The Topic:
Rock 'n Roll Music

This project for Rock 'n Roll Music includes a collection of links to biographies of rock 'n roll musicians, bands, and other important figures in the history of rock 'n roll. So many good biography links were found that they have been organized and indexed on a separate Rock 'n Roll Biographies webpage. Visit it and find out more about the persons who made the 1950's and 1960's the golden age of rock 'n roll.
Easier - "Rock 'N Roll" is a type of music. It "shook things up" in the 1950s and 1960s. Many musical styles from around the world contributed to this new sound. Along with the African American influence, rock 'n roll also drew on the lyrical melodies of recent European immigrants and the country and western music of Texans.
First, the music became popular in small clubs and on the radio. Later, with the introduction of programs such as American Bandstand, teenagers could watch their favorite bands on television. Not everyone was excited about this music. Many parents didn't like the suggestive dancing, naughty lyrics, and loud, fast beat.
Harder - "Rock 'N Roll" is a musical genre whose 'golden age' is usually recognized as the decades of the 1950's and 1960's. This musical form had its beginnings in the blues tunes, gospel music, and jazz-influenced vocal music that became popular among African-American audiences after World War II. A new kind of blues, it featured electrically amplified guitars, harmonicas, and drummers that emphasized afterbeats. At the same time, black gospel music grew in popularity. These forms of black popular music were given the label rhythm and blues (R and B) and were played on big-city radio stations. Radio spread this music's appeal from black communities to towns throughout all of the United States. By the mid-1950's such performers as Little Richard, Joe Turner, and Chuck Berry were becoming popular with white audiences. Radio disc jockeys began calling their music rock 'n roll.
February 3, 1959 - The Day the Music Died from the Lexington Herald Leader
40-plus years ago, three rock 'n roll stars climbed into a small chartered plane in Mason City, Iowa, shortly before 1 a.m. As they say, the rest is history and many believe that Don McLean's American Pie is an anthem for that event.
Related Websites:
2) American Pie
3) Buddy Holly Archive at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Oldies Music: American Bandstand at
Every afternoon, the familiar music of the theme song drifted from the televisions of thousands of teenage fans as they listened to the rock 'n' roll music they loved, watched "The Regulars" dance to the latest craze, and found out who the next teen idol was going to be.... all on American Bandstand . . .
Other Bandstand Sites:
2) American Bandstand by C. Rich at Fifties Web
3) American Bandstand at Yesterdayland
4) 'American Bandstand' and West Philadelphia
5) Classic TV: American Bandstand at
6) Colored Reflections: The Fifties, American Bandstand
History of Rock and Roll
This site explores the roots of rock. It follows the natural progression of styles beginning with the African musical traits brought here in 1619. These musical traditions were then fused with the European music of the colonists. It is also a story of American popular music that includes the plantation songs of Stephen Foster, the ragtime of Scott Joplin, and was followed by the blues, jazz, and jump bands.
Other Related Sites:
2) History of Rock & Roll, Part I by H. Hepcat
3) Rock and Roll History Online by G. Humphrey and
4) Rock History
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors the legendary performers, producers, songwriters, disc jockeys and others who have made rock and roll a force in our culture.
After visiting several of the rock 'n roll websites, complete one or more of the following activities:
Make a Rock 'n Roll Timeline. Make a timeline that includes the most important events in the history of rock 'n roll. You must decide when you think that rock 'n roll music first began and if and when its era ended. Then, pinpoint the significant events that occurred between those dates. Illustrate your timeline with pictures and drawings. Use the History of Rock and Roll and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for ideas.
Pick the Top 10 Performers of Rock 'n Roll. Put together a top-ten list of performers of rock 'n roll. Explain why each of your picks deserves to be included in this top-ten list. Create a poster that shows your choices for the top-ten award. Vote on your favorites as a class and put them in order down the hallway.
Create a Fictional Rock 'n Roll Performer. Tom Hanks created a fictional rock 'n roll group in the movie, 'That Thing You Do.' Now create your own fictional rock 'n roll performer. Draw a picture of your rock 'n roll star. Write a fictitious biography that details their musical career. Write a song for your group.
What Is Your Favorite Rock 'n Roll Song? Pick your favorite classic rock 'n roll song. See if you can find the lyrics at sites like Den's Oldies Lyrics or the International Lyrics Server. Looking at the lyrics of the song, analyze them as a piece of poetry. Explain their meaning or story.
Make a Map. Create a map of the United States. Identify the birthplaces and movement of your favorite rock and roll stars. Do you see any patterns?
Create a New Collection. Your mission is to select a person or group that you enjoy. Select your favorite songs to go on a "best of" CD. Create the CD cover including the song list and a front cover. Inside, write about why you like each song.
Dance! Along with Rock 'N Roll music, came a new wave of dances. Choose a favorite rock and roll song and create a new dance. Go to the dance page for ideas.
Debate "Today's" Rockers. Are there any new "Rock 'N Roll" bands or is the new music a different form? Take a stand on one side of the issue. Write an article for "Rolling Stone" magazine defending your position. Try another debate or discussion topic such as "Was there really a rock revolution?", "Why don't parents seem to like the same music as teenagers?", "Who's the greatest rocker of all time?".
Analyze Your Parents. What kind of music do your grandparents, parents, or older siblings listen to? Ask them about the music they enjoyed as teenagers. How is it like and different from the music you enjoy? Are any of them "rockers"? Share your musical experiences. Listen to their favorite songs and talk about their influence. Ask them to listen and discuss your music.
Websites By Kids For Kids
Circuit Breakers History of Rock and Roll (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Some people just listen to it and they don't really know what is behind all of the music or how it came about. This site covers the major decades of rock and roll so a person can go through in time order.
Music: The Food that Feeds Our Souls (1998 Internet Challenge)
Read about the history of rock and roll, from the early blues-inspired music of the 50s, to the progressive art influenced styles of the 90s. A jukebox for listening to popular tunes, and artists' biographies round out the site.
Rock Emporium (1998 ThinkQuest Project)
This site features the bands and individual artists who made their mark in this unique field of music. There are brief biographies of the artists and their bands, as well as links to other sites of interest.
Rock Revolution (1998 Internet Challenge)
Read about the history of rock, the different genres, artists, and great moments that have been defined by this music. Check out the essays and interviews.
More Rock and Roll Sites
Bubblegum History! by D. Bangle
This brief page provides an overview of the 'bubblegum' music genre.
Canadian Music Encycolopedia by J. Vernon & S. Vernon
This database chronicles the history of 1,200 Canadian contemporary music artists from the 1950s to the present.
Changing the World: Rock 'n' Roll Culture and Ideology by D. N. Townsend
This incomplete online text proceeds roughly along historical lines, discussing the evolution of the music and the culture and attempts to identify and explain the issues with which rock 'n' roll has been especially concerned.
Fifties Web by C. Rich
This site includes information about the music of the Fifties decade.
Harmony Central
This site characterizes itself as the Internet resource for musicians and it has tons of guitar resources and links.
Not-To-Be-Missed Section:
2) Guitar Tablature
Other Guitar Tablature Sites:
3) Guitar Tab Universe
Den's Oldies Lyrics
Here you find a collection of song lyrics from the fifties, sixties, and seventies.
Other Lyrics Sites:
2) International Lyrics Server
3) Lyrics Collection
Oldies Music by R. Smith
This site focuses on the music of the 50's, 60's and 70's with artist information, trivia, links, and more.
Rock and Roll at PBS
This site has transcripts of interviews from the TV series plus biographies and more.
Rock and Roll History from WSHE
This site provides you with rock and roll trivia for the calendar date.
Similar Websites:
2) This Day in Rock and Roll History
3) This Week in Rock and Roll
Rockabilly Hall of Fame
This site contains biographies of rockabilly artists and numerous links to other related sites.
Rolling Stone
This is the online site for the magazine of the same name. This site contains some of the articles from the current issues plus archived articles from previous editions.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
This online museum is about the Stax recording studio of Memphis, Tennessee. In 15 years Stax placed over 167 hit songs in the top 100 on the pop charts and an astounding 243 hits in the top 100 rhythm and blues charts.
We'll Always Remember by J. Lang
This rock obituary site pays tribute to deceased rock stars.
Websites For Teachers
Programs for Teachers from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Grades 7-12)
Check out this large set of lesson plans that uses the history of Rock and Roll to teach lessons that span the curriculum and give insight into the significance of the role Rock and Roll has played in the evolution of American society.
Where Did Rock and Roll Come From? from AskEric Lessons
The student will use specialized music reference sources to locate information about the origins of rock and roll.
rock and roll music
surf guitar
soul music
British invasion
acid rock
western swing
rhythm & blues
country music
jazz music
doo wop
folk music
surf music
'day the music died'
'cover version'
45 rpm
classic rock
drum solo
big band / swing
pop music
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 7/01.