The Blues: How Three Chords Became Rock & Roll

GENINT 741.318

Osher (50+). In this course, we explore the history of the blues and how it led to rock & roll.

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About this course:

Rock & roll exists because of the blues. The genre that began with songs sung by slaves on southern plantations became gospel music, the acoustic blues of the Mississippi Delta, the electrified sounds of Chicago, and the rhythm and blues associated with Memphis. When this music became mainstream in the fifties, rock & roll was born, creating careers for artists like Aretha Franklin, The Drifters, and a guy named Elvis. The blues inspired rock groups on both sides of the ocean, the soulful sounds of Motown and Philadelphia, and hip hop/rap music. This class explores this evolution to rock & roll, which produced social change and technological advancement worldwide. Historic recordings are presented, including the Georgia Sea Island Singers recorded by Alan Lomax, Delta blues artists, Chicago blues, and Memphis R&B.

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