introchapter 1chapter 2Interlude Achapter 3chapter 4chapter 5Interlude Bchapter 6chapter 7chapter 8Interlude Cchapter 9chapter 10chapter 11chapter 12chapter 13
Chapter 3
Print this page
  • Problems created by the emergence of rock and roll during the 1950s
    • Rock and roll posed a threat to the music business old guard
      1. Wrong people had been in control
        • Musicians
        • Disk-jockeys
        • Independent record labels
      2. These members of the industry were shaken by the payola scandal
      3. They were considered irresponsible and inconsistent
        • Resulting in too many things unpredictable happening beyond control of the big companies
        • Too much free will
      4. The good part was the identification of the youth market and money that could be made from it
      5. The process of creating and marketing music needed tight control
  • Rock and roll gets tamed down during the beginning of the 1960s
    • Big corporations tried to domesticate rock and roll by introducing new concepts
      1. Teen idols
      2. Girl groups
      3. A re-vamped version of Tin Pan Alley using professional songwriters
        • Employed by publishing companies located in the Brill Building
        • Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller rise to prominence as independent songwriter-producers
        • Phil Spector begins the "sweet soul" style built around girl groups
      4. Everyone was looking for the next entity (artist or style) that would focus on the teen market
    • 1959-1963 is a time of transition
      1. The teens who embraced the first wave defined by Elvis and Little Richard were now young adults
        • They comprised one of two markets—one meant for them as college-age former rockers
        • Teens a few years younger (the age group of their younger siblings) constituted the other market
      2. Two distinctly contrasting styles emerged marketed at these two distinctly different age groups
        • Teen idols with nonsexual songs about romance and dancing were directed at the younger teens
        • Folk music with focus on social, political, and cultural issues was directed at the older audience
  • The Brill Building and Aldon Publishing
    • Clear return to music publishing attitudes found in Tin Pan Alley
      1. Power in the music industry was returned to seasoned music professionals
        • Professional corporate music publishers
        • Professional songwriters
        • Professional producers and musicians
    • Brill Building was two things
      1. Actual location where professional songwriters created songs for their publisher-employers
      2. A term for a particular set of business practices during this time
    • Aldon Publishing is one of the most prominent and successful publishing companies of the early 1960s
      1. Run by Al Nevins and Don Kirschner
      2. The office had many small rooms with a piano for songwriters who worked all day there
      3. Songwriter teams had a job: write new pop songs
        • Carole King and Gerry Goffin
        • Cynthia Weill and Barry Mann
        • Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield
        • Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
        • Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman
      4. Songwriters competed to see who got the next cut
        • A song would be assigned to a group or artist to record the song
        • Professional producer and session musicians put the recording together
        • Song was then released by any one of several different record labels
      5. This was a way to organize and mass-produce pop music records
      6. Singers were not as important as they had been earlier and were replaceable
      7. Emphasis was on the songwriter, producer, and musicians who recorded the music
        • No more temperamental songwriters
        • No more lyrics that might offend middle-class taste or morals
        • No more temperamental singers
      8. This is how music executives regained power over the performers
  • Teen Idols
    • Pat Boone versus Elvis
      1. Elvis originally presented a rebellious image
      2. Pat Boone presented a clean-cut image
      3. This clean-cut image was the model for the teen idol records released in the early 1960s
        • Teen girls would buy records by handsome young men singing tastefully about love
        • These singers represented the "good boyfriend" image
        • Sensitive and possessing proper morals that didn't include sexual activities
        • Image was more important than singing abilities
        • Some singers were laboriously coached through the session
    • The new breed teen idols recorded hits on major and independent labels
      1. Many were from Philadelphia
        • Frankie Avalon: "Dede Dinah" (1958) and "Venus" (1959)
        • Bobby Rydell: "Wild One" (1960)
        • Freddy Cannon: "Palisades Park" (1962)
      2. Other teen idols:
        • Bobby Vee: "Take Care of My Baby" (1961)
        • Bobby Vinton: "Roses Are Red" (1962)
      3. There were three singers who wrote their own songs
        • Paul Anka: "Diana" (1957)
        • Bobby Darin: "Dream Lover" (1959)
        • Neil Sedaka: "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (1962)
  • The dance craze
    • American Bandstand
      1. Adaptation of a rock and roll radio program to television
      2. Developed especially for teenagers in the 1950s
        • A bunch of teenage kids assembled in the TV studio
        • Current hit records played as the kids danced
        • Special guests were featured "performing" (actually miming a performance) their recent hits
      3. Dick Clark replaced original host Bob Horn who debuted on the show in 1952 in Philadelphia
      4. The show went national on ABC in 1957
      5. Highly controlled environment—no surprises due to "lip-synching"
        • Lip-synching was the miming of a performance to a tape
        • No possibility of a wrong note or musical mistake during the broadcast
        • Practice of "lip-synching" ensured that the show maintained a consistent flow
        • No flying piano benches or hip-swiveling sexual references
  • Performance box 3.1: American Bandstand
    • Networks versus independent broadcasters
      1. Television paralleled the trends in radio
      2. Major labels dominated the music played on network TV and network radio
        • More conservative mainstream pop was preferred by more conservative advertisers
        • Directed at more conservative middle-class tastes
      3. Independent record labels built affiliations with local radio and local TV
        • Newer styles were presented on these programs
        • Rhythm and blues, country and western, and, of course, rock and roll
      4. Popular local disk-jockeys were hired to appear on local TV shows dedicated to these styles of music
        • Shows featured dancing, comedy, short films
        • There were dozens of these local shows on the air during the 1950s
    • Bandstand was originally a radio show hosted by Bob Horn on WFIL AM in Philadelphia
      1. He was asked to convert it to television in 1952
      2. Emphasis on dancing
      3. Horn was replaced by Dick Clark in 1956
      4. The show became very popular and was picked up by ABC and broadcast nationally in 1957
    • Bandstand becomes American Bandstand
      1. Within a month it was the top rated daytime television show in America
      2. Continued to be produced in Philadelphia
      3. Dick Clark given an unusual amount of freedom to pick songs he wanted on the show
      4. Clark presented a balanced amount of black and white performers
      5. This helped soothe racial tensions in a unique way by approaching it from the young person's viewpoint
    • American Bandstand remained on the air until well after the appearance of MTV in the 1980s
    • The dancing
      1. Always present in rock and roll was reference to dancing—the codeword for sex
      2. American Bandstand was heavily focused on dancing
      3. In 1960 a Clyde McPhatter song called "The Twist" was covered by Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans)
      4. Featured on American Bandstand, the song began a new craze centered on new dance steps including
        • The fly
        • The fish
        • The mashed potato
      5. Spin-off hits were triggered by the success of "the Twist" (1960)
        • Chubby Checker: "Let's Twist Again" (1961)
        • Joey Dee: "The Peppermint Twist" (1962)
        • The original record rose again to number one in 1962
    • American Bandstand defined and identified the new youth culture on a national level
    • Motion pictures also moved in this direction
      1. Films were made that focused on teen interests
        • Beach movies featured teen idols
        • Lots of dancing featuring the latest dance steps
      2. Films and television built a teen culture audience that would be in place when the Beatles arrived
      3. In 1960 a Clyde McPhatter song called "The Twist" was covered by Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans)
      4. Now rock and roll had been made more acceptable to adults
        • Adults got interested in dancing "The Twist"
        • There had to be some level of acceptance in order for rock and roll to continue to evolve
        • Rock and roll could finally be considered a valid part of American culture
  • Folk music
    • College-age young people needed something more substantial than mainstream pop
      1. Some became interested in jazz, blues, or classical
      2. The newest style to become popular on college campuses was folk music
      3. Folk music had been somewhat popular throughout the 1940s
        • Woody Guthrie
        • Pete Seeger
        • Guthrie and Seeger played together with the Almanac Singers
      4. The Weavers included Pete Seeger during the early 1950s when they had some hits
        • "Good Night Irene" (1950)
        • "So Long (It's Been Good to Know Ya)" (1951)
        • "On Top of Old Smoky" (1951)
      5. Folk music and the artists singing it addressed issues that concerned less fortunate members of society
      6. They openly advocated social change toward what was considered left-wing political ideals
        • They came under fire during McCarthy era anti-communist investigations
        • Weavers were blacklisted because of their affiliations with the American Communist Party
      7. During the 1950s folk music withdrew from political causes
        • It became popular with college-age audience
        • Folk artists returned to political idealism centered on the civil rights movement
    • Folk music had a noncommercial sound and character
      1. It was music for regular people, performed by regular people
      2. Performers seemed to represent the masses
        • It was not pretentious
        • Virtuosity and showmanship were avoided
        • Lyrics focused on social issues
        • That made lyrics more important than the performers' talents or appearance
        • This alone was a strong contrast to the teen idol music of the pop mainstream
      3. Much of the folk movement appeal was the break from middle-class ideals
      4. Folk music triggered an upsurge in sales of acoustic guitars in the early 1960s
      5. It was simple music to sing and play
        • That made it appear that it was for the common person
        • This aspect also enhanced the importance of the lyrics
      6. Harry Belafonte had hits in the 1950s with exotic sounding Caribbean calypso folk songs
        • "Jamaica Farewell" (1957)
        • "Banana Boat (Day-O)" (1957)
    • The Kingston Trio became one of the most successful acts in popular music
      1. Named after the Jamaican city because of Americans' fascination with calypso music
        • Dave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds
      2. Recorded a traditional folk song called "Tom Dula"
      3. Renamed it "Tom Dooley" (1959)
        • This success moved the folk music revival into the pop mainstream
        • Polished three-part harmony and scripted spoken introduction
        • They were pleasant to listen to and fit easily into the pop mainstream tastes
      4. From 1958 to 1965 the Kingston Trio had ten top 40 pop hits recorded by major label Capitol Records
        • "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" 1962)
        • "Reverend Mr. Black" (1963)
      5. Great success with album sales
        • 1950s artists' successes were judged by sales of singles
        • Jazz, classical, and now folk music were geared toward the album rather than singles
      6. Kingston Trio had nineteen top 40 albums from 1958 to 1964
        • Thirteen were in the top 10
        • Five went number one
        • Their first album in 1958 lasted for 195 weeks on the charts
    • The split in the folk music world
      1. Two factions became clear in the early 1960s
        • Traditional folk music and the roots from which it sprang
        • Polished commercial-oriented folk groups aligned with the pop mainstream
      2. The Kingston Trio represented the latter, more commercial side due to the high sales numbers
      3. Other groups followed their style with clean, precise vocal arrangements and well played accompaniment
        • The Highwaymen: "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" (1961)
        • The Rooftop Singers: "Walk Right In" (1963)
        • The New Christy Minstrels: "Green Green" (1963)
      4. These groups were considered too pop mainstream for folk music purists
        • Purists claimed that folk music had to remain simple and rustic to maintain its integrity
        • Folk singers like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan belonged to this purist group
      5. Peter, Paul, and Mary were assembled in 1961 to be a folk group that would appeal to the pop mainstream
        • Peter Yarrow
        • Paul Stookey
        • Mary Travers
      6. Successful string of hit songs in the early 1960s
        • "Lemon Tree" (1962)
        • "If I Had a Hammer" (1962)
        • "Puff the Magic Dragon" (1962)
        • "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963)
      7. Ten top 40 albums during the 1960s including two number one albums
      8. They supported the causes embraced by serious folk purists and gained acceptance with them
    • Comparison of two versions of "Blowin' in the Wind"
      1. Original by Bob Dylan
        • Stark arrangement
        • Guitar, vocal, and harmonica
        • Performance of the vocal is rough and amateurish
        • Clearly not suitable for a pop mainstream audience
        • Sincere and authentic delivery are the strong points
      2. Peter, Paul, and Mary cover version
        • Professionally sung
        • Professionally played
        • Professionally arranged by Milton Okun
        • Strong aspects that would appeal to a pop mainstream audience
        • Sincerity and authenticity are implied (or "applied") but convincing nonetheless
      3. Important to note that the sincerity and authenticity of folk parallels the innocence of Brill Building songs
      4. Music business marketing machinery was implemented in both cases
      5. Both styles contrasted the styles of the previous decade
  • The rise of the producer in pop music
    • The historical development of the producer
      1. Originally the producer worked for the record label
      2. The job title was A&R man
        • Artist and repertoire
        • Organize and coordinate the various professionals involved in making the record
      3. This applied to situations where the artist was within the mainstream pop area
      4. Early rock and roll artists and rhythm and blues artists came in self-contained
        • Little or no need for any additional arranging or organizing of the recording
        • Artists who wrote their own material (Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly) had a lot of control of the song
      5. As the music business executives assumed more power, producers became specialists
        • They handled the details of the recording process
        • They, not the artist, had the responsibility for how the record turned out
      6. During the 1950s the sound was meant to be that of a documentation of a live performance
      7. Producers began to put their individuality into the process by including their own tastes into the record
        • They drew from their own experiences with music styles
        • They incorporated outside elements into the process, like theater and classical music ideas
    • Leiber and Stoller were the first important production team
      1. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller began as songwriting partners for rhythm and blues songs
      2. They were extremely influential on other songwriters and songwriting teams
        • Carole King and Gerry Goffin
        • Shadow Morton
        • Phil Spector
      3. The new approach became to see what could be created inside the recording studio
      4. This approach became the new way to create music by using the studio as a workbench
        • This became the way the Beach Boys worked
        • Even more important, the Beatles
        • Then, pretty much everyone after that
      5. Early Leiber and Stoller success came on the west coast rhythm and blues scene as songwriters
        • Charles Brown: "Hard Times" (r7, 1952)
        • Big Mama Thornton: "Hound Dog" (r1, 1953)
        • The Robins: "Smokin' Joe's Cafe" (r10, 1955)
      6. Wanting more control over the recording process, they formed Spark Records in 1953 in Los Angeles
      7. They often said, "We don't write songs, we write records"
        • This removed pressure (or opportunity) for artists to go beyond realizing the plan in mind
        • Leiber and Stoller usually knew what the record would sound like before they started
    • Leiber and Stoller pack up and move to New York's Atlantic Records
      1. They had three rhythm and blues hits with the Robins in Los Angeles
      2. Atlantic offered them producer positions
        • They retained independent status
        • Allowed to work with artists on other labels if they wanted to
        • A unique situation for that time
      3. In 1956, Elvis Presley covered their song "Hound Dog" and it reached number one,
        • Other songs written for Presley included "Jailhouse Rock" (1957)
        • "Don't Be Cruel" (1958)
      4. They worked with Atlantic throughout the 1950s with several Atlantic artists
        • The Coasters (formerly the Robins with two of four members replaced to go to New York)
        • The Coasters songs were musical "playlets" that often told a humorous story
        • These were inspired by Broadway and radio plays
        • The very first one, "Riot in Cell Block #9" inspired by a radio show called Gangbusters
        • "Yakety Yak" (1958) and "Charlie Brown" (1959) poked fun at teen situations
      5. Leiber and Stoller were remarkable: they captured the essence of and wrote about black life and culture
      6. They were white. They say they thought they were black but it turned out that they were wrong.
    • Some Leiber and Stoller story songs
      1. "Smokin' Joe's Cafe"
        • Lyrics are in an AABA formal pattern
        • Two verses develop the story—AA
        • The singer is sitting in Smokin' Joe's Cafe
        • A sexy woman sits next to him and starts to flirt very suggestively
        • Patrons warn of her jealous boyfriend
        • A bridge brings the action to a climax—B
        • Joe comes out from the kitchen with a knife and orders the singer to finish the meal and get out
        • A return of the verse serves as an epilogue—A
        • The singer is never going there again
      2. "Down in Mexico"
        • Same form as "Smokin' Joe's Cafe"
        • First two verses describe a bar in Mexico
        • The bridge (B) describes a sexy dancer entering the bar and doing a "dance I never saw before"
        • Music appropriate for a stripper is used for this section, emphasizing conga drums
        • The last verse advises the listener to visit the bar
        • Leiber and. Stoller use Mexican sounding nylon-string guitars and percussion for authenticity
        • This topic was acceptable in the rhythm and blues market but not for pop audiences
      3. "Little Egypt (Ying Yang)" (r16, p24, 1961)
        • Similar scenario as "Down in Mexico" but set in a carnival with a belly dancer
        • She wears "nothing but a button and a bow" and does "the hootchie-kootchie real slow"
        • The twist is that in the end of the song, it turns out that she retired to marry the singer
        • Tape manipulation is used to portray their children singing, sounding like Alvin and the Chipmunks
        • The catch is that this immoral woman has cleaned up and joined the middle-class family ethic
        • A clear representation of what the music industry was doing at this time—cleaning up the music
      4. Leiber and Stoller also wrote songs with a social commentary viewpoint
        • The song "What About Us" (r17, p47, 1959) is a thinly veiled comment on racial inequality
        • In "Run Red Run" (r29, p36 1960) a man teaches a monkey how to play poker
        • The monkey figures out that his owner is cheating
        • He chases the man with a gun, robs him at gunpoint, and leaves with his suit and belongings
        • On the surface it's a comedy but the message is about exploitation of blacks in American culture
      5. Stoller had formal music training
        • Arrangements were often composed in advance
        • Many of the saxophone solos were written out
        • They developed close friendships with the Coasters, allowing them to change aspects of songs
        • In the Drifters song "There Goes My Baby" an orchestra is used as one of the accompaniment tracks
        • A forerunner to subsequent productions that combined classical elements with rhythm and blues
        • Such musical arrangements were later referred to as "sweet soul"
    • The Leiber and Stoller influence on girl-group songwriter-producers
      1. First notable example is the song "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" (1960) by the Shirelles
        • Written and produced by Carole King and Gerry Goffin for Aldon Music
        • Lyrics about teenage girls having to decide whether or not to engage in sexual intimacy
        • Well-crafted, sensitive lyrics and orchestral accompaniment went over well with the public
      2. At Aldon Music songwriting teams made demonstration records of their songs called demos
        • Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield
        • Carole King and Gerry Goffin
      3. Quality was such that the demos were released as singles
      4. The success of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" spawned more black teenage female vocal groups
        • Chantels
        • Crystals
        • Chiffons
        • Cookies
        • Dixie Cups
        • Ronettes
      5. There were a few exceptions to this pattern
        • The Exciters used one male
        • "Are You Lonesome Tonight" was an Al Jolson song he covered
        • The Angels were white
      6. Like the male teen idols, these singers were considered expendable and were frequently replaced
      7. Girl groups had great popularity and a lot of hit records from 1960 to 1964
        • Shirelles "Soldier Boy" (1962)
        • Crystals "He's a Rebel" (1962)
        • Chiffons "He's So Fine" (1963) and "One Fine Day" (1963)
        • Angels "My Boyfriend's Back" (1963)
        • Dixie Cups "Chapel of Love" (1964)
      8. Creative control now in the hands of songwriters and producers rather than the singers
      9. Chart success proved that the music industry had regained control of the music (and itself)
  • Phil Spector and the "Wall of Sound"
    • The most ambitious producer of the early 1960s
      1. The most important producer of girl-group pop using the "Wall of Sound" production approach
        • Crystals: "Doo Doo Ron Ron" (1963) and "Then He Kissed Me" (1963)
        • Lead vocals of Darlene Love
        • Ronettes "Be My Baby" (1963) featuring Veronica Bennett
      2. Recorded at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles
      3. Spector demanded total control of the recording process
      4. Wanted his records to have a signature sound
    • Developed an approach to production that he called "the Wall of Sound."
      1. The production was the star of the record
      2. Sound came from recording an enormous number of instruments in a relatively small space
        • Often several guitars, pianos, basses, and drum sets in one room
        • Blended together into a monophonic backing track
        • Vocals were layered over this mono backing track
        • Strings added to finish it off
      3. Spector called these singles "teenage symphonies"
    • Spector introduced another production innovation in late 1964
      1. The Righteous Brothers "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"
        • Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and Spector
        • Two statements of the verse and chorus sections
        • Then a bridge with a contrasting rhythmic feel
      2. Similar to some middle sections from Coasters records produced by Leiber and Stoller
    • Impact of these innovations was license to explore the sound potential of pop music
      1. Subsequent producers and artists would have these songs as models of creativity
        • Beatles
        • Beach Boys
        • Psychedelic era groups would explore this concept in more abstract ways
      2. An immediate response was the introduction of classical music timbres to rhythm and blues
      3. This was called "Sweet Soul"
  • Sweet Soul
    • Some black singers had had been on the pop charts since the mid 1950s
      1. They recorded easy-listening pop ballads similar to other mainstream-pop song stylists
      2. Nat King Cole:
        • "Send for Me" (1957)
        • "Looking Back" (1958)
      3. Johnny Mathis:
        • "It's Not for Me to Say" (1957)
        • "Chances Are" (1957)
        • "Misty" (1959)
      4. The Drifters' "There Goes My Baby"—a prototype for a new, softer black pop: sweet soul
        • Lead singer was Ben E. King
        • Clearly influenced by Sam Cooke
    • Sweet soul's roots in gospel music
      1. Ray Charles set a gospel tune to secular lyrics in "I Got a Woman" (1954)
      2. Charles also used pop and country and western stylistic influences in his songs
        • "Georgia in My Mind" (1960)
        • "Hit the Road Jack" (1961)
        • "I Can't Stop Loving You" (1962)
      3. "I Got a Woman" inspired record labels to look for gospel artists to turn into rhythm and blues artists
      4. Sam Cooke sang in a light pop style with noticeable elements of black music
      5. Cooke sang with the Soul Stirrers gospel group before he started singing pop music
        • Clear tenor voice
        • Frequent melodic embellishments sounding improvised
      6. Twenty-nine Top 40 pop singles from 1957 to 1965
        • "You Send Me" (1957)
        • "Wonderful World" (1960)
        • "Chain Gang" (1960)
        • "Twistin' the Night Away" (another Twist record) (1962)
        • "Another Saturday Night" (1963)
      7. Gospel music community didn't approve of their singers singing secular music
    • The Drifters on Atlantic records with Leiber and Stoller producing
      1. Original lead singer was Clyde McPhatter
      2. The entire group was replaced by a group called the Crowns in 1958
      3. Leiber and Stoller brought to produce a string of hits
        • "Save the Last Dance for Me" (1960)
        • "Up on the Roof" (1962)
        • "On Broadway" (1963)
        • "Under the Boardwalk" (1964)
      4. Ben E. King was fired from the Drifters in 1960 for complaining about low pay
      5. Leiber and Stoller offered to produce him on Atlantic
        • "Stand by Me" (1964)
        • "Spanish Harlem" (1961) written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector
      6. Leiber and Stoller had pioneered a new style that would later influence Motown producers
        • Medium-tempo rhythm section
        • Fluid lead vocal melody
        • Supported by doo-wop backup vocals
        • Strings section counter melodies
      7. Other artists had hits using this formula
        • Jerry Butler: "He Will Break Your Heart" (1960) and "Find Another Girl" (1961)
        • Chuck Jackson: "I Don't Want to Cry" (1961)
        • Also "Any Day Now (My White Beautiful Bird)" (1962)
      8. The Burt Bacharach-Hal David songwriting team discovered Dionne Warwick:
        • "Anyone Who Had A Heart" (1964)
        • "Walk On By" (1964)
  • Rockabilly pop: the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and Ricky Nelson
    • Post-rockabilly artists with roots in country music
      1. Established through Brill Building-style business and production practices
      2. They were interested in staying on the pop mainstream side of lyric topics
      3. Noticeably more clean-cut than early Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, or Carl Perkins
    • Everly Brothers (Don and Phil)
      1. Sixteen top 40 hits from 1957 to 1960 with independent label Cadence records
      2. Seven more with Warner Brothers Records from 1960 to 1964
      3. Early success built on Nashville music business machinery
        • Manager was Wesley Rose (his father managed Hank Williams and co-founded Acuff-Rose music)
        • Musicians on their records were top-flight "A Team" Nashville session musicians
        • Early hits written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant songwriting team (Acuff-Rose writers)
      4. Strong musical elements inspired by rhythm and blues and country and western
        • Steel string jumbo acoustic guitars in forceful strumming introduction
        • The actual chords are rhythm and blues derived
        • Tightly controlled close-knit harmony duo vocals blend perfectly (They're brothers!)
        • Influenced the vocal styles of the Beatles—particularly Lennon and McCartney
        • Also Simon and Garfunkel
        • Also the Hollies— featuring singer-songwriter Graham Nash
        • Nash left the Hollies and joined David Crosby (Byrds) and Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield)
      5. Lyrics address teenage issues and pop sentiments having to do with romance and dating
      6. Their first release, "Bye Bye Love": Top 10 all three charts in 1957
        • Country and western #1
        • Pop #2
        • Rhythm and blues #5
      7. Consistent stream of hits
        • "Wake Up, Little Susie" in 1957 (number one in all three charts)
        • "All I Have to Do Is Dream" in 1958 (number one in all three charts)
      8. Both were songwriters and they wrote several of their own hits
        • "'Till I Kissed You" (1959) - Don
        • "Cathy's Clown" (1960) - Don
        • "So Sad to Watch Good Love Go Bad" (1960) - Don
        • "When Will I Be Loved" (1960) - Phil (later covered by Linda Ronstadt)
    • Roy Orbison
      1. Singer-songwriter like Buddy Holly who wrote in a wide range of styles
      2. Known for his powerful operatic sounding voice and wide pitch range—particularly the tenor range
      3. First recording, "Ooby Dooby," was not one of his
        • Recorded by Buddy Holly's producer, Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico
        • That's where the Crickets began their recording career with Petty
      4. Signed with Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis in 1956
        • Not any real success there
        • Phillips re-recorded "Ooby Dooby" but it only reached #59
      5. Signed with RCA in the late 1950s and was produced by Chet Atkins with no real success
      6. His first of nineteen pop hits came after signing with the independent Monument Label
        • "Only the Lonely (Know How I Feel)" went to number two in 1960
        • "Running Scared" (1961)
        • "Crying" (1961)
        • "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)" (1962)
        • "In Dreams" (1963)
      7. His biggest hit was "Oh, Pretty Woman": number one for three weeks in fall of 1964
      8. Some of the Orbison characteristics can be traced to other styles
        • He mimics Presley in "Oh, Pretty Woman" with an impromptu "mercy" and a growl
        • His falsetto voice is drawn from doo-wop technique
        • "Only the Lonely" backup vocals are drawn from doo-wop (da-da-da-dum-diddly-do-wah)
      9. Rhythm and blues style is apparent in some songs
        • "Candy Man" (1961)
        • "Mean Woman Blues" (1963)
      10. Several important rock artists covered his songs or were inspired by Orbison
        • "Blue Bayou" (1977) covered by Linda Ronstadt
        • "Pretty Woman" (1982) was covered by Van Halen
        • Bruce Springsteen was influenced by Orbison's vocals
    • Ricky Nelson: real-life TV son and one of the first true teen idols
      1. Ricky Nelson grew up in a show business family
        • Father was big band leader Ozzie Nelson
        • Ozzie and wife Harriet had a TV show in 1952 (adapted from a radio show from 1949)
        • Rickey played himself in both productions
        • After beginning a singing career at age 17 in 1957 he performed on the TV show
      2. Nelson's singing and performance style closely paralleled Elvis and Gene Vincent
      3. He maintained a more clean-cut image that put him more in line with the Everly Brothers
  • California entered the picture in a big way with vocal and instrumental surf music
    • The Beach Boys
      1. Three brothers, a cousin, and a high school friend
        • Brian Wilson—lLeader, and eventually producer, vocals, bass, and keyboards
        • Carl Wilson—lead guitar and vocals
        • Dennis Wilson—drums and vocals
        • Mike Love—vocals
        • Al Jardine—guitar and vocals
      2. Early songs were influenced by Chuck Berry and white vocal groups like the Four Freshmen
        • Music that seemed devoted to teenage summer fun: surf music
        • "Surfin'": a regional hit single in late 1961 written by Brian Wilson on indie label Candix
      3. Signed with Capitol Records in 1962 and released twenty-four top 40 hits by 1967
      4. Ten of those were in the top 10, and two were #1
        • "Surfer' Safari" (1962)
        • "Surfin' U.S.A." (1963)
        • "Surfer Girl" (1963)
        • "Be True to Your School" (1963)
        • "Fun, Fun, Fun" (1964)
        • "I Get Around" (1964) the B-side, "Don't Worry Baby," went to # 24
      5. They felt a strong sense of competition with the Beatles (distributed in the U.S. by Capitol records)
      6. Early songs relied on straightforward rock and roll melodies, guitar sounds, and chord progressions
      7. Their strong point was exceptional vocal abilities and talent for blending their voices
        • "Surfin' U.S.A." is clearly a reworked version of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen"
        • Clever vocal parts include the falsetto hook, "Everybody's gone surfin'"
        • Backup vocals are "ooh" and multi-voiced harmonization of "inside, outside, USA"
        • Portable electronic organ solo—actually chords with a top voice implying a melody
        • Guitar solo mimics Chuck Berry blues-based solos
        • The melody is Berry's direct from "Sweet Little Sixteen"
      8. Ballads demonstrate impressive compositional skill and performance techniques
        • "Surfer Girl"
        • "In My Room"
      9. An important aspect of their records: Brian Wilson demanded to be the producer early in their career
        • He was influenced by Phil Spector's production sound
        • He emphasized innovation in these efforts
        • Early records were simply big sounding records
        • Beginning in 1965 and 1966 he began incorporating impressive new ideas into the records
    • Jan and Dean (Jan Berry and Dean Torrance)
      1. Close friends with the Beach Boys
      2. Series of hits during the early 1960s
        • "Little Old Lady from Pasadena,"
        • "Surf City" (1963) co-written by Brian Wilson
        • "Honolulu Lulu" (1963),
        • "Drag City" (1963)
        • "Ride the Wild Surf" (1964)
    • Instrumental Surf Music—Dick Dale and the Del-Tones
      1. Dale is most closely associated with the term instrumental surf music
        • Made it clear that surfing was the most important part of his life
        • Boasted that he would finish surfing, dry off, and step on stage
      2. Technique of rapid flutter picking on a string and running from high to low on the neck
        • Dale claimed that was his way of recreating the sound of waves crashing around him
      3. One of his best-known songs was "Misirlou" (1962)
        • Trademark rapid tremolo picking on the guitar
        • A tune that had been a Greek pop standard in the 1940s
        • Quick tempo with a rock rhythmic feel
      4. "Let's Go Tripping" #60 in 1961
        • Two months before the Beach Boys' release of "Surfin'"
    • Other important instrumental surf music artists:
      1. Chantays "Pipeline" (1963)
      2. The Duals "Stick Shift" (1961)
      3. Surfaris: "Wipe Out" (1963)
      4. Duane Eddy "Rebel Rouser" (1958)
      5. Ventures "Walk, Don't Run" (1960)
    • The shift in the music business from instrumental to vocal music
      1. Before WWII popular music was driven by instrumental music
        • Big band era focused on mainly up-tempo dance-oriented instrumental recordings
        • Vocals were only occasional and considered a secondary aspect of the music
        • Frank Sinatra led the movement of focus being shifted to the singer-stylist
      2. 1950s rhythm and blues combined dance tempo music with vocals
        • Musical accompaniment provided by small (not big) bands
        • Elvis continued Sinatra's approach of making the interpretation of the song the primary focus
        • Vocal groups used voices to fill in harmonic textures previously provided by big bands
      3. By the end of the 1950s songs that did not have vocals were considered "novelty" songs
  • The development of production techniques in the 1950s and 1960s shows the importance of record producers
    • "There Goes My Baby": the Drifters' important 1959 hit produced by Leiber and Stoller
      1. Leiber and Stoller were the most important producers in the early stages
        • Written by Ben E. King (aka Benjamin Nelson)
        • Credited to Benjamin Nelson, Lover Patterson, George Treadwell, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller
        • Others probably get writer credit as compensation for their services
      2. Classically oriented string section combined with rhythm and blues stylistic concepts was a new idea
        • Beginning is a vocal-harmony passage outlining a doo-wop chord progression (I - vi - IV - V)
        • This is set against tympani and followed an ascending passage from four violins and a cello
        • King enters in the chorus accompanied by the Drifters and a string counter melody
        • The verse features a gospel style call-and-response passage between King and the strings
      3. This was a bold experiment, and was allowed only because Leiber and Stoller had great credibility
    • "Be My Baby": the Ronettes' 1963 hit produced by Phil Spector
      1. Phil Spector learned his craft from Leiber and Stoller
      2. The "Wall of Sound" concept was already developed and in use for earlier songs
        • A select group of Los Angeles studio musicians were used consistently
        • Known as the "Wrecking Crew" and functioned as a "house band" for Spector productions
        • Drummer Hal Blaine
        • Pianist Leon Russell
        • Bassists Larry Knechtel and Carole Kaye
        • Guitarists Glen Campbell and Barney Kessel
      3. The "Wall of Sound" concept was already developed and in use for earlier songs
        • A select group of Los Angeles studio musicians were used consistently
        • Known as the "Wrecking Crew" and functioned as a "house band" for Spector productions
        • Drummer Hal Blaine
        • Pianist Leon Russell
        • Bassists Larry Knechtel and Carole Kaye
        • Guitarists Glen Campbell and Barney Kessel
      4. The recording was done on a three-track machine
        • Each track to be recorded separately
        • First track had guitars, basses, pianos, and percussion and any other instruments needed
        • Second track was all vocals
        • Strings added last on the third track
        • These three tracks were mixed to mono
      5. Spector was a perfectionist and demanded multiple takes and playbacks
        • Expensive to make because of musician costs
        • Expensive to make because of studio time used
        • Enormously successful because of the impressive result that would get released
      6. The "Wall of Sound" in this song is assembled gradually
        • Drums, claps, and castanets—swimming in reverb— create a sense of bigness from the first beat
        • Lead vocal enters with the rhythm instruments (drums, piano, guitars, and bass)
        • Background vocals and low saxophone enter in the second half of the verse
        • Call-and-response vocals dominate the chorus, set against more driving drum rhythms
        • Strings are added in the second chorus and continue into an instrumental interlude (half of a verse)
        • The song finishes with repeats of the chorus, interrupted once by return of the drum intro
    • "Don't Worry Baby": the 1964 Beach Boys hit produced by Brian Wilson
      1. Clearly inspired by Phil Spector's production of "Be My Baby"
        • Similar arrangement ideas fall into place at the same relative points in time
        • Drumbeat beginning and verse melody over an eighth-note rhythmic chord figure
        • The "Wrecking Crew" from the "Wall of Sound" productions are the backing musicians here
        • The vocal call-and-response in the chorus closely resemble the vocals in "Be My Baby"
      2. A point of dissimilarity is that there is no string section
      3. The lyrics deal with drag racing rather a girl-group "teenage romantic longing" oriented topic
      4. A clear extension of production techniques begun by Leiber and Stoller and continued by Phil Spector
  • Teenage romanticization of death
    • A number of songs dealt with the subject of teenage death and were products under Brill Building control
      1. An early example is the song "Teen Angel" (p1, 1960) by Mark Dinning
        • Young couple's car stalls on the railroad tracks just as a train is approaching.
        • They escape the car, but the girl goes back to the car to retrieve the boy's class ring and is killed
      2. Other songs that had similar lyric topics were released between 1960 and 1964
        • Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her" (1960)
        • Everly Brothers "Ebony Eyes" (1961)
        • J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers "Last Kiss" (1964)
        • Shangri-Las: 1964 hit "Leader of the Pack"
        • In 1964 Jan and Dean's hit "Dead Man's Curve" predated Jan Berry's 1966 automobile accident
        • Berry sustained serious injuries that ended his career
      3. These songs about death coincided with the end of the Brill Building control of popular mainstream music
        • Many of the songwriter-producer teams went off to form their own labels
        • The arrival of the British Invasion in 1964 put an end to the way things were done

w. w. norton and Company, inc. technical supportcontact us 1920s - 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s