Fall 2017 – The Rock and Roll Era


Presented by Dr. Mike Daley

              Thursdays, October 12 to November 30, 2017                      10:00 am to 12:00 noon

This course looks in detail at the music and memories of the rock and roll era, from about 1945 to 1965. Beginning with the first rumblings of a new youth-oriented music after World War II, we take in Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and others. We finish up our survey with the arrival of the Beatles and the folk-rock of the middle 1960s.

October 12   The 1940s

Rhythm and blues and country music; the breakup of the radio networks; the ASCAP ban; independent record companies; urban blues. Music of Louis Jordan, Tex Williams, Wayne Raney, Bullmoose Jackson, Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Ruth Brown.

**WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18**     The dawn of rock and roll           Class on WEDNESDAY this week

Crossover and rebranding; the Civil Rights movement; the New Orleans sound; Chicago and Chess Records. Music of Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Huey “Piano” Smith, Little Richard, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry.

October 26    The transformation of gospel music

Doo wop; Lieber and Stoller. Music of Billy Ward and the Dominoes, Ray Charles, Soul Stirrers, Sam Cooke, the Chords, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, the Coasters, the Drifters.

November 2    Guest speaker: Paul James

Paul James is a legendary Toronto rock and roller, performing here and elsewhere since the late 1960s. He is well versed in the rock and roll music of the 1950s, including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and others. Paul will play, sing and talk about 1950s rock and roll and tell stories of his musical career.

November 9    Rockabilly

Sam Phillips and Sun Records. Music of Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Roy Orbison.

November 16     The reaction to rock and roll

The Cold War; 1950s conservatism and atomic fears; the McCarthy hearings; calypso; commercial folk music; the teen idols; American Bandstand; the payola scandal; Alan Freed and Dick Clark. Music of Harry Belafonte, the Weavers, the Kingston Trio, Fabian, Paul Anka, Chubby Checker.

November 23        Rock and roll – the second wave

Surf music; instrumental rock; the Brill Building; Phil Spector and the “Wall of Sound”; Motown Records. Music of the Ventures, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, the Beach Boys, the Shirelles, the Drifters, Ben E. King, the Ronettes, the Crystals, the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder.

November 30        Folk-rock and the British Invasion

The urban folk revival; the British Invasion; folk-rock; rock and roll becomes rock; the counterculture. Music of Bob Dylan, the Byrds, the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Who, the Kinks.