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#2849784 - 04/16/17 07:39 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9376
Loc: Northern California
It has come up before on the forum that the old AM radio rock and roll stations played a ton of songs that were really not rock and roll. Mack The Knife is an example (which is a song I really grew up liking). Along with some country, blues, jazz standard tunes, pop, etc. Us kids (always liked my aunts using that expression when they talked about the old days) got introduced to a lot of variety in music when trying to listen to our rock and roll. These days I refer to my material as being versatile...hopefully I'll play something for everyone in the audience when I play solo. [MY] newest song is from 1995 LOL! thu

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#2849832 - 04/16/17 12:48 PM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Larryz]
Scott Fraser Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 4808
Loc: Los Angeles
Interestingly, when I first became aware of pop music, via Top 40 radio, was around 1960, when I was 8. In LA radio, at that time, Elvis was considered an Oldie But Goodie, not really current, but Chuck's tunes were still being played, as current records. So I was a little too late to the party to have Elvis as an influence, but Chuck, being a guitarist especially, was very much a part of my music formation.
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#2849953 - 04/17/17 04:53 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Scott Fraser]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I also some time ago, started a discussion on the many ways the word "rock" and term "rock star" was(and still IS) being used.

Celebrity chef ANN BURRELL wrote a book titled, "Cook Like A Rock Star!". Which really didn't have ANYTHING to do with how actual Rock Stars cooked. Or other uses of the word, as in, "Man, he really ROCKS that shirt!" and such.

So, "Rock" is not only the label of a music genre, it's also become both a verb AND an adjective. wink

So now, anyone who's at the top of their particular field is sometimes referred to as a "Rock Star", and anyone who does ANYTHING particularily well is known to "Rock" it. Which to me indicates that the MUSIC the term is borrowed from is something special. wink
Whitefang
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2850369 - 04/19/17 04:50 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I hope, after all this, that JuJu takes away some insight as to what rock'n'roll is. There's only one other example that I can add that may or may not help.....

I was watching the movie "LA BAMBA" yesterday, the first time in many years. There was a part in the movie in which Ritchie Valens said that for the "B" side of "Donna" he wanted to do "La Bamba". His manager/producer tried to nix the idea by saying, "It isn't rock'n'roll." To which Ritchie answered, "It is the way I play it!" That might help explain things a bit, I'm not sure, but another way...

Rock'n'roll is but another vehichle in which a song can ride.

Classical would be the limousine, Jazz would be a sport car, and rock'n'roll would be the "MUSCLE CAR"! wink
Whitefang
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2850403 - 04/19/17 08:01 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9376
Loc: Northern California
I think La Bamba lead The Beatles to Twist and Shout...it's fun to run these two songs together as a rock and roll medley! cool

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#2850559 - 04/20/17 04:52 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Now you're getting back into history. "La Bamba" is an old Mexican folk tune that was long in the "public domain" by the time Valens did his thing with it. And probably because it WAS in the public domain is probably why the guys who got writing credits for the Isley Brother's cover of "Twist and Shout"( yeah, it was a cover) in '62 didn't have the same hassel George Harrison did with "My Sweet Lord"/"He's So Fine".

My wife( born in '41) and her older sister( and their Dad) told me they'd hear "La Bamba" played at Mexican weddings and other parties when they were growing up. smile It was usually one of the first songs any "ese" who picked up a guitar learned. wink
Whitefang
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2850585 - 04/20/17 07:28 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9376
Loc: Northern California
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u__dnb9nop8 <---here's the movie version. Los Lobos is the band doing La Bamba and as the story goes Ritchie got the idea listening to an old Mexico band. At the end of the clip, you'll see Los Lobos on the acoustics. They do acoustic sets of the old Mexico music and one of these days I have to go see them live! If you watch closely you'll see a shot of Brian Setzer who played Eddie Cochran doing Summertime Blues in the movie...The Twist and Shout song was originally recorded by The Top Notes in '61, so the Isley Brothers version in '62 was as you say, a cover if you want to get historical!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgVWot_xrxE <---here's the Beatles doing their cover of Twist and Shout...they did a lot of covers BTW in their early days. You can hear the similarities and I think the Beatles version of T&S was born in old Mexico as well... cool


Edited by Larryz (04/20/17 11:09 AM)

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#2850774 - 04/21/17 05:25 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
You don't have to really look that "closely" to notice Setzer as Eddie Cochran in that movie. And I'd say it's another good example of "perfect casting". wink

But the point of my bringing both the movie and the song "La Bamba" up WASN'T to examine the history of the song. It was the the incident of Valens telling his manager that it IS rock'n'roll, "The way I play it." that was. JuJu wanted to know, "What is rock and roll?" And I thought it might help. But then, we here in the U S of A have become so accustomed to it that it's almost as hard to define as "What is LOVE?" But we DID give it a good try, and didn't resort to quoting Louis Armstrong who, when asked, "What is jazz?" answered, "If you have to ask, you'll NEVER know. " wink
Whitefang
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2850791 - 04/21/17 06:46 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
JuJu Kwan Online   sick
Senior Member

Registered: 02/08/16
Posts: 134
Loc: Wuhan, China
The U of Hawaii has an online course called The Evolution of American Popular Music. I have enough to worry about with my current class schedule, but may try to take it sometime in the future.

Thanks for all the help, my head is spinning.


Edited by JuJu Kwan (04/21/17 07:06 AM)
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#2850795 - 04/21/17 07:42 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: JuJu Kwan]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9376
Loc: Northern California
@ Fang, That one line in the movie sums up my philosophy perfectly. Ritchie took a song out of old Mexico and made it his own...+1 The casting of Brian Setzer to do Summertime Blues was also perfect as he not only has the look, he could play it and sing it just like the original. Both concepts of doing your own thing and/or playing it like the original, are part of rock and roll history. Those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it! In the case of rock and roll, I look forward to repeating it LOL! cool

@ JuJu, just think of your head spinning like a 45rpm record and you'll find plenty of rock and roll history on them. Hope we didn't throw too many curves at you! I hope you do get to that Evolution of American Popular Music. Sounds like a real fun course! cool

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#2850954 - 04/22/17 04:16 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
The "Evolution of American Popular Music"?

That ALONE will make your head spin, let alone the history of rock'n'roll! grin

+1 on sounding like a fun course. PLEASE feel free to post any info you get from it! smile
Whitefang
_________________________
I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2850965 - 04/22/17 06:11 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
JuJu Kwan Online   sick
Senior Member

Registered: 02/08/16
Posts: 134
Loc: Wuhan, China
UH has a class on the History of Rock and Roll, but they don't offer it online.
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#2851112 - 04/22/17 08:35 PM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: JuJu Kwan]
Delta Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Rescue, Ca.
JuJu, I've been listening to R&R for 50 years and still love it. This may sound simplistic but Wikipedia has a decent definition and condensed history of the genre. Use it as a template, listen to the music and form your own opinion of what R&R is.

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#2851161 - 04/23/17 05:10 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Delta]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
freak
OW! Delta.....

50 YEARS?

At THAT point, many of us here had been listening to it for 10+!
crazy

Remember....50 years ago was the "Summer of love". cool
Whitefang
_________________________
I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2851440 - 04/24/17 10:24 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
Eric Iverson Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 5162
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
This all reminds me of what Louis Armstrong said when asked to define jazz: "Lady, if you have to ask, you'll never know!"
And John Mayall once said: "I won't define blues... blues is coathanger!"
Can we define classical music? Well the borders have become more blurry over the years - I'm sure Scott could tells us about THAT....

Define ROCK?? Maybe, "it's got a good beat and you can dance to it," if you remember Dick Clark and teenagers rating records.
Of course, Strauss waltzes have a good beat and you can dance to them......

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#2851619 - 04/25/17 05:02 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Eric Iverson]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
crazy

Yeah. So do POLKAS! grin

Funny thing about that too. Back when I was a kid and The Dovells song "The Bristol Stomp" was all over the radio, my Grandmother( we're Polish) remarked something about it sounding somewhat like a Polka. We all laughed of course, but when, at her house, my brother put his 45 of it on her record player, our Grandparents DID the Polka to it in the middle of their living room! shocked

So....It's got a "GOOD BEAT", Dick? Hmph! A "good beat" for WHAT? grin
Whitefang (Did'ja see my thread about ya Eric?)


Edited by whitefang (04/25/17 05:04 AM)
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I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2852025 - Yesterday at 11:15 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9376
Loc: Northern California
I agree with Dicks Clark's American Bandstand reviews...R&R has to have a good beat and be easy to dance to LOL! I usually up tempo songs for dancing gigs but I remember one Beatle tune This Boy, that I slowed down a little. My bass player being a just like the record kind of guy didn't care for my slower version "as it's too hard to dance to when played slower". So, I threw my guitar cord out front and started dancing to it while playing it just to show him it's a nice fit (if you know how to dance LOL!)... cool

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#2852160 - Today at 05:29 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 9050
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
????

Slow DOWN "This Boy"?

Wasn't it SLOW ENOUGH already? wink
Whitefang
_________________________
I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!

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#2852207 - Today at 09:03 AM Re: What is Rock&Roll? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 9376
Loc: Northern California
Yeah, your right, my version is up-tempo using a jazzy like 2strum chord changes. It's not all that much faster. It's been so long since the gig I was talking about I forgot that I went faster instead of slower...

Anyway, I just went into my music room and picked up my acoustic and played it to find out LOL! It's not like the slow original and has a different vibe. The bass player was wrong though, it was/is exceptionally easy to dance to and has a good beat! Not that the Beatles didn't do a great job...I just like my version better! facepalm


Edited by Larryz (Today at 09:03 AM)

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