"You Say You Want a Revolution": Rock & Roll's Voice in Society
Arts and Sciences
Department of Music
Disc jockey Alan Freed (1921-1965) was responsible for giving “rock ‘n’ roll” its name. Even though it was considered “loud noise,” this genre is a crucial part of American culture. Rock and roll had a big impact on race issues in America. But the interaction between people of different racial and cultural backgrounds also created conflicts. There were riots, and the music was banned in many places. There was also a war between the “young and rebellious” and the “older and classier” generation. Because rock and roll faced disapproval from many, it was looked down upon and was not considered music. Rock and roll “calmed down” around the late 1950s, but it had a revival during the 1960s. Rock and roll was the voice of the younger generation. It remained relevant and provided commentary on the Vietnam War, Communism, drugs, and politics. I will start my paper with a quick history of rock and roll and then concentrate on the different ways in which this genre had an impact on different issues in society. The aim of this research project is to explore the impact that rock and roll had in America since the birth of this genre. I present four representative pieces of different phases of rock and roll, which serve as case studies. These are: “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard (1955), “My Generation” by The Who (1965), “Revolution” by The Beatles (1968), and “War” by Edwin Starr (1970).
Cruz-Lopez, Elena, ""You Say You Want a Revolution": Rock & Roll's Voice in Society" (2016). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 502.