Music in the 1940's
In 1940's the United States experienced a lot of change and with most Americans getting their entertainment and news via the radio certain artists became the sound of an era. These stars helped to usher in change in the United States, reinforce family values and promote the American way of life. We hear this through the work of artists like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
However, a new sound also emerges during the 1940's as people wanted to let loose and and enjoy this new found prosperity and freedom. Something that spoke to the youth of the nation and the soldiers that are returning home from war.
Artists like Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly begin to experiment with a new sound blending country music with the music rooted in black southern heritage - Rhythm and Blues. This new sound becomes known as Rockabilly.
Task 1: Watch the Introductory Video to this Unit (5 minutes)
Task 3: Review the work of these four artists (15 minutes)
Task 4: Mainstream Sound
Task 5: Birth of the Rockabilly Sound (A Look to the 1950's)
Bing Crosby is one of America's most popular entertainers of all time. In 1931, Crosby launched his hugely popular radio show. He soon started starring in films, winning an Academy Award for Going My Way in 1944. Throughout much of his career, Crosby dominated the music charts with nearly 300 hit singles to his credit. Bing was born in Tacoma, Washington and later moved to Spokane, Washington at the age of 6. He was born in 1903 and died in 1977 living to the age of 74. (https://www.biography.com/musician/bing-crosby )
Release Date: July 30, 1942
Release Date: January 1, 1945
Swinging on a Star
Release Date: February 7, 1944
Singer and actor Frank Sinatra rose to fame singing big band numbers. In the 1940s and 1950s, he had a dazzling array of hit songs and albums and went on to appear in dozens of films, winning a supporting actor Oscar for his role in From Here to Eternity. He left behind a massive catalog of work that includes iconic tunes like "Love and Marriage," "Strangers in the Night," "My Way" and "New York, New York." Frank was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1915 and died in 1998, in Los Angeles, California living to the age of 82. (https://www.biography.com/musician/frank-sinatra )
Release Date: August 1961
Night and Day
Release Date: March 1942
Release Date: March 6, 1950
Birth of the Rockabilly Sound (A Look to the 1950's)
Chuck Berry was squarely a star of the 1950's - not the 1940's - however in understanding the transition of traditional American popular music from artists like Bing Crosby to the Rockabilly sound introduced and made popular by Chuck Berry it is important to to understand the influence of his contributions to music before you explore the transitional sounds of the 1950's and the birth of Rock and Roll.
Considered by many as the "father of rock 'n' roll," Chuck Berry had early exposure to music at school and church. As a teen, he was sent to prison for three years for armed robbery. He began producing hits in the 1950s, including 1958's "Johnny B. Goode," and had his first No. 1 hit in 1972 with "My Ding-a-Ling." With his clever lyrics and distinctive sounds, Berry became one of the most influential figures in the history of rock music. (https://www.biography.com/musician/chuck-berry )
Sweet Little Sixteen
Release Date: Janurary 1958
Johnny B. Goode
Release Date: March 31, 1958
Release Date: July 1955
Buddy Holly was squarely a star of the 1950's - not the 1940's - however in understanding the transition of traditional American popular music from artists like Bing Crosby to the Rockabilly sound introduced and made popular by Chuck Berry it is important to to understand the influence of Buddy Holly and his contributions to music before you explore the transitional sounds of the 1950's and the birth of Rock and Roll.
Born on September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas, Charles Hardin Holley - better known as - Buddy Holly was an American singer/songwriter who produced some of the most distinctive and influential work in rock music. Buddy Holly recorded his first song in 1949 at the age of 12 but did not achieve widespread success until September of 1957 when he recorded and released 'That'll be the the day" with his band the Crickets. Already well versed in several music styles, he was a seasoned performer by age 16. With hits such as 'Peggy Sue' and 'That'll Be the Day,' Buddy Holly ruled the airways and the American music industry for nearly 3 years until a tragic plane crash struck him down in 1959 at age 22. That day, February 3rd, 1959 became known as the day the music died. (https://www.biography.com/musician/buddy-holly)
That'll Be The Day
Release Date: May 27, 1957
Release Date: September 20, 1957
Brown-Eyed Handsome Man
Release Date: September 1956