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A blues piano tradition that sprang up during the early twentieth century in the "southwest territory" states of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. In boogie-woogie performances, the pianist typically plays a repeated pattern with his left hand, down in the low range of the piano, while improvising polyrhythmic patterns with his right hand.
A style of singing made possible by the invention of the microphone. It involves an intimate approach to vocal timbre.
A style rooted in the venerable southern string band tradition. It combines the banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, guitar, and acoustic bass with a vocal style often dubbed the "high, lonesome sound." The pioneer of bluegrass music was Bill Monroe
A cool style of rhythm and blues; a blend of blues and pop singing
Chicago electric blues
A style of postwar urban blues that was derived directly from the Mississippi Delta tradition of Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. It featured the amplified sound of instruments such as the electric guitar and harmonica and reflected the musical tastes of black Chicagoans, many of them recent immigrants from the Deep South. The music tended toward rougher, grittier styles, closely linked to African American folk traditions but also reflective of an urban orientation.
A style of postwar country and western music sometimes call "hard country" or "beer drinking music " born in the oil boomtowns of Texas and Oklahoma, it conveyed the sound and ethos of the roadside bar or juke joint
The first commercially successful category of rhythm & blues, flourished during and just after World War II. Ensembles were smaller than the big bands of the swing era and specialized in hard-swinging, boogie-woogie-based party music, spiced with humorous lyrics and wild stage performances
Trombonist and bandleader; formed his won band in 1937. Miller developed a peppy, clean-sounding style that appealed to small-town Midwestern people as well as to the big-city, East and West coast constituency.
Influential jazz enthusiast and promoter who helped Benny Goodman, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, and (much later) Arethra Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen secure recording contracts with Columbia Records, where he worked as an A&R (artists and repertoire) man
Clarinetist and popular band leader; known as the "king of Swing." His popularity and the success of his band helped establish the swing era in the early 1930s. He was the first white bandleader to hire black musicians in his band.
Musician, bandleader, and arranger; he and his band were widely credited with inspiring the rise of swing music in the 1930s.
William "Count" Basie
African American pianist and bandleader; gained much of his early experience as a player and bandleader in Kansas City, Missouri. His band was known for its improvisatory style and strong sense of swing.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" ellington
Pianist, composer, arranger and bandleader; widely regarded as one of the most important American musicians of the twentieth century. As a composer and arranger, he devised unusual musical forms, combined instruments in unusual ways, and created complex, distinctive tone colors.
Roy Claxton Acuff
The most popular hillbilly singer of the swing era; in 138, joined the regular cast of WSM's Grand Ole Opry and soon became its biggest star. Acuff performed in a style that was self-consciously rooted in southern folk music.
Fiddler from East Texas whose musical career ran from the 1920s through the 1960s. His group, the Texas Playboys, pioneered western swing music. Bob Wills is today widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modern country and western music.
The successful singing cowboy; born in Texas, he was a successful film star and a popular country and western musician. Helped establish the "western" component of country and western music. Developed a style designed to reach out to a broader audience, with a less pronounced regional accent, a deep baritone voice, and a touch of the crooners' smoothness.
Spanish-born violinist, bandleader, film star, and unabashed showman, a.k.a. the "Rhumba King." The bandleader who did the most to popularize Latin music during the swing era. His band at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in new York was a training ground for Latin music stars, including Desi Arnaz of I Love Lucy fame, and famously recorded "Brazil" in 1943.
Frank (Francis Albert) Sinatra
The most successful black recording artist of the postwar period. A brilliant piano improviser, he exerted a strong influence on later jazz pianists such as Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. His biggest commercial successes were sentimental ballads accompanied by elaborate orchestral arrangements.
Damaso Perez Prado
Cuban-born pianist, organist, and bandleader who popularized the mambo throughout Latin America and the United States. Crossed over to a non-Latin audience with hits such as "Mambo No. 5" and "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White"
Arkansas Born saxophone player and singer who began making recordings for Decca Records in 1939. He led the most successful and influential jump band, the Tympany Five. Jordan was tremendously popular with black listeners and was able to build an extensive white audience during and after WWII
Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield)
Often called the "Father of Chicago blues," he was discovered by Allan Lomax in 1941. Waters sang in a country style and was a charismatic performer. He played both acoustic and electric slide guitar and was the single greatest influence on the British blues boom.
Also known as "Miss Rhythm," born in Virginia and began her professional career at the age of sixteen. In 1949, Brown signed with the new independent label Atlantic Records. Chart figures suggest that Ruth Brown was the most popular black female vocalist in America between 1951 and 1954.
Big Mama Thorton
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter of a Baptist minister. Thorton began her professional career as a singer, drummer harmonica player, and a comic on the black vaudeville circuit and later settled in Houston, Texas, working as a singer in black nightclubs. Her imposing physique and sometimes malevolent personality helped ensure her survival in the rough-and-tumble world of con artists and gangsters
Partially deaf since childhood, rose nevertheless to become one of the biggest international pop stars of the early 1950s. Crowned the "Prince of Wails" and parodied as the "Guy with the Rubber Face and the Squirt Gun Eyes," Ray created an idiosyncratic style based partly in the African American modes of performance, and in doing so paved the way for the rock 'n' roll stars of the later 1950s.
Sold more records than any other female singer of the early 1950s. Page had success with love songs ("All My Love," Number One pop in 1950) and novelties like "The Doggie in the Window" (Number One pop in 1953), but her biggest hit was a recording of the "Tennessee Waltz".
The most popular country crooner. Arnold not only dominated the country charts from 1947 to 1954 but also scored elevn Top 40 hits on the pop charts
Began his career in the 1930s as a disciple of Jimmie Rodgers, By the 1940s, Tubb had developed into one of the first honky-tonk performers. He was one of the first musicians to move toward a harder-edged country sound and to switch to amplified instruments, and he wrote some of the classic songs in the honky-tonk genre
born in Kentucky, started playing music at a young age and was influenced by his uncle (a country fiddler) and by a black musician and railroad worker named Arnold Schulz. In 1938, Monroe started the Blue Grass Boys, and the following year he joined the cast of the Grand Old Opry
A native of Waco, TX, created a popular variation of honky-tonk music by mixing it with elements of western swing
Born in Nashville, TN, as Muriel Dearson; married the popular country entertainer Johnny Wright and began appearing with him on the radio in 1938. her stage name was adopted from an old southern parlor song, "Sweet Kitty Wells."
The most significant single figure to energy in country music during the immediate post WWII period. Williams wrote and sang many songs in the course of his brief career that were enormously popular with country audiences at the time; between 1947 and 1953, he amassed an astounding thirty-six top 10 records on the country charts, including such Number One hits as "Lovesick Blues," "Cold, cold Heart," "Jambalaya (on the Bayou)," and "Your Cheatin' Heart."
vocal singing without instrumental accompianment
a version of a previously recorded performance; often an adaptation of the original's style and sensibility and usually aimed at cashing in on its success
an electrically amplified guitar
Short for "reverberation"--a prolongation of sound by virtue of an ambient acoustical space created by reflective surfaces. Reverb can occur naturally or be simulated either electronically or by digital sound processors.
Illegal practice, common throughout the music industry, of paying bribes to radio DJs to get certain artists' records played more frequently
Behind-the-scenes role at a record company. Can be responsible for booking tim in the recording studio, hiring backup singers and instrumentalists, assisting with the engineering process, and imprinting the characteristic sound of the finished record
R&B (rhythm and blues)
African American musical genre that emerged after WWII. consisted of a loose cluster of styles derived from black musical traditions, characterized by energetic and hard-swinging rhythms. At first performed exclusively by black musicians for black audiences, R&B came to replace the older category of "race records."
rock 'n' roll
Introduced as a commercial and marketing term in the mid-1950s for the purpose of identifying a new target audience of musical products. Encompassed a variety of styles and artists from R&B, country, and pop music.
Vigorous form of country and western music informed by the rhythms of black R&B and electric blues. Exemplified by artists such as Carl Perkins and the young Elvis Presley.
Technique that involves the use of nonsense syllables as a vehicle for wordless vocal improvisation
solid-body electric guitar
Electrically amplified guitar developed after WWIi and first used in R&B, blues, and country bands
song form that employs the same music for each poetic unit in the lyrics
DJ and concert promoter dubbed the "Pied Piper" of rock 'n' roll. Played an important role in broadening the audience for R&B among white teenagers during the early 1950s
Big Joe turner
"Blues shouter born in Kansas City. From 1945 to 1951, made recordings with many labels before signing with Atlantic in 1951. "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" (1954) was his biggest rock 'n' roll record for Atlantic.
R&B black male vocal group; performed the original version of "Sh-Boom"
The Crew Cuts
White male vocal group whose cover version of "Sh-Boom" was one of the biggest pop hits of 1954.
Former DJ and western swing bandleader from PA who moved toward the R&B jump band in the 1950s. Along with his band, the Comets, Haley recorded commercially successful cover versions of r&B hits.
Herman ("Little Junior") Parker
Singer, songwriter, and harmonica player who achieved some success with his R&B band, Little Junior's blue Flames; recorded "Mystery Train" for Sam Phillip's Sun label
Charles Edward Anderson ("Chuck") Berry
Brilliantly clever and articulate lyricist and songwriter, fine rock 'n' roll vocal stylist and pioneering electric guitarist. One of the first black musicians to consciously forge his own R&B styles for appeal to the mass market. Also known for his "duck walk"
Buddy Holly (Charles Hardin Holley)
Early rock 'n' roll guitarist, singer, and songwriter from the country/rockability side of rock 'n' roll. Killed tragically at the age of 22 in a plane crash
Richard Wayne Penniman "Little Richard"
Flamboyant early rock 'n' roll singer and pianist. Known for his uninhibited shouting style; his hit records include "Tutti-Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally."
Antoine "Fats" domino
Born in New Orleans, established an R&B singer and pianist before becoming a rock 'n' roll star. Known for his R&B-tinged hits "Ain't It a Shame" and "Blueberry Hill."
Known as "The King of Rock 'n' roll," the biggest star to come from the country side of the music world. Born in Tupelo, MS, made his first recordings in Memphis at Sun Records, and later recorded for RCA and became a Hollywood film star.
One of the most popular fold groups of the rock 'n' roll era. Responsible for keeping public interest in folk music alive through the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their recordings of "Tom Dooley," and adaptation of an old ballad song was a huge hit.
Multitalented singer, instrumentalist and songwriter, known as the "Queen of Rockability"
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
(both b. 1933)
Innovative songwriting and producing team of the early rock 'n' roll years. Wrote "Hound Dog" and other R&B songs and produced hits for Elvis Presley and the Coasters.
Rock 'n' roll's vertical Tin Pan Alley. It was home to many pop-rock songwriting teams during eh early 1960s
Album conceived as an integrated whole, with interrelated songs arranged in a deliberate sequence.
nickname of Motown Records
Record Company founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in Detroit
Tween oriented rock 'n' roll song using the twelve-bar blues structure; it celebrated a simple, hip-swiveling dance step
"wall of sound"
Term used to describe the studio production techniques of Phil Spector. The sound was achieved by having multiple instruments--pianos, guitars, and so forth--doubling each individual part in the arrangement, and by using a huge amount of echo, while carefully controlling the overall balance of the record so that the vocals were pushed clearly to the front.
Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans)
Singer who became famous for his cover version of "The Twist" by Hank Ballard
Host of the popular teen-oriented television show American Bandstand
Dubbed the "first tycoon of teen," his studio production techniques are known as the "wall of sound" because of utilization of dense orchestrations, multiple instruments, and heavy reverb
The studio musicians who worked regularly with Phil Spector at Gold Start Studios
Berry Gordy Jr.
Founder of Motown Records.
Black female vocal group who were featured artists with Motown Records in the 1960s. Their song "You can't Hurry Love" was a Number One hit in 1966
Black male vocal group featured with Motown Records in the 1960s. Their song "My Girl" was a Number One hit in 1965.
The studio musicians of Motown's house band; included the bass player James Jamerson, the drummer Benny Benjamin and the keyboardist Earl Van Dyke.
Founded in CA in 1961, they popularized the "California sound" in the early 1960s. Their hit songs included "Surfin' Safari," Surfer Girl," "California Girls," "Surfin' USA" and "Good Vibrations"
The leader and guiding spirit of the Beach boys during their first decade. he wrote and produced many of the Beach Boys' biggest hits, including Good Vibrations
Rock group from Liverpool, England, who dominated American popular music during the mid-1960s and started the "British Invasion." The band included John Lennon and George Harrison on lead and rhythm guitars and vocals, Paul McCartney on bass and vocals, and Ringo Starr on drums and occasional vocals.
The Rolling Stones
A British rock group who cultivated an image as "bad boys" in deliberate public image projected by the Beatles
Sophisticated approach to the vocal presentation and instrumental arrangement of country music; a fusion of "country" and "cosmopolitan."
Country music style involving polished arrangements and a sophisticated approach to vocal presentation. The recordings of Patsy Cline were among the most important manifestations of the Nashville sound.
Music played by San Francisco bands that encompassed a variety of styles and musical influences, including folk rock, blues, "Hard rock," Latin music, and Indian classical music.
African American musical style rooted in R&B and gospel that became popular during the 1960s
Style of fold music that grew in popularity in the burgeoning New York fold scene during the 1960s. It included artists such as Bob Dylan
(b. Robert Zimmerman, 1941)
Urban fold singer and songwriter; he took his stage name from his favorite Dylan Thomas. His songs include hits such as "Blowin' in the Wind," "Mr. Tambourine Man," and "Like a Rolling Stone."
The most original, inventive, and influential guitarist of the rock era, and the most prominent African American rock musician of the late 1960s.
Country vocalist who scored crossover hits with songs such as "I Fall to Pieces," and "Crazy," both recorded in 1961.
Ray Charles (Ray Charles Robinson, 1930-2004)
Known as the "Genius of Soul"; songwriter, arranger, keyboard player, and vocalist fluent in R&B, jazz, and mainstream pop.
Band that originated from the 1960s San Francisco rock scene. Their career spanned more than 3 decades
The "Godfather of Soul." He was known for his acrobatic physicality and remarkable charisma on stage. No other single musician has proven to be as influential on the sound and the style of black music as James Brown.
"The Queen of Soul," she began singing gospel music at an early age and had several hit records with Atlantic, including "Respect" in 1967 and "Think" in 1968
The most successful white blues singer in the 1960s. Born in Port Arthur, TX, Joplin came to San Francisco in the mid-1960s and joined a band called Big Brother and the Holding Company
Vocalist for Jefferson Airplane. One of the most important female musicians on the San Francisco scene during the 1960s.
Guitarist, banjoist, and singer who had played in various urban fold groups during the early 1960s before forming the Grateful Dead in 1967