitar
with "IGot A Break Baby"
is founded in Newark
(NJ) to promote black music
is founded in Cincinnati
by Syd Nathan to record hillbilly. In 1946 adds race
invents "echo delay", "multi-tracking" and many other
assembles a combo for "Harlem
Nocturne" that is basically ashrunk-down version of the big-bands of swing
founds Modern Records in Los Angeles, specializing in black music
cuts the first records of Chicago's
plays a powerful guitar riff on Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman"
founds Imperial Records in Los Angeles, specializing in black music
Records is founded by Art Rupe in Los Angeles to specialize in black popularmusic
writer Jerry Wexler invents the term "rhythm and blues" for electric
writes and cuts "Good Rockin' Tonight" in Texas
is founded in Chicago
by two Polish-born Jews, Leonard and Phil Chessm to promote blues and later rhythm
founds Atlantic Records in New York to promote black music at the border
between jazz, rhythm and blues and pop
Detroit R&B saxophonist Wild Bill Moore releases
"We're Gonna Rock We'reGonna Roll"
John Lee Hooker
records Boogie "Chillen'" for Modern Records, a a single, which
charts in 1949.
Columbia introduces the 12-inch 33-1/3 RPM long-playing
invents the Vocoder (Voice Operated recorder)
radio station WDIA hires Nat Williams, the first black disc jockey
Billboard introduces charts for "hillbilly" and "race"
cuts "The Fat Man," a new kind of boogie.
Williams' "Lovesick Blues" reaches the top of the country charts.
Crothers cuts "I Want To Rock And Roll" (1949), with Wild Bill Moore
introduces the 45 RPM vinyl record.
Todd Storz of
the KOWH radio station starts the Top 40 radio program.
chart for "race" records becomes the chart for "rhythm and
changes its name to Chess.
Phillips (white) deejays race music show 'Red Hot and Blue' in Memphis
(Delta blues, Chicago blues, boogie).
Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed decides to speculate on the success of
LeoMintz's store and starts a radio program, Moondog Rock'n'Roll Party, that
broadcasts black music to an audience of white teenagers.
rock and roll record, Ike Turner's Rocket 88, is released.
juke-box that plays 45 RPM records is introduced
and Joe Turner popularize the "shouters"
Carr cuts the dance novelty "We're Gonna Rock ".
Saddlemen become the Comets.
Bandstand TV program airs from Philadelphia every weekday afternoon.
The Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed (aka Moondog) organizes
the first rock and rollconcert, the Moondog Coronation Ball
invents the first solid-body electric guitar, named the 'Les Paul', for the Gibson
founds Sun Records and declares "If I could find a white man who sings
withthe Negro feel, I'll make a million dollars".
Brown's "Hard Times" is the first hit by Jerry Leiber and Mike
Stoller to enter the charts.
Richard's first records released.
"Crazy Man Crazy" is the first rock and roll song to enter the
"Crying in the Chapel" is the first black hit to top the white pop
invents the Stratocaster guitar
records the first Elvis Presley record in his Sun studio of Memphis using tworecorders to produce an effect of
"slapback" audio delay
market constitutes 5.7% of the total American market for records
Records is founded in Indiana,
is owned by James and Vivian Bracken, specializing in black music
makes his first (private) recordings
Boom of Doo
"Rock Around the Clock" is the first rock song used in a movie
companies switch from 78 RPMs to 45 RPMs
electronic company TTK (later Sony) introduces the world's first transistor
forms his band
In 1954, Big
Joe Turner recorded the original version of the 1950s hit, Shake, Rattle and
forms the Tennessee Two with Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant
cuts his first rock and roll records, the first ones to have the guitar as the
maininstrument, and invents the descending pentatonic double-stops (the essence
of rock guitar)
invents the "hambone" rhythm
Chordettes and the Chantels are the first girl-groups
creates "soul" music with "I Got A Woman," a secular
adaptation of an oldgospel
is formed by Johnny Vincent in New Orleans, specializing in black music
Blackboard Jungle is released featuring Bill Haley and His Comets "(We're Gonna)
Rock Around the Clock"
Brothers make their first studio recordings
Rock 'n' Roll Ball" draws huge, half-white audience
records "Blue Suede Shoes"
Sales of 45
rpm records finally outsold 78s.
Parker signed on as Elvis Presley’s manager
Hotel starts Presley-mania
first film, Love Me Tender
The rock 'n'
roll music of white rockers is called "rockabilly" (rock + hillbilly)
Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" introduces
voodoo into Rock'n Roll
is the "Queen of Rockabilly"
popularity of rock and roll causes the record industry to boom and allows
independentlabels to flourish
recording session occurs at Sun Studios with the million dollar quartet
consisting of Jerry
Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash
pioneers the "compilation" record, containing songs by different
had his first official recording session in 1956. It was held in Nashville at producer
Bradley’s, Barn Studio.
signs a recording contract at the age of 11, after five years of singing
made his first appearance on national TV by performing on The Perry Como Show
Bandstand first aired on nationwide TV
releases "School Day" and "Rock and Roll Music"
Golden Age of
Rumble invents the "fuzz-tone" guitar sound
recorded, That’ll Be the Day, at a Norman Petty's New Mexico studio.
begins the Hot 100 singles chart
Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke made
their first appearances on the same The Ed SullivanShow
drafted into the Army
left Sun Records in 1958,becoming the first big
rockabilly artist on the Columbia
Golden age of
overdubs all instruments and vocals on "Summertime Blues" and
"C'mon Everybody "
Pauling invents guitar distortion and feedback on the Five Royales' "The
introduces the first stereo long-playing records
opens offices at the Brill Building
Seville's "The Witch Doctor" and the Tokens' "Tonite I Fell In
Love" are the firstnovelty hits
"Do You Wanna Dance" begins the "dance craze"
is founded in Memphis
to promote black music
Richard quit rock and roll in 1958 to attend Bible college.
Dion and The Belmonts and Laurie Records both had their first hit
when the band’s, "I Wonder Why," made the Top 40
Lewis had 34 of his 37 concert dates in the U.K. cancelled in 1958 when it wasdiscovered that his
new bride with him was also his 13 year old cousin.
makes his final studio recordings " It Doesn’t
Matter Any More," "Moondreams," " Raining
Heart" and "True Love Ways"
Clark Show TV Show began
founds the FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama
"There Goes My Baby" introduces Latin rhythm to pop music Berry Gordy founds Tamla-Motown in Detroit to release pop-oriented soul records
records are sold in the USA
dies at 22 in a plane crash
the US market share of the four "majors" has
dropped from 78% to 44%,while the market share of
independent record companies increased from 22% to 56%
the US market has increased from 213 million dollars to
603 million, and the market share of rock and roll has increased from 15.7% to
on the Ed Sullivan Show following his release from the Army.
Twist is the
biggest dance-craze in the year of the dance-crazes
Britain's most famous impresario, arranges a show for the Silver Beetles in Liverpool
signed with RCA Records in 1960, bringing his hits on Keen Records with him
Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" coins
a form of romantic multi-part vocal harmonies
producer Joe Meek uses the recording studio like an instrument for "I Hear
a New World "
dies at 22
has his first Number 1 hit "Georgia On My Mind "
uses the term "surfing" to describe his instrumental rock and roll
Stax begins to produce soul records in Memphis
Peppermint Lounge opens in New York
has his first number #1 hit, "Running Scared"
and partner Lester Sill released the "Oh Yeah Maybe Baby" on their
new label Philles
first recordings are released.
record his famous Live At the Apollo album
rules the airwaves
Wonder recorded his first Number 1 hit, "Fingertips – Pt. 2,"
the man who gave rock ‘n’ roll its name, dies at the early age of 43
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That which is to be
shunned is pain not yet come. The past cannot be changed or amended; that which
belongs to the experience of the present cannot and should not be shunned; but alike to be shunned are
disturbing anticipations or fears of the
future, and every act or impulse that may cause present or future pain to
ourselves or others.
Occultism, Page 87
Perfection, to be
fully such, must be born out of imperfection, the incorruptible must grow out
of the corruptible, having the latter as its vehicle and basis and contrast
The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 100
It is only by the
attractive force of the contrasts that the two opposites — Spirit and Matter — can be cemented
together on Earth, and, smelted in the fire of self-conscious experience and suffering, find
themselves wedded in Eternity.
The Secret Doctrine , Volume 2, Page 108
Strength to step
forward is the primary need of him who has chosen his path. Where is this to be
found? Looking round, it is not hard to see where other men find their
strength. Its source is profound conviction.
Occultism, Page 67
It is the motive,
and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white,
beneficent Magic. It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the
slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator ....
The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and
revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving; the powers and forces of
spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart — and this is Divine
Occultism, Page 7
agrees with science, and says: “There is no God”. But, on the other hand, our
Ego, that which lives and thinks and feels independently of us in our mortal
casket, does more than believe. It knows that there exists a God in nature, for
the sole and invincible Artificer of all lives in us as we live in Him. No
dogmatic faith or exact science is able to uproot that intuitional feeling
inherent in man, when he has once fully realised it in himself.
Volume 1, Page 36
It may be a pleasant dream to attempt to conceive of
the beauties of the spirit world; but the time can be spent more profitably in
a study of the spirit itself, and it is not necessary that the subject for
study should be in the spirit world.
is subservient to the spiritual, and all physical improvement and progress are
only the auxiliaries of spiritual progress, without which there could be no
Mankind — the majority at any rate — hates to think
for itself. It resents as an insult the humblest invitation to step for a
moment outside the old well-beaten tracks and, judging for itself, to enter
into a new path in some fresh direction.
The Secret Doctrine , Volume 3, Page 14
Even ignorance is better than
Head-learning with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.
The Voice of the Silence, Page 43
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