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March 2, 2008

The History of Rock n Roll - Katherine Lung

This era's pop culture influences is pivotal because it brought changes and pushed and challenged American way of living and social boundaries with the influences of black music, and European ideas. Elvis's controversial movement broadcasted on television brought sexuality in the open, which was taboo to discuss before, The Beatles and their ideal boy-ish charm that all parents approve of made it acceptable for everyone to like them and their music which eventually with John Lennon's active role in social changes taught Americas to question and challenge authority, and Bob Dylan's music that wholly reflected the emotional state of America which is natural considering Bob Dylan grew up in it himself.

Elvis' popularity is largely due to the large following for "race music", such as R&B and Gospel. However in the still heavily segregated American society, it wasn't acceptable to listen to Black influenced music, but with the emergence of Elvis, a White male, it allowed a large scope of audience to enjoy this genre of music openly. Thus came the era of Rock n Roll. The Beatles and brought in European views that challenged the Christian and conservative America, not consciously (ie the Beatles are better than Jesus comment) but probably brought on from cultural differences. Bob Dylan would come in a different category than The Beatles and Elvis, since he wasn't geared toward popularity in such ways as Elvis and Beatles was, but simply channeled his state of feelings he experienced in a age where there was turmoil everywhere politically and socially, reflected and synchronized with the feeling of the rest of American youth.

February 24, 2008

Classic Musical Icons - Dominic Nemmers

Elvis, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles were all classic and iconic members of American pop culture and music in their own right, but they impacted the country differently. Elvis marked the epoch of rock and roll to the world, and was a main figure in the changing era of American sexuality. He was swooned over by teenagers while vilified by much of the conservative and religious members of the country. The Beatles had more of a wholesome mainstream appeal, and were liked by most everyone. The Beatles early career wasn’t marked by the sexual scandal that Elvis’ was, but they were still seen as teen heart-throbs everywhere. Bob Dylan was seen more as a social reformer, bringing together rock and roll and the thinking and revolutionary types. Each of these artists had a unique appearance that both added to their icon status, and to their popularity. Elvis wore outlandish outfits to highlight his movement onstage, while the dapper and diminutive Beatles originally dressed in suits and ties; Bob Dylan’s appearance really emanated an “I don’t care? attitude that was also parlayed in his music. I believe that Elvis represented what parents didn’t want their children to behave like sexually, while the Beatles embodied asexuality originally that had more parents approving of them. I agree that music can be very tantamount to teenagers and impressionable kids, but I believe it is more impressionable than pornography as it can display a wide range of emotions and thinkings, while pornography is more limited. Elvis’ success in copying music that had been around before relied on several things, his ability to present it in a fresh new perspective was one; he also gave the music of an older generation a new rebellious twist that many teens found appealing. The musical heritage of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were founded in much of old American blues and gospel, which gave them almost American roots that appealed to Americans; they incorporated those classics into their music which allow them to seem almost familiar while being new bands. I agree with George Clinton saying that “most kids hate their parent’s artist?, but I see that as more being rebellious toward their parents than anything toward their music. Kids want to have their own identity, and enjoying what their parents enjoy doesn’t separate them. I do see teenage rebellion being a reason that Elvis and the Beatles were popular, but I can’t say that it was the prime reason because all generations of children have been trying to listen to different things than their parents, so this was nothing new. I see the role of women as really the catapulting factor in the cultural and financial success of these bands. Women really envisioned themselves having a personal link to these artists, and in doing so, felt a close connection which compelled them to support the artists in any way they could. While Bob Dylan embodied the “bad boy? role that many people seem to think draw to women, he was less of a sexual icon, and as such wasn’t supported by mostly women.

History of Music - Chimezie Ononenyi

Through the world of music, appearance and sexuality definitely played a significant role in Beatles and Elvis’s influence on the popular culture. As Clinton acknowledged, Elvis’s celebrity status skyrocketed just for the fact that parents during his early days on the spot hated his artist image. Similarly, as it has been known throughout history, it is always the things that get banned that usually attract the most attention and curiosity. So obviously kids were fascinated for his celebrity image.

The Beatles took the same approach to growing their celebrity status. Even though they did not include physical movements such as hip swinging like Elvis, their lyrics had just about related sexual content. They also had English accent and shaggy hair cuts, which made them stand out and attract even more attention. People usually are attracted to whatever is new, and in this case, there has never been any artists that had same figure like the Beatles did.

Bob Dylan on the other hand had a different approach: Apart from smoking cigarette on every other scene he was in and always wearing sun shades, he was a very distinguished poet that had a different approach to expressing his music. He used his talent to support political movements, a move that many artists before him never made.
Bloom has his opinions about the effects of rock music but I believe in the popular saying that sex sells. In other words, the Beatles and Elvis’s sexual approach to music sold easily to young people.

When one adds up the fact that these artists appeared soon after the World War II, during the times of revolutionary movements when young people were starting to let go of their highly conservative ways, there was no better way to win the attention of young and sexually curious young men and women than expressing music with sex filled content.

The Missing Link.

There is no doubt that African Americans are the ones responsible for the gift of rock and roll. They knew all along what music should feel like, but foolish American morals resulted in that wonderful gift staying within their community. Elvis was then sent forth to bring that gift to the masses. He didn't copy or plagiarize anything flat out; he merely popularized it. His success was due to his talent, good looks, and and of course his whiteness. This wasn't all that bad, for people realized how important and necessary he was and was going to be in helping rock and roll explode. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones gained immense fame for being a few of the first who took what Elvis did and expanded on it. These two bands also had their own look and routine, which is exactly what America wanted so desperately at the time. Being British and having that foreign factor work to their advantage here didn't hurt either. In conclusion, Elvis was necessary to bring great music to the masses, for the masses were too stubborn at the time to turn their ear to the sounds of the Black community and accept its genius.

Andrew Probelski

Jon Marshalla's Elvis, The Beatles, & Dylan Entry

Without question, Elvis and The Beatles took a sexually conservative America into a new age and drastically influenced the morals and values held by society. I do not think, however, that this was due to a direct influence as much as these artists providing an outlet for a "bored" American society. In his article The Closing of the American Mind Bloom comments that "The inevitable corollary of such sexual interest is rebellion against the parental authority that represses it." (74). It was not the lyrics of songs by Elvis and The Beatles that encouraged this "sexual interest," rather it was their very presence and image that they radiated that provided an outlet for teenagers to decide for themselves on issues of morality and sexuality.

While I agree with Bloom on the fact that their music allowed a rebellion against parental authority, I disagree with the idea that it provided a negative influence. Bloom also states in his article that "The result is nothing less than parents' loss of control over their children's moral education at a time when no one else is seriously concerned with it." (76). This implies that this "cool" new rock music had a greater influence on children than their parents do, which I find inaccurate. While parents could not completely restrict their children from listening to rock music, they were able to discuss with them what it meant to have strong morals and why it was important. Teens cannot be sheltered forever and will ultimately have to make up their own decisions on morals. In my opinion, it is better that they are exposed to these "evils" while still in an environment where their parents do have the ability to influence them. Bloom also states that "Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up and would understand later." Rather than hindering teens by sheltering them, Elvis and The Beatles gave them the opportunity to think for themselves and mature sooner. This is what ultimately led to the strong social influence that these artists had on a sexually conservative America. They themselves didn't define what was right or wrong directly, but provided the outlet and means for Americans, specifically teens, to define it for themselves.

Week 5: Elvis and The Beatles

The Beatles and Elvis took rock music to a new level. But they did not just do this by way of their musical talent and memorable lyrics. Their appearance and actions deserve a handful of the credit too. The Beatles came onto the scene in America and brought “Beatlemania? with them. Girls and women alike went crazy for them. Crazy might even be an understatement. The Beatles were like a new drug. “Rock music provides premature ecstasy and, in this respect, is like the drugs with which it is allied? (Bloom 80). Due to the complete, for lack of a better term, wildness, The Beatles had to stop doing live tours and become a “studio band? because no one could hear anything at their concerts (lecture). The constant “scream? from the fans, consisting the majority of females, was overpowering and drown out their music. One reason for the insanity over this historical musical group was their appearance. They had a totally different look from the current “look? of every man in America. They had longer, straight hair and a different sense of fashion. In general, they were irresistible to the vast majority of the American youth population.

“The inevitable corollary of such sexual interest is rebellion against the parental authority that represses it? (Bloom 74). Elvis was the other major craze of the rock world. Girls wanted to be with him and guys wanted to be him. For the youth population, he was an icon. He too had “a look? that helped propel him to stardom. He had his slicked back hair and “gyrating? hip. He captivated the youth of America, but was looked down upon by parents and the middle age to older population. He was too sexually “provocative? and his dancing was poisoning the youth. But he was the newest and “hippest? thing in rock music.

The Beatles and Elvis mesmerized America. Not only were they the new sound, but they were the new look.

Rock 'n Roll Youth Culture and History

The atmosphere in the United States during the 1690s was one of change and innovation. The music, and therefore the youth culture, was undergoing a rapid conversion to the long excepted mediocrity to a new phenomenon known as “rock and roll.? The music was new to the majority of America. As the video stated, the music had been around in African American venues for years, but performers like Elvis “made it ok for white people to listen to? this sensational new sound. Fans of rock and roll were intrigued by the new styles that were being presented. Rock and roll had an innovative new life behind the music, and it invigorated the youth of the nation. On top of this, rock music was being presented to the masses by attractive cool young men. The boys wanted to be like them, and the girls wanted to be with them. The changes that normally happen when people break the teenage years were amplified by the incredible new experience that was rock and roll. It was more than just music, it was a culture. For teens looking to define themselves and break free of their childhood, rock offered an amazing outlet for their need for self-expression, as well as their desire to be “cool.? It was little wonder that this new culture grabbed millions of young Americans and solidified itself in the hearts and history of the nation forever.

Alex Schreiner

Elvis, The Beatles, and Dylan- Brenna Munoz

Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan each exploded in to the music scene leaving an everlasting impression on both the past and future of Rock-n-Roll. These three phenomenons, in addition to directly influencing the success and aspirations of one another, intensely influenced and inspired people of their generation. This leads many to ask: What exactly was it about these musicians that made them extraordinary to their time?

Through the in depth accounts portrayed throughout the selection “The History of Rock-n-Roll,? which is a significantly captivating film for any true music lover, we notice comparable attributes of Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan through their timing of arrival, unique and liberating attitudes, and their ability to connect with society.
“Music gave people a sense of hope in the future at a time when the world was in flames.? This quote from the film explains exactly why the explosion of these three musicians was so intensified. Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan all made there mark at a time when society was in a very vulnerable state. The music they generated provided Americans with an escape from unpleasant thoughts of where society was heading, and gave them hope for change. Because of their unique and liberating attitudes, these three musical phenomenons were able to capture the thoughts, thrills, desires, and frustrations of society at the time, and put them into words and music. Elvis with his seductive hips, The Beatles with their unique wittiness, and Dylan with his powerfully genuine lyrics were all able to connect with society on a whole new level because they moved away from self censorship and vouched for a different route; one that was free from restrictions, revolved around raw feelings and emotions, and was true to the core.

Although the timing of their explosion into the music scene proves to be quite crucial, it should not be confused with the reason for their outstanding success. The quality of Elvis’, The Beatles’, and Dylan’s music, in my opinion, stands superior to that of the majority of musicians before or after their time.


Martine Schroeder - Week 5

I found the selections taken from the film “The History of Rock-n-Roll? very interesting and entertaining. I never knew much about the background and origins of the music Elvis, the Beatles, and Dylan played. I enjoy all of their music, but to be honest didn’t know much of the history behind it. This documentary did a great job of making it more clear as to what and how this music came to be, and provided some of the speculative reasons for why it became so popular.

There is no clear reason for why the music of these artists, the Beatles in particular, became so popular with the young generation. However, there are a number of things that may have contributed. There was a lot going on in America at this point in time politically, socially, and culturally. And music was a way to respond to it.

The music of the Beatles was a bit more light-hearted and fun, yet the older generation didn’t care for it too much and was baffled as to why this music was so popular. This difference in generational opinions on music may have been a primary reason the younger generation liked it so much. It was a way to rebel against their elders.

The music of the Beatles, and the Beatles themselves, were especially popular with the young females. At this time girls had to walk a fine line of being prim and proper, but also had to adapt to the role of being sexy and modern. Becoming basically obsessed with the Beatles was a way for girls to break from the sexual repression of the time and show a side of their sexuality that had never really been seen. Girls expressed just how much they adored a group of good looking men. They mobbed, cried and screamed in excessive amounts to show their affection towards the Beatles. This had never been done to this extreme and I think it was a way to rebel against the social constraints that women were trying to break from at this point in history.

Elvis, The Beatles, & Dylan Mikhail Karpich

According to George Clinton, “Most kids hate their parents artists…They want to get away from that more than anything.? The prime reason for Elvis and the Beatles success is rebellion according to Walley and Stark. I definitely disagree with Walley’s and Stark’s statement. It was not rebellion or bored teenagers from the baby-boom that caused the emerging artists success but, rather a new style or a way to express themselves, to go with the developing new music and culture of that era. According to the article, “Beatlemania,? by B Ehrenreich, “Adolescents are going through a strenuous period of emotional and physical growth, which leads to a need of expression…? It was a way to express themselves and not riot or try to cause trouble. Of course, group conformity can have both powerful and profound effects on what might happen but, it was not intended to be violent or rebellious. According to the same article by B. Ehrenreich, the teens, “did not riot for anything, except the chance to remain in proximity of their idols…? I definitely agree with Clinton’s statement on the other hand. According to the book, “Meet the Beatles,? the teens acted the way they did because it was something new and different from their previous generation, “We screamed because it was a kick against anything old-fashioned.? Why were the Beatles, Elvis, etc. so popular than? They had distinct music, they were different, and they were doing things that others were not doing. What was the role of woman in this phenomenon and why were they so up taken by Elvis and the Beatles? According to, “Meet the Beatles,? “They were drop dead cute,? and, “Beatles appearance especially their long hair, which too many made them look like girls.? These young women were looking for idols of their generation, seeing that every generation has an idol. Also the young girls of that generation were walking a path that, “Was a narrow and careful defined terrain,? According to the article, “Beatlemania,? by B. Ehrenreich. Rock n Roll was a chance for them to express the sexual repressed yearning s and freedom. According to the same article by B. Ehrenreich a woman who was thirteen at that time said the following, “I liked their independence and sexuality and wanted those things for myself.?

Elvis

Elvis' music was heavily influenced by rythym and blues and gospel. Before he brought this music to the mainstream it was seen as "race music" and was popular mostly in the black culture. The reason Elvis became so successful with music that had been around for years was because his face was more "acceptable" to the mass white audiences. He was seen as a rebellious good boy and had a wide appealing image. He made it okay for the mainstream American popular culture to like the music that blacks had been listening to long before. Elvis' ability to break through prejudices and bring new music to the mainstream paved the way for other artists to follow.

Rock and roll is a genre characterized by rebellion, revolution, and evolution. Elvis started this movement with scandalous dance moves and loud music. His popularity allowed other artists to build off of what he had started. New artists found their voice and old artists found new audiences.

Success of the Beatles and Elvis: Generation Gaps and Rebellious Youth by Chris Hovel

I agree entirely with the statement that the some of the success of the Beatles and Elvis was based on the generation difference between the youth of that time and their parents. Most kids no matter what time period think that whatever their parents do can't be that cool or appealing. The opposite also applies, if your parents keep telling you that you can't listen to this certain type of music or dress a certain way, you will naturally be attracted to the thing that upsets them so much. However it wasn't just the rebellious element that attracted throngs of youth to them but these bands also played a different type of music that many had never heard before and utilized their appearance to form some sex appeal. I feel that this sex appeal along with the ever growing female movement allowed for younger teenage girls to express themselves through fashion, music and gender equality in the work place. Teenagers were also coming into contact with more and more spending money which would allow them to purchase more things like records and clothing. The success of these bands can never be explained by one or two different things. The Beatles and Elvis were bands that were at the perfect moment in time for them to have the impact that they did on our culture and society. Also along with the help from the notion that anyone who listened to or enjoyed that type of music was being some how rebellious, these bands were able to captivate an entire generation and any one passed that with their music.

Chris Dahmen's blog 5

Diana West in her book entitled Death of the Grown Up has made the claim that Elivis Presely and other figure heads of the 50's and 60's embodied an antibourgeois culture. And likewise, the bourgeois had an anti-rock ideology. She makes the case that this is the generation that began the death of the grown up as it is defined in her book. I think she, and parents of the day, up to and including me (not a parent yet) would definatley agree with Bloom's claim that "Music can become tantamount to pornography for teenager." She claims that never before had anything been marketed to heavily to teenagers and kids. In fact, as she apty points out, the word "teenager" didn't even appear in our language until shortly before the rock revolution in the 50's. It may be that rock was deliberatley created and perpetuated just to get kids to go crazy over it and get hooked to maximize profits from sales in the same way cigarettes were infamously targeting teenagers for sales with familiar characters like Joe Camel. Bloom makes the claim in his article "The rock business is perfect capitalism, supplying to demand and helping to create it. It has all the moral dignity of drug trafficking, but it was so totally new and unexpected that nobody thought to control it, and now it is too late." He also describes Mick Jagger as "playing the possessed lower class demon and teen aged satyr...with one eye on the mobs of children of both sexes whom he stimulated to a sensual frenzy and the other eye winking at the unerotic, commercially motivated adults who handled the money." This is clearly not a wholesome endeavor by any stretch of the word. From this very predictable perspective of capitalism and vulgarity, it seems as though there is nothing good the rock culture has to offer in social terms literally or figuratively. Parents should have been outraged and not just for obvious reasons. As Bloom points out "I believe it[rock] ruins the imagination of young people and makes it very difficult for them to have a passionate relationship to the art and though that are the substance of liberal education." Clearly the parents who believed that rock or antibourgeois culture of the 50's was not just annoying, but posed a greater threat to their children and their psychology and education were really on to something that Bloom revealed so many years later. Unfortunatley, the parents at the time probably had no way of articulating this as Bloom does, and being so new, they probably also had no idea of how bad it would be for their kids and the culture in general in the long run. The issue is more dangerous for our culture now than many realize. Again Allan Bloom "The inevitable corollary of such sexual interest is rebellion against the parental authority that represses it." But what seems to be dangerous, is the thought of what will happen when the antibourgeois kids become parents themselves. The. Many of them are parents who need parents. THey may have no ability to realize such things as they often have no ability to be scrupulous and think outside of their own perspective and so on, all hallmarks of liberal education. Such an ideology is certainly hard to break. "It may well be that a society's greatest madness seems normal to itself. And the conclusion is bleak with no grown ups as Diana West points out "Responisibility and restraint are not only bedrock virtues of liberal civilization, they are also hallmarks of the grown-up. Without them, civilization becomes anarchic, and the grown up slips and regresses." When the grrown up regresses, what will their kids be like? The future?

Elvis, Beatles, Dylan - Tammy Woehler

Elvis and The Beatles brought an uproar to the American society. They changed the way music sounded, they changed the way girls and women acted, privately or publicly, and they changed boys and men - to be more like them. Elvis and the Beatles brought a new kind of music to the stage. Along with the new sounds, they brought new dances and appearances. Elvis was either famous, by the ladies, or imfamous, by those opposed to the dancing. The ladies loved the leg move that Elvis had. Others hated it, calling it "provocative." Elvis also had a new look that most men didn't have. He had long hair that was slicked back, not just an ordinary crew cut every other guy had. The Beatles, on the other hand, brought on "Beatlemania." Ehrenrich said that Beatlemania, “was the first and most dramatic uprising of women’s sexual revolution? (pp. 524). At Beatle concerts, no one could hear a thing, including the band, because girls would just scream and scream because the Beatles were right in front of them. The Beatles also had a different look than the average male in the United States. They had long, straight hair and had their own style of clothing. Just like Elvis, they had brought a new sound to the stage of music. The Beatles would get mobbed by girls left and right if the girls new the Beatles would be around a certain place at a certain time. They were not acting like respectful young ladies. They acted, as some would say, like "hooligans."

Josh Zaborowski

Elvis and The Beatles were both very popular among men and women. Women wanted them and men wanted to be them. Elvis and The Beatles were both sexual icons. They were obviously attractive, unique, young men, and their music and the way they performed at that time was pretty provocative. I believe their attractiveness and uniqueness really propelled their success in the music industry. Yes their style of music and presentation “irked? many parents. Parents disapproval very well could have been part of the reason for their popularity, because I am sure many kids enjoyed their music, however when the kids found out that their parents strongly disapproved they probably became a little more vocal about their love of the music to “rebel? against their parents. Between wanting to rebel, and also being presented with a new unique form of music, I think those aspects really propelled Elvis and The Beatles into their Super Star status.

The Beatles

The American 1960s was a decade characterized by countless economic and cultural struggles, the overindulgence of love and ecstasy, and the invasion of a British rock and roll movement. During the 1960s, bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were exponentially rising in popularity and fame. The increased fame of these British rockers caused rock and roll to become the fundamental social force of the decade. It personified the hedonism and decadence of the era and made a blatant statement to the world about American morals. These bands incarnated the pure intemperance of rock and roll. The music of the British quartet, the Beatles, however, was kept pure and innocent.
When the Beatles first arrived in American pop culture, it was during a time when rock and roll personified a changing view of the female sexuality. According to the reading The British Are Coming!, “…the Beatles appeared less intimidating for another reason – they didn’t flaunt their sexuality? (29). American females could “…embrace the [Beatles] without feeling they were joining some kind of cadre of juvenile delinquents…? (29). Because the lyrics to their songs upheld the societal paradigm, the group was less of a threat to parents who wanted their daughters to remain innocent. The lyrics of the Rolling Stones described lewd sexual acts whereas the lyrics of the Beatles described holding hands and puppy love. The Beatles were popular because the image the Beatles portrayed allowed parent and child alike to embrace their music without feeling threatened or delinquent.

Ian R. Bell

Beatles, Elvis, and Bob Dylan - The Ultimate Threesome (Jeff Batts)

The Beatles and Elvis Presley came at an ideal time to exploit the sexual loosening of America. In one of the prompts, it is contended that American society was sexually conservative at this time. I don't necessarily know if I agree with that. I think that in the years before the British invasion, our culture had already been loosening the belt on sexual inhibition. The Kinsey report showed that America was a lot more perverse than most would like to admit. These covert sexual undertones were ready to boil over, and these acts provided the necessary heat to unleash an intense sexual backlash against the old guard.

Elvis was a homegrown icon, and there's definitely no arguing that he triggered a wave of activity that made parents cringe. His hip swinging and facial expressions were apparently enough to make girls faint. The Beatles were, according to Ehrenrich (525), enough to make girls wet their pants. The provided a means and an excuse for girls to lose themselves. They provided the suggestive music and movements, and the public ate it up. I am not totally convinced that Bob Dylan was intended to be a sexual icon though. In comparing Elvis/Beatles to Bob Dylan, the overall focus of their songs seem to be different. While the Beatles focused on romance with songs like '8 Days a Week', 'I Want to Hold Your Hand', and 'She Loves Me' (among MANY others), they sang about optimistic love. Elvis, on the other hand, still had sexually charged lyrics and actions, but he focused on downsides of romance. 'Heartbreak Hotel', for instance, talks about how painful relationships can be.

Bob Dylan's music seemed to be more politically charged. The only song of Bob's that I'm familiar with that openly concerns women is 'Lay Lady Lay'. Songs such as 'Hurricane' and 'Like a Rolling Stone' seem to focus on political aspects. Dylan was not known for his hip swaying, good looks, or lip sneer. He was known more as a poet and a lyricist than a sexual icon. Therefore, I would contend that that the Beatles and Elvis took advantage of an underlying sexual society, and that Bob Dylan came and grabbed a completely different audience - one that was fed up with the wars and political unrest.

Oh, and for the record, the best Beatle was Paul.

Jeff Batts

Jesse Stapp- Elvis, The Beatles, & Dylan

A common theme throughout the readings and the documentary this week was 'sexuality'. In the texts and film, sexuality is a useful tool in describing the phenomenon of the era. First is the way in which The Beatles used atypical images to further their sexual appeal. By being everything that American men (at the time) were not, The Beatles were able to step out of the rigid structures of male/female image stereotypes. The sexuality exuded by The Beatles' audience(s), primarily teenage girls, is described in detail by Barbara Ehrenreich et al. In their work, Ehrenreich et al desribe the sexual aggression displayed by teenage girls in this era to be a rebellion against the strict standards to which females were expected to adhere to. For teenage girls, screaming at a Beatles' concert was no more than a way to counter the double standards placed upon them. According to Ehrenreich et al, a girl must walk the fine line between being a classy, moral lady while being sexy enough to attract a male counterpart. At Beatles' concerts, however, a girl could scream at the top of her lungs and do her part to break down the unreasonable standards set upon her. In much the same way, Elvis Presley stuck to his upbringing to make a name for himself, just as The Beatles had done. For Elvis, it was the way in which he stuck to his southern ways that made him 'sexy' to America. By defying the upperclass, Elvis 'stuck it to the man' through the use of his lyrics, his dance moves and his rock n' roll attitude. Lindsay Waters detailed an appearance on national television in which Elvis truly spoke to conventional listeners. By singing to an actual hounddog and addressing the camera to speak to the viewers, Elvis became a leader in the rock n' roll cultural revolution.

Elvis, the Beatles, and Dylan Allison Veire

The music of Bob Dylan as compared to Elvis and the Beatles is vastly different. And these differences are not only present in the musical content but also in the way the musician is viewed by their fans. Listening to Bob Dylan you hear more that just music, its poetry, and that is exactly how his fans react to him. He is speaking to their intellectual soul. Whereas the music played by the Beatles and Elvis speaks of love and casual relations. It predominantly speaks to the sexual desires of their young fan base. But no matter what aspect of the soul the music targets it is all about individuality.

Bob Dylan’s songs inspired a generation to think individually. He took this genre of music and turned it into something that spoke to people’s conscious minds. It seemed to stir many new views on life. The article by Bloom has a passage that says, “music is the medium of the human soul in it’s most ecstatic condition of wonder and terror.? This idea of wonder and terror that was instilled in Bob Dylan’s music is what made it so great. It’s the type of music that makes you think and puts everything in a new perspective.

The music of the Beatles and Elvis seemed to spark a revolution of rebellion upon the pure ways of the past. It played on the sexual desires of the young that had never been unleashed. That idea I think is what made it so revolutionary, the fact that something like this had never been experienced with such a force before in that generation. Bloom says, “rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire.?

So how do these two completely different genres co-exist together? Altogether I think it created a whole new way of thinking not only out of desire but out of wonder.

Elvis and the Beatles-Revolutionizing the World Stage

With World War II finally over, a new decade in America was starting. The 1950’s were a time of change for the United States and music was one of the foremost areas where this change was felt.
Rhythm and blues had been a prominent form of spiritual expression in the Black community for decades. However, it did not mainstream until Elvis Presley came onto the scene. One key element that was essential for the movement of rhythm and blues into mainstream American music was the increasing position of the television in American homes. Elvis Presley was a slick, tough Caucasian male, unafraid to show himself as a rebel to the American people as he gyrated his hips in front of the entire nation. This allowed the caucasian American population to view rhythm and blues as a part of their culture instead of the segregation of music they had previously experienced. Another element Elvis brought was his crude sexual innuendos that had parents appalled and every girl lovestruck. Singlehandedly, he opened up American television to being open about sexuality, a practice that had never before been seen in America. The sheer fact that parents disapproved of Elvis’s music catapulted his fame even more as evidenced by George Clinton when he stated that “most kids hate their parent’s artists... they want to get away from that more than anything.?
As Elvis paved the way for the rhythm and blues movement in America, the Beatles started the revolution in Great Britain. Greatly influenced by Elvis, the Beatles followed his lead by being trendsetters for clothes and hairstyles. They let their hair grow out and found themselves to be heart throbs everywhere they ventured. Overall, they started a revolution of change and treading against the grain of popular society of the time to become predominant figures.

History of Music, Chris Lewis

Music can birth a feeling from one gentle note, or from a massive chorus. Either way music has the power to create thought, emotion, and a way of life. Each musician in his own time created a following and a reason for living. The Beatles turned their band from playing great songs to playing great songs with a purpose that led their fans into a new political direction. The involvement of sex, drugs, and politics in music created a more conjoined youth which today is a more well informed group of adults. The appeal of these bands is not just their alluring personalities or good looks. It's the way that they make people feel and think about the world around them. These artists are just as much political leaders as have been any other president or politician. Influence over community falls over those who have thought and drive. These three sets of artists had both.

Sexual Symbols

Teenage culture was artificially created shortly before the arrival of rock and roll. There was suddenly a new phase of life, between childhood and adulthood. Rock music emerged as the anthem for this new phase. Musicians like Elvis and the Beatles drew criticism for the raw sexuality evinced in their dancing, lyrics, beats, and fans. Different analysis of this effect popped up in the media.
Ehrenreich et. al. considered it as the announcement and ratification of teen sexuality and frustration (533). Beatlemania was a result of changing social roles and aspirations. While it was a form of conformity, giving meaning and validation to girls awakening sexual personas, it was also a form of personal revolt. Girl’s protested the sexual repression that was their role. They laid claim to feelings of desire and accepted the role of pursuer instead of the inactive recipient and blocker of sexual advances. It was a ‘safe’ form of sexuality where they could escape the invisible life of housewife, never ending in “the tedium of marriage? (532).
Bloom focused more on rock’s “attempts to capture the rawest passions? (73). He feared that the tribal beats and explicit lyrics resulted in a deadened generation that would never enjoy life. They would be incited to anarchy and rebellion by the base emotions rock called forth. The sexuality roused in the youth was a dangerous consequence that would ruin our society.
I agree with both of them in some respects. Elvis’s hip wagging and the Beatle’s hysteric fans were symbols of the growing sexual revolution. Women were beginning to lay claim to a more active role in sexual relations. Young girls wanted more than a fancy house filled with children and a husband to pay for it all. There was a desire to claim the perceived power inherent in sexuality. It was also a form of conformity, legitimizing the new social desires and confirming ones trendy status.
Bloom also had a point in the excessive exposure to ‘obscene’ lyrics that run counter to the dominant ideology can lead to what I like to think of as ‘rebels without a clue’. It can incite extreme passions with no real link to the underlying reality that inspired the song maker. Elvis’s pelvis stirred many a young girl’s fancy without her really grasping the sexual nature so obvious to adults. Beatlemania resulted in proper young women performing lawless acts. It is important to note that sexuality is ever more present, but there is still a strong sexually conservative stance in American culture. There has not been a complete collapse of morality, no performer will ever have an influence that strong.

Nyssa Shawstad

WORKS CITED
Bloom, Alan. “Music? in The Closing of the American Mind (1987) p.68-81
Ehrenreich, Barbara, Hess, and Jacobs. “Beatlemania: A sexually defiant consumer subculture?? in K. Gelder and S. Thornton (eds.) The Subculture Reader (Routledge) London, 1997 pp. 523-536

Tara Williams

Both Elvis and The Beatles were very popular with women. Elvis, in my opinion was not the best musician. A lot of the songs he performed were taken from other artists. The thing that made Elvis so popular was his sexuality. The way he gyrated his hips was scandalous in the 50s, and caused an uproar with the parents. This actually probably helped with Elvis’ popularity. It’s like the saying even bad publicity is still publicity. To listen to this artist that their parents despised was a way to rebel for the teenagers of the time. The Beatles came to America in a time of change in the roles of women. In the past they were supposed to pure, good girls while still being attractive and pretty. In the 60s they were starting to break out of the mold and be more open about their sexuality. The Beatles appealed to the girls of America because they were different than the normal American Guy. The Beatles had accents, they had long hair, and they wore suits. All these things made them different and attractive to the American girls. Bob Dylan did not use sexuality to become popular. He played folk music, which is not about looks but about the lyrics and the messages of the music.

Jasmine Omorogbe

There were many groups that plowed the path for rock n roll in the United States. As someone mentioned previously this week, many are not given the credit they deserve, such as the Rolling Stones in addition to other groups and the plethora of black artists whose songs were "borrowed".
There are definiite differences in the sexuality of the three groups we are focusing on this week. Elvis was obviously sexy with his slickback hair, smooth skin, cute smile and hot dance moves (although they look more like a seizure or spastic movements to me) and definitely used his looks as a marketing tool. The Beatles were more sexy "by accident". They didn't see themselves as sex symbols, they weren't marketed as sexy, that is probably one of the things that made them even more attractive to their audience. However, they were doing something different from the norm in America at that time, which added that edge to their appeal also. On the other hand, Dylan was far from sexy (maybe only my opinion), he didn't seem to be one who was about appearances. He was more attractive because of his bada**, independent attitude and the content of his music more than anything.
Each of the three utilzed appearance in the formation of their musical identity, whether the statement was made by paying explicit attention or ignoring it.

As far as Elvis' rediscovery of the music form, I think it was because as we discussed in class, Elvis made it ok for white people to listen to what was previously known as "race music". He somewhat "opened the floodgates" by drawing the attention of the masses to it. His new style of music combined with his looks and dances that pushed the envelope ensured his seat in rock n roll history forever. As with anything today, anything that is controversial garners a lot of media attention and upsets some, but is also GREAT for publicity and attracting new fans. This is part of why he was so incredibly popular.

Thomas Campbell's Rock n Roll Reflections

The main idea from “The History of Rock and Roll? DVD is how Rock and Roll and sexuality brought about a revolutionary change to America’s society after World War Two. The three main artists that were discussed include Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan. These three music artists had unique differences in the importance to changes to sexuality in America. The artist’s uniqueness was the key to their success. Elvis and The Beatles were considered sex symbols known for their love and affection in their lyrics, however Bob Dylan was not a sex symbol but known for his exceptional lyrics that were politically motivated. Both Elvis and The Beatles were new and exciting which emphasized the changing roles of women, however the sexuality of the singers played a large part in the parents disapproval of the artists music, due to their fear of change. A great example of this is “Beatlemania?. Ehrenrich et al believe that Beatlemania “was the first and most dramatic uprising of women’s sexual revolution? (pp. 524). The Beatles long shaggy hair cuts, their English accents, and sense of humor was something new and exciting for the teenage girls. The Beatles changed the style of the American fashion sense from clean haircuts to the longer haircuts, as the teenage girls fell in love with The Beatles. Elvis also changed the roles of women through the sexuality of his gyrating dance movements and boyish American good looks. Elvis helped change the music genre of the time to Rock and Roll through his attractiveness as the girls loved him. His dance moves were new and exciting, which also played a huge part in teenage girls parents disapproval of his sex appeal. Parents were afraid of change, and believed that these sexual movements were inappropriate, which lead to the parent’s belief that their daughters were rebellious. Bob Dylan was different as his more political voice was not so appealing to young females. He also was not as attractive as The Beatles, and Elvis. Dylan instead used his lyrics to spread his message to his fans. Overall Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Elvis had a different way to bring about a revolutionary change in Rock and Roll within America’s society.

Rob Skogen

“Dude, if you were to make a Mount Rushmore of rock n roll, who would you include??

We have all had this conversation with friends late at night, likely over a few beers. It is an ongoing discourse that young people have been having for the past few decades, but I would be willing to bet that Elvis, the Beatles, and Dylan have all been prominently mentioned in a majority of these debates.

The reasons cited typically focus on an individual song, performance, or album and may vaguely allude to some greater context. Rarely are the three connected in any significant way. The phenomenon that was Elvis Presley, or was the Beatles, or was Bob Dylan was unique in and of itself, but the collective impact they had on American culture is still not fully understood.

At face value, these figures represent the innocence of a generation coming of age. Elvis introduced white America to an “alien? musical form in the 1950s. Soon afterwards, the Beatles hit the scene and endeared themselves to a vast teenaged. Dylan took everything to another level after meeting the Beatles and fused the electrically charged pop rock with the politically charged folk scene. The American experience was never the same.

At least that is the romantic version of things. After reading a few of the articles this week, I was deeply shaken when the elephant in the room was brought to my attention. Inherent in the capitalistic system is a hypocrisy of exploitation of some group of people at every turn. In this case, the young boomers and every other generation to follow were unwittingly manipulated by a music industry that was keenly aware of their spending potential and the profits to be had from creating heroes.

But that unleashes the overall question that seems to be an undercurrent in everything we have been reading. Is popular culture a tool used by the establishment to control the masses, or is it a tool used by the masses to overthrow the establishment?

Maybe we’ll have to wait on that monument a bit. It seems there are some more pertinent discussions to be had.

The Beatles, Elvis, and Dylan - Melissa Green

For Elvis Presley and the Beatles, sexuality was an important part of their identities as musicians. Given that their music was often about love (and implicitly, sex), it made commercial sense to cultivate an image which fit. Elvis seemed to face tougher criticism for displaying his sexuality, probably because the timing wasn't quite right. However, when the Beatles came to America the time was right. The death of JFK just two months prior represented an end to age of "innocence" in American life. With it came the ending of innocence for teenage girls. On the eve of the women's rights movement, women and girls were beginning to rebel, albeit in a less political and organized way. Beatlemania was the form in which these girls rebelled. Ehrenrich notes in her articles how at the time the thought of girls 10-14 possessing a sexuality at all was an unthinkable concept at the time, except for Freudians. What Beatlemania did was allow these girls to proclaim and own their sexuality. For perhaps the first time in American culture, men were being explicitly objectified by mass amounts of women. For the Beatles, it made sense to continue to encourage this type of behavior as it was good for business. For an artist such as Bob Dylan however, cultivating a sexual image did not make much sense. His music was of a more "serious" nature, appealing to those who were passionate about making the world a better place, ending the war, and finding meaning in life. For Bob Dylan to attempt to promote a sexual image would not make sense, and would probably have been confusing.

Cameron White

Rock-in-Roll was apart of the American culture from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. It was artist like the Beatles, Elvis, and Bob Dylan that paved the way for Rock-in-Roll to become so popular. Sexuality was also a large factor in heightening these artists’ careers and it was all done through there own sort of style.
The Beatles hit America by storm and had success what seemed like over night. They transformed the music industry with their clever comedy and English accents. Americans during this time in history were considered to be very clean cut and when the Beatles came over with their so called “Bull Cut? hair style was quite the eye opener. It is safe to say they were going against societies cultural norms because the hair styles became very popular and everyone started to wear their hair that way. Not only did Rock-in-Roll impact males, but also women. Before the Beatles women and girls were thought to be proper and pure. As stated in Ehrenric’s article, “To be popular with boys and girls – to be universally attractive and still have an unblemished ‘reputation’ – a girl had to be crafty, cool, and careful. The payoff for all this effort was to end up exactly like Mom – a housewife?. The Beatles became popular by creating a new image for teens and young adult in American, while Elvis was creating a name for himself through his amazing dancing ability.
Elvis became a sex symbol to many girls, due to the way he could dance and move his hips on stage. America was viewed as being very proper and the way that Elvis would dance upset many adults. They believed hip trusts and leg shaking was too much and should be censored. Some even viewed it as pornography! His sense of style was very different from the rest of the artists during this era and I feel he portrays sexuality more then any of the other artists.
Bob Dylan was the bad boy of the Rock-in-Roll era and had the “I do what I want? persona. He would be up on stage with his guitar, harmonica and a lit cigarette. It was not about appealing sexually to the audience he was all about creating great lyrical music. He wrote about politics because he felt that love songs did not reach out the same way.
Rock-in-Roll is a part in our history that will never be forgotten due to the remarkable artists and amazing music, which also brought great social change through sexuality.

Controversy and Rock-Kyle Anderson

There is little doubt that Elvis’ style was outright stolen, or at the very least heavily influenced, from gospel and r&b. In fact, prior to his widespread stardom, many radio listeners thought that Elvis was black. Elvis was really no different than many other black artists of the day, yet he proved to be the catalyst that pushed rock ‘n roll into mainstream America. Racial tension was still high during the time period after WWII and into the Civil Rights Movement. Many saw Elvis as a bridge to help connect the races through music, and indeed Elvis paved the way for many black musicians to follow. While Elvis did make rock ‘n roll mainstream, critics from the African American community criticized the trend that America wanted black music without the black people, and that Elvis was a thief of the music styles of black artists. The larger question, perhaps, is if Elvis would have still been as phenomenally popular had the genre not been so controversial. The fact that parents frowned upon rock ‘n roll music instantly made it infinitely more appealing to kids, in the same manner that parental advisory stickers make CDs more appealing to today’s youth.
The controversy surrounding the genre of rock ‘n roll was further magnified by Elvis’ sexual innuendos and gestures while on stage. As stated in the Bloom article, “young people know that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse.?(pg 73) Parents and adults alike feared the consequences of rock ‘n roll on the youth, envisioning a generation of deviant sexual perverts. Without the controversy generated by the fact that rock was derived from so-called “race music? in addition to the controversy of the sexual liberation accompanying the movement, it is unlikely that rock ‘n roll would have garnered the same cultural explosion in America. The controversial nature of rock ‘n roll was a key factor in its enormous success.

The History of Rock-n-Roll/ Kyle Cross

I also believe that rebellion was a primary reason for the success of Elvis and the Beatles among others. Even though Elvis "had the look" that made so many young girls adore him at the time, he also made"race music" acceptable to listen to and he brought this music right to their living room. But back to the rebellion aspect. Throughout the readings, I found the common theme of sexual oppression among teenagers as the main driver behind the successes of these artists. A quote from the reading "Beatle Mania" by Barbara Ehrenreich, Elizabeth Hess and Gloria Jacobs sums up this tension felt by teenage girls, "To abandon control-to scream, faint, dash about in mobs-was, in form if not in conscious intent, to protest the sexual repressiveness, rigid double standard of female teen culture." It wasn't that the music was so great at the early stages of these musician's careers, but it was attractive young men performing songs about love. Young men at the time had sports or other extra curricular activities to release some sexual tension, but girls had limited opportunities according to Science Newsletter 29 Feb 1964. Young females were supposed to be quiet during the 60's and the ideal daughter should be pure and soft spoken, not to speak unless spoken to. I believe this model that young girls were supposed to fit is what so many girls were rebelling against. I think this rebellion's origins can be found at home because not only was it a rebellion against society, but against parental authority. Bloom sums this up nicely, "The inevitable corollary of such sexual interest is rebellion against the parental authority that represses it."

Elvis, The Beatles, & Dylan - Amanda Palazzo

When The Beatles guitarist, George Harrison visited the United States a few months prior to their infamous “arrival? at JFK airport, he reported back to the group that, “they don’t know us…it’s going to be hard (Stark, 2006).? Within months, they had invaded and conquered; Beatlemania was in full swing in America. More than just the popularity of their music contributed to their rise to sudden stardom, though, obviously, that was an important factor.

The Beatles’ music, like Elvis’, was influenced by “race music,? music whose roots lie in the American south, with African American musicians. Before the arrival of Elvis, this type of music was not acceptable or easily accessible for white listeners. Therefore, when Elvis came on the scene, people reacted strongly (both positively and negatively) because it was so different from anything that was being played on the radio. The Beatles, inspired and influenced by Elvis, also elicited the same reaction in listeners. One fan, cited in the “The British Are Coming!,? said, “They’re different…they’re great because they’re different.? Another said, “We screamed because it was a kick against anything old-fashioned. (Stark, 2006)?

The changing views regarding females and sexuality also perpetuated Elvis’ and The Beatles’ popularity. Girls, taught to be ‘good’ and remain ‘pure,’ started lashing back against this societal rule. When prompted by reporters as to the reason of The Beatles’ popularity, the answer was, “Because they’re sexy.? The authors in “Beatlemania: A sexually defiant consumer subculture?,? state that, “this explanation was in itself a small act of defiance…to assert an active, powerful sexuality by the tens of thousands and to do so in a way calculated to attract maximum attention was more than rebellious. It was, in its own unformulated, dizzy way, revolutionary (Ehrenreich, Hess, Jacobs, 1997).?

The popularity of Elvis and The Beatles was significantly influenced by their looks, Elvis with his good looks and hip shaking, knee jerking, moves, and The Beatles, with their Englishness, long hair, and humor. Bob Dylan, who also had great success during the same period, could not contribute this success to the same reason: innate sex appeal. Dylan, on the fringe of popular music, a part of the counterculture movement, had more politically charged music that did not attract the same type of attention from female listeners. Elaine Tyler May, commenting on The Beatles’ popularity with girls in, “The British Are Coming!,? says that, “every girl wanted to be treated the way their songs indicated they would treat them. There was a sweetness and gentleness in their view of women and romance (Stark 2006).? Dylan, whose music was more revolutionary than lovey-dovey, just did not resonate in the same way, with the same people, as Elvis and The Beatles.

Cole Storer Blog 5

In comparing Elvis and the Beatles with Bob Dylan I think there is definitely an important difference in regard to their sexuality. Whereas Elvis shook his hips and snarled his upper lip, the Beatles had long hair and wore tight clothing and at one point they were grilled on their sexuality. Bob Dylan was not as physically or outwardly appealing however and he was more of a folk singer rather than pop or rock and roll. Their appearance wasn't extremely important in regards to their musical identity. I don't think that they made as big of a deal back then about outward appearances. Androgyny suited them. Elvis wasn't androgynous, however he was from a little different generation where it was cooler to be more clean cut. The Beatles and Elvis were able to deform the social norm because their music changed our culture. They made America much more open to sexuality. Girls were conforming to more liberal ideaologies and resisting their parent's conservative values. Einrich addresses sexuality and rock and roll by talking about how they were tainting young women's morals and causing them to participate in sexual activities. Elvis's girating pelvis was almost considered sacreligious to most of conservative America. The idea that rock and roll can become like pornography for teenagers and impressionable kids is absurd. I think there was more of a correlation between people starting to stand up and say something to the government with rock and roll than teenagers becoming more sexually active. I think that parents of the 50's and 60's thought that the Beatles and Elvis represented a whole lot more than they actually did. It seems as though they were making excuses for their children's behavior. It is a whole lot easier to put the blame on a music group rather than taking the blame for your shortcomings.

Cole Storer Blog 5

In comparing Elvis and the Beatles with Bob Dylan I think there is definitely an important difference in regard to their sexuality. Whereas Elvis shook his hips and snarled his upper lip, the Beatles had long hair and wore tight clothing and at one point they were grilled on their sexuality. Bob Dylan was not as physically or outwardly appealing however and he was more of a folk singer rather than pop or rock and roll. Their appearance wasn't extremely important in regards to their musical identity. I don't think that they made as big of a deal back then about outward appearances. Androgyny suited them. Elvis wasn't androgynous, however he was from a little different generation where it was cooler to be more clean cut. The Beatles and Elvis were able to deform the social norm because their music changed our culture. They made America much more open to sexuality. Girls were conforming to more liberal ideaologies and resisting their parent's conservative values. Einrich addresses sexuality and rock and roll by talking about how they were tainting young women's morals and causing them to participate in sexual activities. Elvis's girating pelvis was almost considered sacreligious to most of conservative America. The idea that rock and roll can become like pornography for teenagers and impressionable kids is absurd. I think there was more of a correlation between people starting to stand up and say something to the government with rock and roll than teenagers becoming more sexually active. I think that parents of the 50's and 60's thought that the Beatles and Elvis represented a whole lot more than they actually did. It seems as though they were making excuses for their children's behavior. It is a whole lot easier to put the blame on a music group rather than taking the blame for your shortcomings.

Reflection on "The History of Rock and Roll". By Thanh Diep Truong

As it was said, elvis Presley drew heavily music that was grounded in rhythm and blues, or what at the time was called "race music". The rhythm and blues, and gospel sound had been a staple of black culture for many years befor Elvis came onto the scene. So the question here is: What was it that made him such a tremendous success? In my opinion, he was a success because he brought to the Americans what they had never seen before. They had never seen a white guy singing "black music" before. He wasn't only performing blues or gospel, he had his own moves on stage that made the conservatism against him. His moves were so "different", "strange", and "rebellious". He was shaking his hips like no one had done before. Those were his signature moves, without those, Elvis Presley wouldn't be Elvis Presley. America loved him because he was who he was, and he did what he did best. The film feature a show that they had Elvis on with a tux and gloves. He really looked very awkward in them. It was really different. If he wasn't on stage with his usual outfit and his "shaking hips", he wouldn't be able to put live in to his performance, not like he usually did. So he stick with what he did best, and grew from it. Also, what Americans liked from Elvis was his charm. He was very charming, confident, a every girls' dream. According to the film, he had a great sense of humor, both on stage and behind the curtain. Putting all these together, the real key that made Elvis Presley a big success was the American teen girls at the time. I think they are the one who brought him to the top. They were his first and long lasting group of fans. They couldn't see any human being any more "superior" than Elvis, with his "rebellious" attitude, handsome "white" look, and performances that no man one earth could had delivered. These teenager girls were so taken by Elvis because they were tied up with all the gender roles and social norms at the time. Elvis to them were like a pair of scissors, cutting them free from the ropes of norms tied around them. It was their chance of a rebellion against whatever they are being shaped and formed into.

Derek Peltier

In the 1950’s the popular music was classical music. The reading The Closing of the American Mind said classical music was huge especially among the middle class families “partly because they liked it, [and] partly because they thought it was good for the kids.? When the 60’s came around I think that it was a huge shock to the parents when rock and roll became a hit and started to develop. The parents were very upset when they saw Elvis on TV swiveling his hips and making moves with his body that you just did not do during that time. Rock and roll really got a hold of teenagers and brought a new way of life for them. It was a way for the younger generation to get in touch with their own sound and their own music and not listen to what their parents listened to. You could tell the parents were not happy about their teenagers listening to this new music and agreed with Alan Bloom in “teenagers + rock music = sex, and that rock music is like pornography.? At this time girls were supposed to be “good? and “pure? and the parents thought that this type of music was everything but that. I do believe that a big reason why Elvis and the Beatles became so popular was the fact that young woman and men were rebellious against their parents and the norm during that time. I also do think that it is a huge stretch to say that rock music is like pornography.

When watching the History of Rock-n-Roll I was amazed at the fact of how obsessed the girls were over these performers. I never knew that the Beatles had to stop touring because they couldn’t even hear the music being played, that it was so loud from all of the screaming and yelling that you just could not hear. I also really enjoyed in the movie of how many famous musicians today are so thankful for what Elvis and the Beatles did for the industry. I believe what Tom Petty said really hits everything home when he said “they were like a gift from god? when he was talking about the Beatles.

History of Rock and Roll- Justin Kaplan

A new type of music emerged in the late 50's and early 60's that would really shift the American way and the way people viewed music and sex. In The Closing of the American Mind reading, it talks about how classical music was “popular? among middle-class families “partly because they liked it, [and] partly because they thought it was good for the kids.? This was quickly proven wrong with the emergence of Rock and Roll. Kids started showing an unbelievable outpouring of support for this new; as the parents viewed it, "devilish" music. This music related much more to the "younger population" then that of the earlier classical music. We scratched the surface of this topic in class when we said that rock and roll was the music for the younger generation and that the older generation not only disliked it, but thought it was immoral and way too sexual. We talked about how "teenagers+rock music=sex." The reason why the older generation did not like this music is because they felt like this was going to corrupt there children's minds and was going to ruin all of the morals that they had instilled in them. I found it rather amusing how the fact that Elvis rocked his hips back and forth caused a huge uproar in the way people thought this was immoral. According to the Alan Bloom rock music allowed sexuality and the soul’s “primitive and primary speech? to come into public view (p. 71). Because Elvis pushed the edge of sexuality he attained a huge following in the younger population. The Beatles on the other hand changed the way men were expected to act. Their long hair and music pushed the boundaries of what was the norm of men in this time period. Both Elvis and the Beatles changed the younger population of this era and of what was expected from them at this time. They shaped the lives of millions of teenagers as well as the future of music as we knew it.

Tom Lulic - Elvis/Beatles/Dylan

Elvis and the Beatles certainly were loved and well known for their appearence and ability to influence people based soley on how they looked. It seems as though, through the film for this week, that Bob Dylan relied heavily on amazing lyrical talent. Dylan arguably had a less attractive image than both Elvis and the Beatles however all three were extremely popular. I believe this is due to each groups respective audience especially when they emerged into the rock n' roll light. The Beatles and Elvis attracted more women and young girls whereas Dylan was rooted and started in a folk music atmosphere. He didn't need to be incredibly sexy to maintain success. His audience appreciated his music for its meaning and not for how he tried to sell it. This is seen when Dylan meets and discusses music with John Lennon and how both of their musical styles are slightly altered shortly thereafter. John Lennon and the Beatles begin to write and compose more "meaningful" songs and Dylan incorporates more of a flashy and instrumentally talented depiction of his music. This way of being motivated to "look good" in music is shown well in this Walter Benjamin quote, " Moviemaking transformed the history of art because in moviemaking the undeniable centrality of the machine, the camera, in the production of movies, transformed the way humans and things interacted to produced art." I believe Dylan's sexuality therefore plays less of a role in comparison to Elvis and the Beatles in their impact as musicians.

The Beatles > Sex Ed. -- Chris Hansen

As a young student, it is somewhat hard to reflect on what parents were thinking about music that was being written and played 40 years ago. In today's age, with the advent of the internet and shortly thereafter, internet porn (the latest data is one in every four internet searches in porn related) among other things, sexually explicit music is no longer a major issue in our country. Interestingly enough, a major issue today is teaching Sexual Education in public schools. I am sure many students are familiar with the D.A.R.E. program. An extensive research study was done involving D.A.R.E. graduates, and students who did not receive the program, and the results showed a significantly higher rate of drug usage amongst D.A.R.E. students. The most common explanation is that D.A.R.E. simply exposed kids to drugs they would have otherwise been unaware of. I wonder if a similar trend is happening with sex ed., so my proposition is to replace all sexual education programs with extended listening sessions of the Beatles. I do not feel that their music was very sexual at all, just small bits of innuendo and lots of innocent sweet talk. Later on, their lyrics did become more explicit (McCartney says he believes the expression "I want to turn you on" [or something similar] was first used in "A Day in the Life," written by the Beatles), but during the initial Beatlemania, there was nothing vulgar in their lyrics.

It was obvious that Bob Dylan was much more of a lyricist who also happened to sing, while acts such as the Beatles and Elvis were singers (or performers, as their acts centered around more than just the music itself) who also happened to write songs. I find the Beatles fascinating because, although they are the most successful band of all time, there are very few "top ten" lists that include members of the Beatles when it comes to best voice or best guitar player. Their music was so successful because of their great harmony and their persona, and that is something that is no longer present amongst modern bands, and why another band such as the Beatles will never come.

-Chris Hansen

Sex and reason in rock - Dreyer

Bloom expounds on the dangers of rock music in the education of the young, how its sexual connotations bring about a young person's first sensual experience, subsequently spoiling all further experiences in life. While Bloom's viewpoint at times makes him seem to be writing in the 50's not the 80's, he draws some interesting parallels between youth development and sex. This is especially interesting when it is extrapolated to the history of major rock artists on America's social consciousness not just the effect of rock on one young person. Elvis was the seed and his work influenced all rock that came after. Here sexuality, his gyrating hips, was first seen as an intricate part of his sound. The music of Elvis was only one facet of the tidal wave of popularity he rode on, his looks, and his sex appeal also played a major part. This marriage between the sexual yearning of fans was deepened to the nth degree when the Beatles came to America and were embraced by screaming hordes of young girls. The example set by Elvis, i.e. screaming, emotional fans is enhanced in American culture by Beatlemania. The culture's first exposure to the sensuality of his hips produced his screaming fans which lead to the fainting, rioting girls of Beatlemania. With Dylan, however, this activism grew up and became socially aware. Instead of rioting for love, his music's message taught them to challenge inequalities and right wrongs. So the first sensual, sexual music experience of the populace grew and gradually became more powerful finding its release not in the orgiastic delight of Beatlemania but in the reasoned protests of Dylan's 1960's generation.

History of Rock 'n' Roll- Ashley Bergman

Music in the sixties was something different from anything that had preceded. It was sexier, original, more political and was about what was really happening out there in the world. Bob Dylan criticized hugely popular Beatles because he said their songs didn't say anything. Musicians were prized based on their differences more than their talent-- Bob Dylan couldn't really sing and he wrote lyrics that meant something, the Beatles had the hair and the British accents, and Elvis swiveled his hips. All the biggest stars of the sixties were original, fresh, and different in some way. Undoubtedly these guys were bigger than big and brought the music industry to a new level of importance. But why?

Is it a coincidence that Beatlemania got out of hand just months after John F. Kennedy was assasinated? With the Kennedy administration came idealism and vigor, and a goal to get America moving again. His youth and passion were things the younger generations could relate to and they did indeed get the country going again. Politically he was breaking rules left and right. So when such a unique, influential, and innovative figure gets taken away without warning, what does the country do? They definitely don't turn to drab and unrelatable Lyndon B. Johnson. Instead they find the same idealism and passion and lack of rules in rock 'n' roll music. The Beatles were definitely a talented band later on but at the beginning they were nothing significant-- most of their earlier songs are forgettable-- they were simply in the right place at the right time with their moptops and exciting new sound.

Eventually the music fused with politics thanks to Bob Dylan and contemporaries to more completely fill the void left by Kennedy's death and since music has never been the same.

"The Scream" - Alec Charais

While watching the History of Rock and Roll in class, the question that kept coming to mind was "who is getting the scream, today?" Many groups since Elvis, The Beatles, and Dylan have come and gone that have been extemely successful in their time, whether it be measured by their popularity, their record sales, or number of Grammys. While Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, and even more recent fads such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Miley Cyrus have had influence over their audiences, their impact on mass culture does not come close to the revolutions of Elvis, The Beatles, or Dylan.

Elvis created his "screams" by changing the way whites acted about music. As discussed in the History of Rock and Roll, Elvis' music brought the white European and black African cultures together. His appearance undoubtedly played a major role in how his audiences responded to his music. The idea that using your body as such an obvious tool for sexuality had been unheard of, but was nevertheless here to stay.

The arrival of the Beatles to America was unlike any other phenomenon in American music, and for that matter cultural history. Barbara Ehrenreich, et al, describes the Beatlemania craze as an intensity that "surpassed all previous outbreaks of star-centered hysteria" (525). Whereas Elvis created this stir with his stage performance, The Beatles image was fueled by television. I can only imagine what the coverage of The Beatles arrival would have been like in todays 24/7 media. Perhaps this is a reason we don't hear "the scream" like it was in the past, the unlimited access to today's celebrity has diluted it.

I had no idea the impact Dylan had on music until we watched the film in class. He was willing to push the boundaries unlike any artist ever known, and was a major influence on the voice that music had in the world. Telling Lennon that his music had "nothing to say" inspired Lennon to write more meaningful lyrics is one example of the impact Dylan had. I think Dylan's "scream" is that his influence on music gave a new voice to artists to explore topics in a way that still exists today.

History of Rock and Roll-Jackie Claypool

During the 1950’s a new type of music emerged that would change the way people played music and the way people acted throughout their everyday life. In The Closing of the American Mind reading, it talks about how classical music was “popular? among middle-class families “partly because they liked it, [and] partly because they thought it was good for the kids.? All this changed during the 1960’s when rock and roll began to emerge. Rock and roll became so popular because it “spoke? to the younger generation a lot better than classical music ever could. It allowed young adults to begin to move away from their parent’s music and find their own.
In class we talked about how at first the whole idea of rock and roll didn’t sit so well with the older generation of that time. They thought that it was the music of the devil and that “teenagers + rock music = sex.? When you look back at all of this from today’s perspective, the fact that people were so worried about a new type of music seems so funny, but the fact of the matter is, is that people were very afraid that rock music was going to bring destruction to the younger generation. When Elvis first appeared during the 1960’s people were so outraged with the way that he moved his hips that they only showed him from the waist up on TV. People thought that Elvis’s swiveling hips would cause the younger generation to suddenly become sex machines.
I think that the whole idea of rock and roll allowed people to become more outspoken and unreserved. It provided the younger generation with the opportunity to express their opinions on certain issues. Without it, I think that life would be so much different than it is today.

Brian Andreen Music and Culture

In class we had the quote which stated “rock music + young people = sex?. This statement is comical, yet I believe that the writers of this statement would believe that they were correct with their predictions. Since the time in which this statement was written their have been huge changes in sexual promiscuity and a decrease of general morals in the United States. It is amazing to see how in the last forty years how morals have changed. As we saw in the movie in class it was considered extremely indecent to show the gyration Elvis’s hips on television, and doing so caused extreme outrage in much of the public. Now it would be almost to find any movie rated anything higher than PG which did not show more than this.
Another interesting aspect was how each musician’s image played a huge role in the development of their identity. For Elvis he pushed the edge of sexuality and as such gained a huge following in the young community. The Beatles changed the image of how men should act. Their long hair and music was a huge change to what was considered the norm in the current times. Both the Beatles and Elvis pushed the boundaries on sexual morality and in a way started the beginning the conversion of the United States from a conservative nation to a far more liberal one.
Each musician had a unique stile which was fresh and original which defined their music from their competition. The revolutionary musicians did not try to fit in and follow the trend in how music was made, but instead made their music off the beaten path how they wanted to according to their own liking.
Changes in the music types were enough to make the older generation not be accepting of them. In a way I believe this was a huge contribution to these new forms of music being such a huge success. Parents un-willingness to accept the changes in music, made the new types of music a perfect way for children and adolescents to rebel and have music of their own. Another reason the new types of music was so well accepted is well stated in Beatlemania: A sexually defiant subculture. The paper has the statement that young girls were not to be only good and pure, but to enforcers of this purity within their society. These new music provided an opportunity for a change in this culture, allowing the young women to act in a much less restrained manner toward the music stars without rebuttal from their piers. This started a shift, as they were no longer forced to act so pure and innocent in this setting, it provided an opening for them to be less inhibited in other settings as well.

Jeff Tow Arnett

After Anthony Arrigo lecture on Wednesday I had a déjà vu of what Anthony said about music during Elvis, The Beatles and Bob Dylan era. I know my parents have said that the music I listen to is just noise and garbage, that there is no substance to it. That reminds me very much of what the parents of this time period would have said about Elvis, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. This seems to be a phenomenon in the music industry like rap music today challenging social differences. Rock and roll has become what it is today because of the Beatles, Elvis and Bob Dylan. Rock and roll changed the ideology and individuality of young people all over the nation in the 1960s. With so many things happening at this time with the post war era, baby boomers, technology and American becoming a consumption society, teenagers grew fond of consuming this new rock and roll music albums. According to the Alan Bloom rock music allowed sexuality and the soul’s “primitive and primary speech? to come into public view (p. 71). Elvis and The Beatles brought sexuality to their style of music through Elvis swing his hips and The Beatles European charm with their long hair. Liked we talked about in class what it meant to be a women, women were supposed to portray a sense of purity but at the same time be sexy to attract a future husband. Both Elvis and The Beatles created this sexual tension and obsession with younger women and the younger men wanted to be like them. Elvis success was not that he was necessarily putting out new music, but Elvis made it acceptable for white folks to listen to that type of music. Elvis opened the door of rhythm, blues and gospel for white folks, and that’s what makes Elvis one of the top Rock and Roll legends. Bob Dylan didn’t use sexuality as much as Elvis and The Beatles, but Dylan used his lyrics to spread a message to the multitudes of fans. It is in teenage nature to rebel, the younger generation just wants freedom and they find small amounts of it by finding their own style through music. Each generation is trying not to be like the last generation, they want to find and form their own individuality just like in class there will never be a next Michael Jordan promote individuality.

Elvis, Beatles, & Dylan - David Belair

Call me weird, but I never really got any of these performers. I enjoy a few songs of each, Hurricane by Dylan, A Little Less Conversation by Elvis (among a few others), and A Day in the Life by the Beattles are a few of my favorite all time songs. However, as a whole these groups don't crack anywhere near my top ten. I have to say that I found some new respect and admiration for the Beattles and Dylan while watching the History of Rock-n-Roll clips, I was more aware of Elvis' history and found most of it old hat. I enjoyed the parts about Dylan turning his fans off with his switch from acoustic to electric guitar. It seemed that his message and the depth of his music didn't waiver, but because he found more satisfaction from the electric guitar he was a sell out. The most memorable part of the movie for me was when they chronicled how Dylan and Lennon each aided in the changing of each other music styles, especially when Lennon basically changed the tennor of the Beattles because Dylan said their music didn't have a message. For some reason this just amazed me.

I am still amazed everytime I see footage of the Beatles and Elvis. How can girls get that carried away, that hysterical, just because of a musician. The 50's and 60's seemed an odd time in this respect. I understand the whole rebellion thing, where kids try to listen to new things. Sometimes because its really good, which was mostly the case with the Beattles and Elvis, but also just to tick their parents off. The chicken little effect by the older generation, where Elvis and the Beattles were going to be the end of civilization, and the crying and fainting by the teenage girls, its all too much to believe. I don't seem to rember the carziness in generations after the 60's. There was still rebellion (I listened to all the metal hair bands in the 80's, which my parents hated) in later generations, but I don't ever remember anything close to the hysteria generated by the bands of the 50's and 60's.

Dylan, who came after the Elvis/Beatles hysteria, came at a time when the US was in more of a retrospective period. With the killing of both Kennedy's, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, and the start of the Vietnam war, the later part of the sixties bred a counter-culture of resistance. Musicians began to gear their songs to the politics of the day. Their music had more of a message and the teens that followed their music wanted to listen to the message more than they cared about the looks and sexuality of the musicians. Dylan wasn't the best looking guy, but I don't think it would have mattered. I think the frivolous hysteria of the 50's and early sixties had been passed. As noted above, even the Beatles began to make more of an effort to make a difference with their music in their later recordings.

I enjoyed watching the History of Rock-n-Roll immensely. Even though the bands that we watched are not my favorites, I enjoy learning anything about history. Much of the things in the movie were new to me, which made watching it both entertaining and informative. I was previously aware that the Stones, the Beatles and other British bands got much of their influences by American Blues and Gospel. I didn't realize Elvis was considered to have stolen his music from other rhythm and blues singers. Even though Ray Charles and some other blacks made it big, I imagine that Elvis was able to capitalize on this music the most because of his good looks and "coolness". I guess anything to bring the music to the masses is a good thing, its too bad though that he wasn't more original like the Beattles and the Stones were. Good watching once again.

Cameron Lee

In the time from WWII to the time the three rock titans came out, women had developed a new sense of place in the mainstream culture. Now with new found freedom they were able to express themselves in new ways and put their attention onto something new and different. I think that the monotony of their lifestyles before this time lead them to seek something that was different and exotic. People from all times have sought out, in particular, something new and exotic because it really is different from what they are use to. The coming of these new musicians had that profound impact upon the female populous of America that the exotic does on someone who is bored. These bands had a completely new style and didn't care about what the adults thought. Elvis may have tried to reconcile with the older people of America but it would seem he was the only one. Everyone else was content with the massive following they had, until it may have become too much for even them to handle. The fact that these new bands were embraced so readily by the young culture showed that they were ready for a change to their lives and they didn't agree with what their parents said.

"Elvis, The Beatles, & Dylan" - Marc Dunham

There are certainly differences in the importance that the Beatles and Elvis placed on their sexuality as opposed to Bob Dylan. For both the Beatles and Elvis Presley, image played a huge role, and that is apparent by the legacy that they have left on the music industry. In the same way that hair gel, white, sequined jump suits, and sunglasses have become symbolic of Elvis, one glance at a man in a suit with a mop-top haircut springs “Here Comes the Sun? to memory. Although Dylan also had a signature look, with his messed hair and sunglasses, he was less of a showman during performances. Part of this was no doubt due to the folk style music that he played, as stage presence was less of a focal point than the literal message of the music. With pop and rock music, as the Beatles and Elvis leaned toward, stage presence and stage performance is closely tied to the musical and lyrical content of the songs. Because they chose to play music with more seductive and sexual content, they chose appropriate images to match. I think that this tie to sexuality in both image and musical content really did help to break down much of the sexual conservatism at play at the time. This primarily affected women, who were expected to be very sexually reserved. Being the target of the sexual content from the male performers, women were encouraged to express themselves more freely. This sense of freedom likely was a root attraction for many women that came to call themselves fans of the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

Rock N Roll - Alexander Culverwell

At the beginning of the Rock N Roll era everything was changing in the music industry. The change was very drastic and was mainly due to “Beatlemania?. Ehrenreich describes the hysteria of the woman during “Beatlemania? as “uprising of women’s sexual revolution? (Ehrenreich, 524). It was after a time in WWII where woman had gained a lot more independence. The woman showed this independence at the time when the Beatles arrived on the scene. Ehrenreich says, “…a girl who might never have contemplated shoplifting could assault a policeman with her fists, squirm under police barricades and otherwise invite a disorderly conduct.? (Ehrenreich, 526-527).
The sexuality of the times had changed. These were brought on heavily by the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis. The Beatles had there long hair cuts, their English accents and sense of humor. Their hair was completely different to the short military styles that were the fashion of the time in the USA. Bob Dylan showed the rebellion of the times, with his music that was different and extremely unique. It was a style that turned heads and was not always initially accepted. This was mirrored in the rebellion and changing times of the woman in society. Elvis was an extremely sexual individual with the swinging of the hips. All three of these idols were not initially accepted by the entire American public to begin with, but were accepted with open arms by the young woman of the time, which is why it was such an important time in the history of music and history overall.

Jackie Robak

Sexuality of Elvis and the Beatles and even the Rolling Stones can be seen just from their appearance. Elvis brought sexuality by his provocative hip movements. The Beatles were sexy because they were different; their hair was long, they had a certain humor about them, and their music breached a whole new level. Elvis and the Beatles were good looking, so it’s easy to understand why the women were obsessed with them. However the Stones I think started the Rock N’ Roll theory: any guy with a guitar is good looking. If you look at them, they are not good looking. A girl in the film even called them ugly. So why did girls go crazy over them. They were the bad-ass band of that time. Their music was less pop than the Beatles and their lyrics were strait forward. They made the Beatles look like the good boys and they were the bad-ass’s. Which as all guys know is attractive to women.
I think women were taken by these bands because they wanted something new. I don’t think it was because they wanted to rebel against their parents music. Look at the 50’s every thing was clean cut and resembled Pleasantville, as a women I can personally say something different would attract me. I also think that it was about independence, being able to pick your favorite band. There was the pop sound of the Beatles, blues of Elvis, and more of a rock feeling from the Stones. It was to individualize their generation, not “rebel?. Even today that generation of people is defined by the music of that time.
In forty years kids in school are only going to remember our generation by 911. Other than that we have nothing. We will not go down in history books for anything, other than the war in Iraq. This is why I think that everyone clung to the new music. It was different, it expressed how they felt, and it defined who they were.
I don’t think that Bob Dylan was less sexy than any of the other bands. Personally I think his sort of mysterious and different style of music and personality is very sexy. I just think he attracted a different crowd. It’s hard not to notice thousands of screaming girls, maybe that’s way the Beatles and the Stones were thought to be hotties. Dylan attracted a different type of crowd; his music was way different then the pop sound of the Beatles. It’s easier to notice screaming girls, but that doesn’t mean there is less appreciation.

Kendra Elm-Elvis, The Beatles, and Dylan

Sexuality was very important to the careers of Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan. Each had their own style which allowed them to develop into the successful musicians they were. When first seen on TV Elvis was disliked by most parents in America. He had a crazy voice and moved his hips all over the place; something that had never been done before. Elvis had his own style of hair and clothing and it was completely different from the musical artist before him. He used this difference to his advantage and attracted fans who wanted a taste of something different. The Beatles were similar to Elvis in that they came to the United States from London with a new style. They wore sport coats and had long hair, and when asked it they were going to get a hair cut replied, "I already did." This showed Americans that they weren't afraid to be different, in fact different was what they were going for. Both The Beatles and Elvis contributed to changing the conservativeness of America. Before them music was relatively the same, all artists had the same type of lyrics, the same type of rhythms and the same type of dress. Rock music changed all that; a change that many people were not comfortable with.

In the Bloom reading he compares the music to a drug. Saying that the the students who liked this music so much would get over their passion for it and realize it is not a great as they thought it was. This is how most parents felt at the time. They were hoping that the teenagers would not continue to listen to this type of music. I believe parents of the fifties and sixties felt the same as the parents of today. I know my parents have said that the music I listen to is just noise, and it reminds me very much of what the parents of this time period would have said about Elvis, The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

The missing link.

There is no doubt that African Americans are the ones responsible for the gift of rock and roll. They knew all along what music should feel like, but foolish American morals resulted in that wonderful gift staying within their community. Elvis was then sent forth to bring that gift to the masses. He didn't copy or plagiarize anything flat out; he merely popularized it. His success was due to his talent, good looks, and and of course his whiteness. This wasn't all that bad, for people realized how important and necessary he was and was going to be in helping rock and roll explode. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones gained immense fame for being a few of the first who took what Elvis did and expanded on it. These two bands also had their own look and routine, which is exactly what America wanted so desperately at the time. Being British and having that foreign factor work to their advantage here didn't hurt either. In conclusion, Elvis was necessary to bring great music to the masses, for the masses were too stubborn at the time to turn their ear to the sounds of the Black community and accept its genius.

Candice Dehnbostel: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Elvis

Rock and roll has become what it is today because of the Beatles, Elvis and Bob Dylan. Socially, economically and culturally, rock and roll changed the norms and ideology of young people all over the nation in the ‘60s. Teenagers, especially, became a market for consumer goods and material wants. Albums were beginning to show a mix of rhythm and blues, rock and roll, jazz and international sounds. As discussed in class, girls were expected to walk the fine line between prim and proper and sex appeal.

Bloom suggests rock music allowed sexuality and the soul’s “primitive and primary speech? to come into public view (p. 71). Both Elvis and the Beatles brought sexuality to the forefront. Elvis promiscuously swiveled his hips on television for every kid and his or her parents to see. The Beatles, while less direct, mixed humor and charm to become the heartthrobs from across the pond. The outrageous screaming, mobbing and tears of Beatlemania proves the immense sexual tension and obsession brought on by the Fab Four. Bob Dylan did not place the same importance on sexuality. His influences, the likes of Woody Guthrie and Robert Johnson, were concerned with the messages of their songs. Dylan’s focus was on the meaning of his songs and his technical songwriting. Where the Beatles and Elvis had hoards of screaming adolescent girls as their fans, Dylan had folk singers, poets and “intellectuals? as his audience. Dylan’s musical identity was formed out of his questioning of society around him and the events he lived through.

Elvis was a huge success because he blended rhythm and blues, country and rock music. He made it okay for white kids to listen to such music. Elvis’ good looks and love songs made him popular with the girls, and his cool attitude and demeanor made him popular with the boys. The Beatles on the other hand, leaned on their perfectly formed pop songs for success. Lennon and McCartney had a natural knack for writing well-crafted songs. The four complimented each other musically. Their rebellious long hair and witty sarcasm made them perfect for interviews and press extravaganzas. Their music, though, truly set them apart from many similar British bands of the time. Dylan offered a venue for thought and challenging the establishment. His songwriting skills allowed important issues to be discussed through catchy songs.

Music - Eric Nelson

I believe there was an immense difference in the use of sexuality between Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan. First of all Elvis and his leg gyrating was a very explicit move back in the fifties and it caused great controversy. Second, The Beatles did use sexuality found in their long hair, but it was not as controversial with the parents because The Beatles were icons, the good boys that parents wanted their children to be like. Third, Bob Dylan didn’t use sexuality as much as either of the previous, rather he used his lyrics to spread a message to the multitudes of fans.

I don’t agree with the statement that, “…music can become tantamount to pornography for teenagers and impressionable kids,? because that statement is far from reasonable. Pornography purposefully evokes crude sexuality, while music is to be enjoyed as entertainment and if it does touch on sexuality it is in an artistic way.

What made Elvis a success was not that he was necessarily putting out “new? music, but rather made it acceptable for white people to listen to that type of music. He opened the door of rhythm and blues to white people, and that’s what makes him important. He did for music what Jackie Robinson did for baseball.

Women were supposed to be wholesome, but sexy and so during this time of mass confusion over what women should be like, they decided to instead rebel. It is in teenage nature to rebel there really is no great scientific explanation, kids just want freedom and they find small amounts of it by finding their own style, sound, etc…

Katherine Rivard

After arising from years of tumult from war, America was flourishing in the early 1960’s. What, then, if the country so prosperous and the turmoil of war had subsided, had brought the onset of the American revolution of the 60’s? The country began to see major changes early in the decade, when the baby boomers reached their teen years. It would be nearly impossible to narrow it down to one specific reason or cause; however, the upheaval against sexual repression is particularly prominent.
When the Beatles were introduced to American culture, they were completely different and rebellious from the expectation of young men, and teens responded with a “conformity to an imperative that overruled adult mores and even adult laws . . . [which] was the product of sexual repression? (Ehrenreich 526, 527). The standard American expectation for women was only to get married and care for her family. Around this point, however, grew a disparagement towards marriage; young women began to see the desolation of marriage, and wanted to rebel. Some women describe their reaction to the Beatles, Elvis, and other rock and roll idols as wanting the same freedoms that they had, to be “strong, sexy, and doing what you want? (535). The push towards sexual freedom seen towards rock and roll idols was an effect of rebellion against the traditional, expected American lifestyle and towards individuality and freedom.

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. Jordan Swan

The sexual identity of an artist is incredible important in asserting themselves as a member of iconic personalities that have true staying power in popular culture. To foster a sexual image of one’s self is to utilize the potential of the youth masses adoration to further your own potential as a personality. In the article by Ehrenreich et al the young female following like the one that ravaged the Beatles, was inevitable and that once it was initialized in the mind of the youth it could only be stopped by age. Cultivating this type of fan following is a direct result of a distinctive and appealing sexual usually at a time of social change where individuals need someone to latch on to as a fantasy escape. This escape can be the basis for an iconic heritage for a musician or other performer. The notion of sexiness was extremely important for the success of the Beatles, the Beatles represented a kind of sexual revolution and freedom for the stifling oppressiveness of the early sixties. Parental say so was the law for young women in the sixties and parents said that sex was something that was to be ignored. Ringo, George, John, Paul embodied for these teens a way to express lust, through fits of thrusts and shrieks, like previously unavailable to them and finding an outlet albeit an outlet that is a bit out of reach

Appearance and Identity-- L Vieira

Each of the artists developed a unique identity as musical artist largely because of their appearance. As TV became more popular and enabled people to see popular icons in 3D rather than still photos, appearance became an important part of identity. For Elvis, his slick hair and clean-shaven face were essential to his being recognized as a "good boy gone bad." His dance moves were complimented by his fit body that enabled him to be an icon of the new generation. An important part of the Beatles identity was their British origin-- their bringing a joining of popular culture between the countries. They were attractive and young-- the primary reason their fan base consisted of such an enormous group was not because of unique musical talent, but rather their ability to please everyone with their appearance. Ehrenreich and Hess describe Beatlemania as "quirky and hard to explain," but their attractiveness could very clearly be a factor. Bob Dylan's "down home" appearance and laid back guitar playing made him appeal to an increasingly tense generation looking to relax. For all three of these artists, their appearance was crucial to maintaining an identity consistent with their sound.

Beatlemania and why it didn't change the modern girl-Nicole Carroll

Beatlemania, what’s that supposed to mean? Isn’t it just people adjusting with the times? As an avid Beatles lover since I’ve been 12 it’s hard to think that they really adjusted society that much by just their music. It was said in our lecture class that the formula of:

Teenagers + Rock Music= SEX, with the variable of Rock= BAD

When we suggest that rock music is bad and started with Elvis and continued with the Beatles, how could Elvis not have left a huge impression that started it all. As we look into our society today we find that 13 year olds are getting pregnant or they start drinking alcoholic beverages and doing drugs at 11, now is this considered Rapmania or Popmania? Nope, because it’s thought at conforming with the times of the younger generations. We find that instead of music influencing teens today, its suggestive pictures in advertisements, easier reach to different mediums that suggest sex and the celebrity idolizing craze. With teenage girls back in 1960’s though they found that the celebrity craze was with the Beatles or hip shaking Elvis, but couldn’t it have been the boys that helped create this conformity. It’s said in the article Beatlemania and the Sexually Defiant Consumer Subculture that teen and preteen girls were expected to be only ‘good’ and ‘pure’ but the enforcers of purity within their teen society-drawing the line for overeager boys and ostracizing girls who failed in this responsibility (Ehrenrich, 1992). In this comment they manage to distract the words overeager boys, which place this theory of girls changing sexuality of this time under research. Sure the lyrics of the rock music have referrals to bodily movements, but did they actually listen to them.

Another sequential music change that may have had a starting affect on teenagers was the Big Band era during the 20’s. Why can’t we blame the flappers of that era for bringing sexuality its change? This is why I don’t believe that just the Beatles brought the modern girls to life, I think it’s been trying to happen for a long time and during the 60’s it was in it’s prime time and still grows through society today.

Amanda Kennedy- Rock Music Review

Elvis was such a success, despite the fact that he was stealing black gospel, rhythm and blues music styles and songs, because he was the one to bring it into the while scene. He made it socially acceptable for white teenagers to listen to the music and to idolize the singer, more so than if it had been a black singer.

Teenage girls at the time became so obsessed with Elvis and the beetles because this was their time to let their sexual repressions out. According to the reading by Gloria Jacobs, “boys had sports as an outlet; girls only have their screaming and swooning…which can be seen as a release of sexual energy? As discussed in lecture, the girls at the time we supposed to be upholding this double standard of being pure and innocent, while at the same time coming off as attractive sexual women that men would want to marry.

Bands such as the beetles and the rolling stones had particular success in America because they were something new that wasn’t like the boys here. They had different accents and kept their hair different and were just this whole new experience for these teenage girls. They wanted to break free of the typical standards of their time and be more adventurous.

These music artists were also all very successful because of the general sense of revolution going around. The black rights movement was going on with the women’s movement not far behind, along with the sexual revolution that was going on. Pretty much, if the older generation didn’t like it, then the younger one did. That’s why Elvis with his provocative hip shaking was so popular with the girls.

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Oakley Tapola ROCKNROLLMOVIE

There are differences between Bob Dylan and the Beatles/Elvis in regards to their sexuality because Elvis and the Beatles appeared at time when their sexuality and their physical appearances and outwardly antiestablishment attitudes were more prevalent than the actual messages communicated within their music. While Bob Dylan still manages to appear more unique than a pop star of the time his sexuality isn’t in the forefront because his music is far more intellectual in content. Elvis and the Beatles were able to flaunt social and cultural conservatism because it was so diametrically opposed to any freedom of though, especially sexual freedom, which these musicians confronted head on. What really made Elvis a tremendous success was the fact that he was playing music that had been classically played by black artists for years and made it marketable to a white audience. He popularized a sound that was emblematic of a certain mood and style and put under a sexy visage. When it comes to bands like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles studying and recreating music in the style to musicians that had been around for years they were successful for many of the same reasons, because they were marketable, but also because they had the ability to access a certain kind of sound and sentiment that appealed to the ever broadening minds of the youth at the time. Also, a lot of it was luck. Because of all the turmoil taking place at the time, with the death of JFK and the Vietnam War taking place etc. young people were looking for a new outlook and it was a new mindset that opened up the air streams for a new type of music to match the mood. Women played such an important role because they were able to rebel in a way that they had never had the opportunity to before. Because the musicians that were making such a big difference were male it was vastly easier for women show their interest in them sexually. This was very intimidating to the established order. In a society in which a women's place is at her husband’s side she was compelled to choose whom she was attracted to. The Beatles and Elvis, because they were so publicized, were an easy choice.

Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan

The aspect most interesting to me about Elvis, The Beatles and Bob Dylan is the revolutionizing of the sexuality of the Rock-n-Roll era. It is well known that Elvis Aaron Presley played a significant role in inventing rock-n-roll. It is also known that the role of sexuality within rock-n-roll has been pivotal in the era of the 1960s. Ehrenreich, et al. explains that “in a highly sexualized society (one sociologist found that the number of explicitly sexual references in the mass media had doubled between 1950 and 1960), teen and preteen girls were expected to be not only ‘good’ and ‘pure’ but to be the enforcers of purity? (Ehrenreich, et al. 523). The term “Beatlemania? describes the hysteria that women felt toward the Beatles during the “uprising of women’s sexual revolution? (Ehrenreich, et al. 524). Although Elvis Presley was in a way the father of rock-n-roll and had women ‘swooning’ over him, the “Fab Four? inspired a different, more intense type of feeling. Although Bob Dylan was not as much of a sexual figure as Elvis and the Beatles, he was an American songwriter, whose lyrics incorporated politics, social commentary, philosophy and literary influences. Dylan played a substantial role in the culture of the 1960s. Overall, Elvis, The Beatles and Bob Dylan were all consequential figures of the late 1950s and 1960s, during a time in which sexuality was much more taboo than it is today, however the men of the time had the ability to portray this image.

-Hasti Fashandi

The heart of the sixties

I have to disagree with the readings on this topic this week. I think too much emphasis was put on gender issues with the beatles and I believe that Bob Dylan is sometimes incorrectly stated as a leader in progressive movements of that era instead of just a participant.

The rapid change in music and progressive movements during this time are a direct result of the major demographic shift called the "baby boom" and the relative economic prosperity that came after the second world war. Without either of those the sixties wouldn't have been what they were. Artists like the Beatles, Elvis and Dylan rose to fame because there were so many young people with money to buy records and watch musical artists perform on variety shows. The Beatles started out with their pop songs but then they matured their sound and blended it with blues, psychadelic and folk infulences. The Beatles kept evolving and managed to stay popular even to this day. If the beatles would have stayed sappy pop music they would have been a period phenomenon at their music not

I don't believe gender relations is all what the Liverpool band had to offer. I like the Beatles and I'm not a sexually repressed teenage girl. Although I don't like their early word as much as Revolver and on (and paticularly a fan of "Sgt. Pepper"). If one was to name something that really had an impact of gender relations in our country i'd say that the FDA approving the birth control pill in the early sixties did far more to enhance female determinism that some British singers with mop top hair-cuts. I could name probably 100 things that had more bearing on women's issues before even mentioning the beatles. Like the tie-in with the civil rights movement, the beatles had no comment on these issues. And for a group from another country this is expected.
The early music of the beatles wasn't explicitly about really anything at all, which is why I think Dylan said that their music was founded on nothing. Their music did nothing measurable to advance the feminist cause as is suggested in the articles. I've never noticed any social commentary in their music at all. I think that point has been overshadowed by the work of academics who have mercilessly picked apart their song word for word trying to prove a point. And I believe that in any body of work such as the beatles discography that if you look hard enough you'll find something you can distort to support your own social views and emotional baggage. I don't draw any distinction from the academics trying to decern meaning from the beatles than those lunatics that play the white album backwards trying to listen for satanic messages. The social effects are not quantifiable. And i think that this is because people didn't listen to the Beatles to be pursuaded or for the music to speak for them. They are just nice tunes.
I would make an exception John Lennon's solo career which was more substanitive. with songs like: "Give peace a chance" "Nobody told me" "Imagine" "Well Well Well" "Working Class hero" "Power to the People" "god" "instant karma" "I don't want to be a soldier , and I could go on and on. Those songs were really socially conscious and reminiscent of Dylan's early career.

Dylan, what can I say. He's the greatest songwriter in american history. I'll leave it at that.


Sexuality of Elvis, The Beatles, and Dylan - Anthony Zerka

Sexuality is used to heighten the careers of Elvin, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan. It is not looks that attracts the opposite sex, but their sense of style. The Beatles revolutionized the music industry with their witty humor and British accents. Their bull cuts became quite the talk when they arrived in America. It was considered unmanly I would presume as many Americans had very clean, short hair, but they started a new trend as Bruce Springsteen started to wear his hair like The Beatles even after his father became very angry at him. It was a style that represents change in American culture as many other artists started to replicate this style. Elvis became irresistible with his swaying dance moves. His moving of his legs considered mouth-watering to the girls as it created controversy with many Americans. Many believe he should have been censored for his excessive sexual moving. Bob Dylan sense of rebellion was indeed his motive as looks did not matter to him; Dylan wanted to perform his music artistically with a cigarette in his mouth dangling around and a harmonica near his mouth. He was not sexually attractive nor do I believe that Dylan was reaching for a “sex appeal? figure, but his inspirational music influenced the new generation of America. Bloom and Ehrenreich suggested that the sexuality of rock and roll hyped teen sexual frustration; the American culture suggested that the greatest gift you can give to a husband or wife is their virginity. This notion started to change as The Beatles arrived to America. The popularity of Elvis and The Beatles was indeed their disparate style. Men of America quickly started to buy wigs that were similar to The Beatles and even today, there are impersonators of Elvis walking down the street with their pointed-tipped hair and the change of their vocals. To the women, these artists created music that one can enjoy listening to. They were young, loose, cool, and still classy in their own way and that is what woman wanted to see. According to Ehrenreich and Bloom, this was a change from the typical “he man? that populated America.

'Race Music'-Elvis 's Tribute to Self by Chris Remy

“Be Yourself,? a statement that more than exemplifies what society should do. Professor Arrigo of the American studies department made direct reference to this statement at the beginning of class. Reference was made to Michael Jordan’s Nike campaigns however he eluded to the fact that this statement was expressed in a time of Rock and Roll history. Elvis Priestly was a major part of the history and his so called “race music,? would move rock and roll into the mainstream.

Elvis music was portrayed as being a staple of black culture for years before. However this still made him a tremendous success. This can be attributed to not only his skin color but the fact that his moves were more that sensational for his skin color. One of the commenter in the film “The History of Rock-n-Roll? said that he had a way with words. His way made him so successful. Another commenter said that he would just hear things and make them into songs based on other songs like his song “Hound Dog.? Elvis was not the only one that can be attributed to the history of rock-n-roll, but he definitely had a significant part in its creation. To top it all of he was being himself and than made him so successful, regardless of his gyrating hips!

February 23, 2008

Yu Katayama

This week we watched the history of rock-n-roll and we saw how the music have changed over the last decades. During this period, there were a lot of musicians which attracted a lot of people by their different and new style of music. Some of the most popular and successful musicans included Elvis, the Beatles, Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan and many others, have drawn peoply by their different styles of music. Elvis and the Beatles attracted the crowd by their new and upbeat music and Bob Dylan drew the audience with his lyrics. With these people's efforts and determination, the music industry increased their stength and its popularity. Also, I think, music business grew so fast because every artists respected and influenced each other which made lots of musicians to come up with new ideas and styles of music.
Sex symbol was also the other thing that made music popular, but some adults were offended by this. However, the younger generations, the girls, were attracted to it. When the Beatles arrived to America, all the eyes were on them. The Beatles got so popular that there were 73 millions Americans watching them on "The Ed Sullivan Show". Even though watching them on TV was a thrill for them, their main goal was to go and actually see the Beatles play at a concert. Some of the girls were so obsessed that they "exchaned Beatle magazines or cards, and gathered to speculate obsessively on the details and nuances of Beatle Life."
Even though there were some problems (ex. the Beatles saying that "They were better than Jesus") within the music industry, all the artists who lived between 1950s and 1970s, have made the artists today to come up with new ideas and styles of music to maintain its popuality.

The Beatles - Amanda Ruffalo

I definitely think that one of the main reasons the Beatles were so popular was because they were so different from what America was used to. Before the Beatles, American girls were looked upon as and supposed to be “proper and pure?. As mentioned in Ehrenrich et. al. article, “To be popular with boys and girls – to be universally attractive and still have an unblemished ‘reputation’ – a girl had to be crafty, cool, and careful. The payoff for all this effort was to end up exactly like Mom – a housewife? (528). The main achievements in a girls’ life were supposed to be focused on marriage and motherhood, there was no time for girls to just be teenagers. Needless to say, with the arrival of a music sensation, such as The Beatles, girls took this as a chance to “let loose?. Ehrenrich et. al. mentions, “Shy, subdued girls could go berserk. ‘Perky,’ ponytailed girls of the type favored by early [1960s] sitcoms could dissolve in histrionics. In quieter contemplation of their idols, girls could see defiance in the Beatles or project it onto them? (527). Girls found the Beatles as some sort of an outlet to go crazy; a release of their sexual tension. The Beatles elicited this sexual tension from teenage girls because they were so different looking as well. Their long hair was so atypical from the usual ‘crew cut’ style that America was used to. Also, their British accents made the girls go wild. It was so different and exotic than anyone has seen before. Girls were ready to let loose from the society they were “comfortable? in. It was time for a change and the Beatles were an outlet for some of that craziness.

History of Rock-n-Roll - Colleen May

In the beginning of “The History of Rock-n-Roll,? George Clinton says that “most kids hate their parent’s artists… they want to get away from that more that anything,? but the phenomena of artists like Elvis and the Beatles is the manifestation of kids wanting to get away from a lot more that just their parents’ music. Kids, particularly women, wanted to get away from their parents’ whole way of life.

“The vision of the suburban split-level, which had guided a generation of girls chastely through high school, was beginning to lose its luster? (Ehrenreich, Hess, & Jacobs, 1992). Young women and girls, exhausted of the constant struggle to “be universally attractive and still have an unblemished ‘reputation,’? were liberating themselves of “the pragmatic sexual repressions of teenage life? through their public advertising of hopeless love (Ehrenreich, Hess, & Jacobs, 1992).

A combination of things contributed the phenomena of these artists, one of the most important being their timing in history; a sexual revolution and feminism were in order. In addition, the Beatles had the advantage of arriving in America full of baby-boomer teenagers in desperate need of “the first good news? following the Kennedy assassination (Stark, 2005).

Another reason for the success was androgeny of the artists; as many girls were “still a little frightened of the idea of sex,? and it felt “safer worshipping idols who don’t seem too masculine? (Ehrenreich, Hess, & Jacobs, 1992). In addition, the Beatles caused even more hysteria than Elvis because their music was separated from the rhythm and blues rock-n-roll of “race music.? As Randall Kennedy said, it was “yet another instance of white people finding they could only identify with other white people.?

What made the hysteria so interesting and different from that of other fan worship (i.e. Frank Sinatra) was its intensity. It was so intense because it was about so much more than teenagers’ rebellion against their parents; it was an outlet for suppressed sexuality and the need to riot, the beginning of a revolution for women.

History of Rock N' Roll - Kim Hanlon

I think that sexuality played an important role in the lives and careers of the Beatles, Elvis and Bob Dylan. They each expressed their sexuality in a little different way. The Beatles used their charming good looks and rebellious haircuts to show off themselves and who they were. Elvis used his dance moves and style to express is sexual personality and Bob Dylan used his controversial, poetic lyrics to drive is inner personality. All three of them played an important role in turning around society’s views of women and liberalizing thoughts about sexuality and human expression.
I believe that physical appearance played a role in their musical identity. I think it played more of a role in Elvis’ and the Beatles careers more so than in Bob Dylan’s. Dylan was all about his lyrics. He was a poet at heart, but found a unique way of expressing his creations to the public through folk song and later, the electric guitar.
I believe that it was easier for the Beatles to flaunt social and cultural American conservatism because they were British. They came over here as a huge hit and there was no way the U.S could not allow them to come in. They were so popular that they could do just about whatever they wanted when it came to breaking the conservative views.
Elvis was able to flaunt social and cultural American conservatism because of his looks and the uniqueness that he brought to the stage. It was the right time for change in views and beliefs and he was the one to deliver. He paved the way for other artists to be themselves and express their sexuality.
I think that music can influence young kids because their minds are not fully developed. They can make misjudgments about lyrics in songs and become confused with reality and make-believe.
Unfortunately, I believe that Elvis’ take on the popular blues song was big when he sang it was because of the color of skin. The 50s and 60s were a tough time for minorities, especially African Americans. Elvis also incorporated his controversial dance moves and charming good looks.
What helped the Beatles and Rolling Stones was in part that they were foreign, from Europe, but that they were a new, fresh sound and rebellious look that helped boost their popularity. Both bands are also very talented in what they do.
Rock n’ roll was the ‘forbidden’ language of music at the time and Elvis helped to bring the popularity to the rest of society who could not accept it and basically forced those people to accept it for what it was. He became so popular that people had to give in and accept him for his talent and creativity.
I think the baby boom rebellious idea was some validity to it. The 50s and 60s were a time of change and what better way than to change through music. It allows people to be themselves and have a good time doing it.
Women played a huge role in the cultural phenomenon of music at that time. I do not think that these bands and artists would have been as big without women; they were the majority of their fan base. Women were finally able to express themselves and their sexuality.

February 22, 2008

Rock Music - Thomas Kuppe

I think George Clinton made a good point that kids hate what was popular with the old generation and are drawn towards something different. While the previous generation was defined by economic strife and WW2 the next generation would enjoy a long period of economic success an calm, if you were white. While the assassination of Kennedy no doubt had an effect on the young of the time I have a hard time believing it had the effect that it did that would lead to the popularization of rock music. I think that the real important factor was the new sound that came with Elvis and the music of (or stolen) from black culture. A generation at the age where hormones are going wild is suddenly introduced to songs and performances of free sexuality and love making them question their supposed white suburban culture of obedience and protestant work ethics, especially the women. And if the women were suddenly attracted to this new sound and the men who embodied it, men that age too would change with them.

What I wonder about this concept of youth rebellion is how this generations children will find a musical sound that'll go against our style and will piss us off. I'm thinking a return of Motown.

The times were a changin'- Liz Eisler

There were definitely many aspects between the 1950’s-1970’s affecting the attitude of the American people. Although the United States seemed to be progressing in terms of medical research (the first organ transplant), equal rights (Rosa Parks), exedra, the assassination of JFK left society in a state of mourning. The beginning of the Beatle’s, Elvis, and Bob Dylan within the United States couldn’t have started at a better time and although there music was influential and motivational to many, others saw them as a serious threat. According to Bloom, rock and roll equaled sex, which equaled harm to the citizens of the United States. He believed that this type of music was barbaric and had a negative influence on people (especially youth), suggesting that it “has a much more powerful effect than does pornography? (Bloom, 74). Although Bloom’s ideas may seem extreme, it can clearly be seen that indeed the times were a changin’ and it was mostly occurring with young girls discovering their sexuality. Barbara Ehrenreich argues that the Beatlemania movement was the “first and most dramatic uprising in women’s sexual revolution? (Ehrenreich, 524). She further claims that girls were supposed to be good and pure, and that this movement was a threat to the society. The appearance of the Beatles allowed women to move towards forms of rioting, in which they could truly express themselves as men had been doing throughout history.

Elvis-Christina Johnston

This documentary on rock and roll was really interesting for me to watch. I’ve always been a fan of the Beatles and Bob Dylan, but I never really got into Elvis. All I knew about Elvis in my childhood was that he “died of eating too many hamburgers? according to my mother… oh, what lies children believe! I found it enlightening to learn that Elvis’ music really wasn’t anything new, as the film explored the reasons behind Elvis’ popularity among American teens, we are shown that Elvis desensitized white people to what was previously classified as ‘race music.’ Race music generally consisted of a mixture of jazz, gospel, blues, and soul. What Elvis did was copy what he saw from the racial music scene, added a lot of thrusting, and made it a little bit rock and roll. The segment even mentioned that he stole his smash hit “Hound dog? from Big Mamma who allegedly performed a slightly different version of the song in a night club. The hypocrisy in Elvis characterizing himself as this new rock and roll king-phenomenon was tainted by his lack of actual originality. At the time, however, I believe that Elvis was so successful because he catered to the young, white audience, who hadn’t really felt comfortable listening to race music.
I couldn’t help but chuckle to watch the reactions to Elvis’ gyrating hips by the members of the PTA as they looked on in horror. This is another reason why he was so popular with young kids, because their parents did not approve. The conservative trend of the Caucasian community was beginning to diversify, and the older members of this group were not quite prepared for Elvis’ hips. On the Ed Sullivan show, he was only showed from the waist up, because it made some of the conservative audience incredibly uncomfortable.


The History of Rock and Roll: Jess Doll

After watching clips of the Beatles first arrival to the United States, I now realize what one observer from Steven Spark's "The British Are Coming" experienced when he/she said, "I've never heard a sound so painful to the ear, loud and shrill. It was like standing next to a jet engine. It physically hurt," (referring to the screeches of anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 females). The supposed "good and pure" teenage girls of the 1960s greeted the Beatles with open arm...and mouths. There seems to be multiple causes of "Beatlemania". First, roles of women were changing and advertisements were portraying a more sexual woman. Secondly, the woman's liberation movement could have inspired this craze.

Whatever the cause was, it seems to me that in the eyes of those screaming girls, the Beatles were heartthrobs first and musicians second. Whenever interviewed, the psychotic fan would merely scream how much they loved so and so. In addition, the Beatles could not even hear themselves at concerts because the screams were so loud, thus the Beatles lyrics could not have been very important to the fans.

While it seems as though the teen girls may have loved the beetles for their looks, the film" The History of Rock and Roll" proved that the Beatles were more than just a pretty face. For example, many accredited musicians recognized the Beatles for their musical accomplishments, including them as a top contributor in the history of rock and roll. Bono, a successful musician, referred to the Beatles as "A gift from God." While men walked the streets wearing Beatles wings and women fantasized about the group day and night, maybe John Lennon was not so far off base at the time when he stated (jokingly), " We are Bigger than God."

Sydney Liles

By clearly just looking at the Beatles and Elvis as compared to Bob Dylan, the sexuality differences stand out on their own. For Bob Dylan. his lyrics is what stood out for him and what got him noticed. He was different then what was out there and rebellious. While the Beatles and Elvis were rebellious, it was not necessarily there lyrics that got them noticed in the beginning. There beats were new and there look was captivating to the American public, especially the women. With this new found control of the American people, they were able to control them and find their followings in the causes that they believed in. Elvis going to war and the Beatles protesting war and Bob Dylan focused more on the politics and his lyrics because for him a love song would not reach out the same way. With Blooms argument of pornography, while I think it is a bit dramatic, it might not be that far off. With there dance moves, lyrics and general appearance, women were throwing themselves out these artists. They would scream at Elvis' hip thrusts and shaking legs. For the women they wanted more(from Elvis and the Beatles).

February 21, 2008

Why did they love them SO much? Sarah Osborne

I just have to say, I loved class this week. I think the influence of these guys in the 50’s- early 70’s is just incredible. They were doing what they wanted to do, despite what was acceptable at that time, and they really didn’t care what anyone thought. Fame wasn’t their goal, they wanted change. They were doing what Michael Jordan wrote about in the article we discussed in class, these men had individuality and the attitude of being original and not following in anyone’s footsteps, and thanks to them our world will never be the same.

Unlike the opinion of George Clinton, Walley, and Stark I think there is more to the success of the Beatles, Elvis, and Dylan than just the rebellion of teenagers in the 50-60’s. I think Tom Petty said it best in the movie when he said, “[The Beatles] gave us all an identity.? They were strong, free-spirited, and did what they felt was right. Also, as Ehrenreich, Hess, and Jacobs discuss in their article, the Beatles represented sexuality and independence, things that teenage girls weren’t supposed to reflect before, but times were changing. The teen love for these guys wasn’t just to rebel, it was seeing these characteristics in the bands that they loved, and unconsciously wanting that for themselves.

I think girls and women went crazy over Elvis and the Beatles because they each had a new, exotic look. As the film discussed, Elvis came out in his unbuttoned shirts, swinging his hips and this was new and exciting. Also, the Beatles came to America where nobody had long hair or British accents, so this was exotic and a new fantasy for women. Bob Dylan had a similar level of success as the Beatles and Elvis, but he came about it in a different way. As Petty said, “It wasn’t just ‘my baby and me’ anymore.? Dylan brought about new subject manner as he took his folk style and turned it into whatever he wanted. He sang about politics, war, being young, and other issues – not just love. He also didn’t have a showy image, he was a very cool, relaxed guy. So Dylan didn’t attract females with an exotic look or shaking his hips, but instead changed music and lyrics into true, uninhibited expression.

"The sun's not yellow, it's chicken"-Craig Smith

In the beginning of the Beatles' career, their music didn't have a lot of substance, or there "wasn't anything there" as Bob Dylan told John Lennon. It was true. The Beatles early work, such as "Love Me Do", "She Loves You", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" were bubblegum love songs that were not very deep lyrically, although there is no doubt that they were very popular and revolutionary. When Dylan and the Beatles started to hang out, he had great influence on them. Songs like "Yesterday" and "We Can Work It Out" are early examples of Dylan's (and drug use) influence on their songwriting. They still had catchy riffs and choruses, but the lyrics became more poetic. This set the stage for the Beatles to continue their exploration to more experimental music by dropping acid, traveling to India and studying transcendental meditation, etc. Album's such as Revolver, Abbey Road, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are completely different than their first albums and contain lyrics that are more poetic and more experimental music. They definitely owed their evolution into what they became to Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan is the greatest man alive...I just wanted to get that out there. Despite his greatness, he was/is not afraid to be influenced by other artists. Dylan's first few albums are folk albums, with the focus on the lyrics and how they were sung, and much less on the musical instruments. Artists like the Beatles had an influence on him to change this, as is seen on the albums Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. His lyrics remained powerful, poetic and socially conscious, but more emphasis was put on the musical instruments than was before. This is one reason why Dylan is so great, in my opinion: his ever changing persona and musical direction. The Beatles weren't the only musical artists to have influence on him. Jimi Hendrix did as well. Dylan famously liked the way Hendrix played his song "All Along the Watchtower" much better than his own way of playing it, and started to play it like Hendrix.

Bob Dylan and The Beatles will go down as the greatest and most important musicians in Rock n Roll, and were very important in the development of this country's young people in the 60's.

History of Rock-n-Roll by Sukhpal Dhillon

The appearances of Elvis, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan were critical when it came to the reception that they received from the general public. Elvis and the Beatles would be considered sex symbols of their time in comparison to Bob Dylan who was known more for his lyrical genius. Elvis with his boyish good looks, his All-American appearance just added more appeal to his gyrating dance moves. Clean cut, Elvis was able, to a certain extent help introduce music that was known more for being associated with black gospel to the white crowd.

If one were to look at the fashion sense at the time that the Beatles came to America, one would notice that the average white male would have a crew cut, be clean cut and carry a stern serious look on their face. The Beatles were just the opposite. With their moppy hair and smiling faces they were able to make thousands of girls shriek with delight. The Beatles as stated by the documentary were something completely different to the American public. By being sex symbols Elvis and early Beatle songs were more about love and affection. Bob Dylan on the other was nowhere remotely near being considered a sex symbol. With his skinny stature and curly hair Dylan was known for his exceptional folk songs more than his looks. Bob Dylan’s musical identity was much more politically motivated due to the fact that he could not really get away writing music that had romantic themes like that of Elvis and the Beatles.

I believe that due to the role of women changing in society that also gave Elvis and the Beatles wide commercial success. Women were taught to be good and pure but it seemed with advertisements and the constant reminder to be fit and trim, women needed to feel like they needed to riot; break free. I believe that the appearance that Elvis and Beatles were known for was really due to being in the right place at the right time!

The History of Rock-n-Roll

The appearances of Elvis, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan were critical when it came to the reception that they received from the general public. Elvis and the Beatles would be considered sex symbols of their time in comparison to Bob Dylan who was known more for his lyrical genius. Elvis with his boyish good looks, his All-American appearance just added more appeal to his gyrating dance moves. Clean cut, Elvis was able, to a certain extent help introduce music that was known more for being associated with black gospel to the white crowd.

If one were to look at the fashion sense at the time that the Beatles came to America, one would notice that the average white male would have a crew cut, be clean cut and carry a stern serious look on their face. The Beatles were just the opposite. With their moppy hair and smiling faces they were able to make thousands of girls shriek with delight. The Beatles as stated by the documentary were something completely different to the American public. By being sex symbols Elvis and early Beatle songs were more about love and affection. Bob Dylan on the other was nowhere remotely near being considered a sex symbol. With his skinny stature and curly hair Dylan was known for his exceptional folk songs more than his looks. Bob Dylan’s musical identity was much more politically motivated due to the fact that he could not really get away writing music that had romantic themes like that of Elvis and the Beatles.

I believe that due to the role of women changing in society that also gave Elvis and the Beatles wide commercial success. Women were taught to be good and pure but it seemed with advertisements and the constant reminder to be fit and trim, women needed to feel like they needed to riot; break free. I believe that the appearance that Elvis and Beatles were known for was really due to being in the right place at the right time!

February 20, 2008

A Case for the Rolling Stones - Patrick Fryberger

I often feel, as was obvious in class, that the Rolling Stones are somewhat discredited and left out of the brightest areas of the limelight in looking back on modern music history. They are of course mentioned, but only as the bad-boy alternative to the Beatles that would have a shortlived "golden era" and then just hung around for years upon years. Other reasons for their discredit include that early on they played second fiddle to, of course, the Beatles, who also helped jumpstart their career with Lennon/McCartney writing a song or two for Jagger/Richards, and also early on the Stones seemed to stumble after them stylistically in whichever new, innovative direction the Beatles took. The very fact that this blog assignment is deemed "Elvis, the Beatles, & Dylan" was the last straw in me utilizing this space to make a case for the "the greatest rock n' roll band in the world, the Rolling Stones," as they were often introduced by the time of their "golden era." Now, I want to clarify that I do respect and recognize the huge amount of innovation and influence these artists put forth and the timeless fanbase they received as a result of it. And it's also obvious that I'm biased by being, indeed, a Stones fan, as opposed to my rather moderate interest in Elvis, the Beatles, and Dylan. But I'm not just sticking up for the underdog here, I'm sticking up for the one who should've had to be stood up against; the one that called themselves the greatest rock n' roll band in the world and practically obliterated the psychedelic movement which they were once a part of. The one who, gathered only minimal moss and changed, at least on the surface, their music and style to fit the mass opinion in a shameless, almost business-like manner. So no, I'm not supporting the Rebel Alliance, I'm supporting the Empire, and for good reason.

Continue reading "A Case for the Rolling Stones - Patrick Fryberger" »

Elvis, the Beatles, and Dylan's influences on young women (Katie Kunik)

The idea of the younger generation only liking what their parents hate is a large reason for the success of Elvis and the early Beatles. The sexuality of the singers played a large part in the disapproval by parents of this music, as well as their fear for change. In “The History of Rock and Roll? DVD, the idea of the artist doing something unique was the key to success. This is what made singers like Elvis, Dylan, and the Beatles so huge. They all started out playing mostly covers of other bands, but they each did something to tweak the music, or at least to change the way the music was performed to make it their own.

Along with the changing roles of women in the 1950s and 1960s, and a society on the verge of a sexual revolution, much of the fan base for Elvis and the Beatles belonged to the young females. The sexual hinting Elvis provided with his hip gyration made the young girls flock to him. In Barbara Ehrenreich’s article, she says of the Beatlemania movement that it was the “first and most dramatic uprising in women’s sexual revolution? (524). The Beatles sang songs like “Please Please Me? with an obvious sexual undertone. These sexual messages made it impossible for them to be accepted by the adults of society, which in turn made it impossible for the younger generation not to like them. The irony of this idea of going against the grain was that it became very conformist.

I think this is why women had a different response toward folk singer, Bob Dylan. His voice was certainly not as appealing as the Beatles’ or Elvis’, which may have turned off the young females. His songs were also much more political than Elvis’ or early Beatles’ songs, which was too much the young conforming females to grasp. Dylan himself appealed more to the bohemian crowd, although his songs were very widely known, and many of them were covered by other artists. This led the way into a cultural rebellion when so many other musical artists announced Dylan’s anti war messages through their own versions of his songs during the Vietnam War era.