Music from the 1940s to Today
What is Popular Music?
• Popular Music belongs to any number of
musical genres “having wide appeal.”
• Popular Music appeals or is music for ALL
AGE GROUPS, and it appeals to popular
• Popular Music can also be called POP
• During the 1930s and 1940s, Big Band acts
such as the Glen Miller Orchestra were very
• Frank Sinatra – an American singer and
actor who was most popular in the 1930s and
What is Rock N’ Roll?
• Rock N’ Roll music is popular music which
developed in the 1940s and 1950s.
• Early Rock N’ Roll combined Blues,
Country, Jazz and Gospel Music.
• The early name for Rock N’ Roll was
• The birth of Rock N’ Roll.
• Bill Haley and the Comets -
‘Rock Around the Clock’
• ‘Rock Around the Clock’ helped to bring
Rock N’ Roll music into
the mainstream culture.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFq5O2kabQo Modern Day
• Little Richard (1932-present) – He performed the
1956 hit ‘Tutti Frutti’. People of ALL colors and
nationalities bought his recordings. He is known
for his high voice, outrageous make-up, flashy
clothing, and pounding on the piano.
• Elvis Presley (1935-1977) – known as the king of
Rock N’ Roll.
• Elvis had 67 top-twenty hits during his career.
• Some of his most famous songs are: ‘Hound Dog,’
‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ ‘Jailhouse Rock’.
• He died of heart failure at Graceland in 1977.
Jerry Lee Lewis
• Jerry Lee Lewis (1935-present) – Outrageous
piano player who composed and performed
‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ and ‘Great
Balls of Fire’.
• American Bandstand – Popular T.V. show during
the 1950s and 1960s which showcased popular
musical acts of the day.
• Dick Clark was the host, and it premiered in 1957.
• The T.V. show made several musicians teen idols.
• Soul Music became popular in the late 1950s
• Soul Music combines elements of Gospel,
Rhythm and Blues.
• Rock N’ Roll continued in popularity.
• The Beatles – British rock band which formed in
1960 in Liverpool, England.
• One of the most successful bands in history
• The four members were John Lennon, Paul
McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
• “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Twist and Shout,”
and “Get Back”
The Beach Boys
• The Beach Boys formed in 1961 in Southern
• They are known for songs about cars, surfing and
• “ I Get Around” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”
• Johnny Cash (1932-2003) – American songwriter
who performed many different genres of music
(rock n’ roll, country, blues, folk and gospel).
• Cash was known as the ‘man in black.’
• “I Walk the lIne” and “Ring of Fire”
• James Brown (1933-2006) – American songwriter
and entertainer known as the godfather of soul.
• He rose to fame in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
• He was known for his singing and feverish
• “I Feel Good” and “Papas Got a Brand New Bag”
Sly and the Family Stone
• Sly and the Family Stone - American funk band
from San Francisco, California.
• They were active from 1966 to 1983.
• They were the first American funk/rock band to
have an integrated/multi-gender line-up.
• “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “Everyday People,”
and “Dance to the Music”
• 1970s – Rock music remained popular
• Disco music became very popular in the
1970s but faded in the 1980s.
• Soft Rock/ Adult Contemporary Music was
also popular during this time.
• Bee Gees – Three Brothers (Barry, Robin and
Maurice Gibb) who were popular musicians during
the disco era.
• They were known for their harmonies and Barry’s
• “Stayin’ Alive”
• Jackson 5 – Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marion and
Michael (Family Group)
• “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” and “I’ll Be There”
• Lynyrd Skynyrd – American rock band which
formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1973.
• Their style of rock is known as southern rock.
• “sweet Home Alabama”
• New Wave, Hair Braids, Arena Rock and
Boy Bands became popular in the 1980s.
• Men who were rock stars typically had
longer hair during the beginning of this
decade (Hair Bands).
• Alabama - country band which formed in Fort
Payne, Alabama in 1969.
• They were the most successful country band of the
• The band recorded over 30 number 1 records.
• “Song of the South”
• The Cars – popular 1980s new wave band
• Their songs incorporated synthesizer along
with rock n’ roll instruments.
• “Shake it Up” and “Just What I Needed”
• Bruce Springsteen (1949 to present) -
American singer and songwriter who tours
with the E Street Band.
• He is known as ‘The Boss.’
• “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Born to Run”
Tears For Fears
• Tears for Fears – English pop band that
formed in the early 1980s.
• “Shout” and “Head Over Heals”
• Bon Jovi – Arena rock band which formed in
1981 in New Jersey.
• “Livin’ On a Prayer” and “You Give Love a
• Journey – American rock band that formed
in San Francisco, California in 1973.
• They had 19 top 40 hits.
• Named the fifth best American rock band in
• “Don’t Stop Believin” and
• Alternative music was very popular.
• Bands and musicians began to experiment
with new sounds and instruments.
• Boy Bands and pop music remained popular.
New Kids on the Block
• New Kids on the Block – American boy band
which had success in the late 1980s and
• They sold 80 million records world wide.
• “Hangin’ Tough” and “Please Don’t Go Girl”
• Grunge/Alternative Rock emerged from Seattle,
• Grunge music was inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal
and indie rock (independent musicians, not on a record
• Characteristics of grunge rock include distorted guitars
and contrasting dynamic levels.
• Many grunge musicians were known for their unkempt
• Popular grunge bands were Nirvana, Pearl Jam,
Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins.
• Counting Crows – formed in 1991 in
• They are an alternative rock band.
• “A Long December” and “Hangin’ Around”
Dave Matthews Band
• Dave Matthews Band – American jam band
which formed in Virginia in 1990
• Incorporates many different genres of music
into their songs
• “Ants Matching”
• Weezer – alternative rock band which formed
in Los Angeles in 1992
• “Buddy Holly,” “Island in the Sun” and
• During the 2000s, Hip hop, rock, alternative
rock, indie rock and pop were popular.
• New styles of music such as Nu Metal
• Green Day- American punk rock band which
began in 1987
• The band is composed of Billy Joe
Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool.
• Has sold over 65 million records worldwide
• “Wake Me Up When September Ends”
• Linkin Park – American rock band from
• An example of Nu Metal
• Often mix metal with a rap influence
• “In the End”
• Cold Play – English alternative rock band
which formed in 1997 in London
• Has sold over 50 million records worldwide
• “In my Place,” “Clocks” and “Viva, La Vida”
• Nickel Creek – An American acoustic tro
• Some people call them alternative country,
new grass or bluegrass.
• “Smootie Song”
• Alicia Keys (1981 to present) – American singer
• She is a classically trained pianist.
• Has sold over 30 million records worldwide
• “Empire State of Mind, Part 2”
• Cornell Haynes Jr (1974 to present) -
American hip-hop/rap artist
• Made his debut in 2000 with Country