History of Rock and Roll

Author(s): Thomas E Larson

Edition: 6

Copyright: 2018


Details: eBook w/KHPContent and KHQ | 180 days |

Here’s your backstage pass to the history of rock and roll.

Thomas Larson’s History of Rock & Roll connects music and the culture in which it interacted. 

Designed for the college non-music major, History of Rock & Roll fuses a text, website, and online music library to cover the music’s story of controversy, tragedy, and self-indulgence; and also of love, peace, and the triumph of the human spirit.

To meet the needs of today’s instructors and students in the information world, History of Rock & Roll:

  • Details the most important rock styles, how they evolved, and their important artists, as well as a listing of key recordings in each. 
  • Contains biographical information on recording artists, composers, producers, DJs, record executives, and other figures.
  • Includes access to an accompanying website with interactive activities, listening guides, audio/video links, test banks, and full course management software to assess comprehension.
  • Includes a four-month subscription to Napster, an online music service that provides students with unlimited access to the music identified in the book and listened to in class. 
  • Features new and expanded content throughout – especially The Eighties, The Nineties and Beyond.

About the Author

Chapter 1 The Roots of Rock and Roll 
Key Terms
Key Figures
Rock and Roll: The Music That Changed the World
The Early Years of American Pop Music
Tin Pan Alley
The First Pop Singers
The Swing Era
The Post War Transitional Years
The Record Industry
Record Sales: 1920–1954
Record Labels: the Majors and the Independents
Hot 100s and Gold Records
The Birth of Radio and Important Early DJs
Alan Freed
Top 40
The Black Roots of Rock and Roll
The Blues
Black Gospel
Rhythm and Blues
The White Roots of Rock and Roll
Traditional Rural Music
Southern Gospel
Honky Tonk
Chapter 1 Terms and Definitions
Study Questions

Chapter 2 The Rock and Roll Explosion
Key Terms
Key Figures
Postwar America
Change and Prosperity
The First Sounds
Bill Haley
The First Rock and Roll Band
The Indies Take Over
Sun Records and Sam Phillips
Elvis Presley
The Cat
The Discovery
RCA and Col. Parker
Sgt. Presley
The Presley Legacy
The First Crossover Artists
Rock and Roll Explodes
The New Orleans Sound
Antoine “Fats” Domino
Little Richard
Chicago R&B
Chess Records
Bo Diddley
Chuck Berry
Other Important Sun Rockabilly Artists
Meanwhile Back in Memphis...
Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis
Buddy Holly
The End of an Era
Chapter 2 Terms and Definitions
Study Questions

Chapter 3 The Transition to Mainstream Pop
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Changing Landscape
The Death of Rock and Roll
The Backlash
The Pay For Play Scandal
The Major Labels Stage a Comeback
The Teen Idols—The Boy and Girl Next Door
Philadelphia, Dick Clark and American Bandstand
Dance Crazes and Novelty Tunes
Brill Building Pop
Leiber and Stoller
Aldon Music
Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman
Pop Music Goes West
Los Angeles in the 1960s
Phil Spector
The Wall of Sound
The LA Pop Scene Explodes
Surf Culture
The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds
A Teenage Symphony to God
Study Questions

Chapter 4 Soul Music 
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Origins of Soul
The First Soul Record
Soul and the Civil Rights Movement
What Is Soul?
The First Important Soul Artists
Ray Charles
James Brown
Sam Cooke
The Assembly Line
The Sound of Young America
Holland Dozier Holland
Important Motown Artists
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
The Marvelettes
Stevie Wonder
Marvin Gaye
The Four Tops
The Temptations
The Supremes
Martha and the Vandellas
Stax Records
Back to Memphis
Stax is Born
Soulsville, U.S.A.
Important Stax Artists
Booker T. & the MG’s
Otis Redding
Wilson Pickett
Sam and Dave
Muscle Shoals and Aretha Franklin
Fame Studios
Aretha Franklin
Chapter 4 Terms and Definitions
Study Questions

Chapter 5 The Folk Influence
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Folk Tradition
The Left-Wing Folk Song Conspiracy
Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger
Hootenannies and Witch Hunts
The Fifties Folk Revival
The Calypso Fad
The Queen of Folk
The Greenwich Village Scene
Bob Dylan
Boy from The North Country
Hammond’s Folly
The Times They Are a Changin’
Newport 1965
The Basement Tapes
Dylan’s Later Career
The Dylan Legacy
Chapter 5 Terms and Definitions
Study Questions

Chapter 6 The British Invasion
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The British Pop Scene in the 1950s
Postwar England
English Pop Culture
The Beatles
The Early Years
The Audition
Coming to America
Meeting Dylan
Coming of Age
Sgt. Pepper’s
All You Need Is Love
Impending Doom
The End
The Aftermath
The Rolling Stones
The Early Years
Breaking Through
Rock and Roll Bad Boys
Creative Triumph, Tragedy
The Later Years
The Who
The Early Years
From Mods to Maximum R&B
Final Triumph, Tragedy
Other British Invasion Bands
The Mersey Beat Groups
The Blues Oriented Groups
Chapter 6 Terms and Definitions
Study Questions

Chapter 7 1960s Blues and Psychedelia
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Sixties Counterculture
Seeds of Discontent
San Francisco and Acid Rock
The Hippie Culture
The Summer of Love
Counter Culture Media
Acid Rock
Important San Francisco Acid Rock Performers
Jefferson Airplane
The Grateful Dead
Big Brother and the Holding Company/Janis Joplin
Other Bay Area Acid Rock Bands
The Sixties Los Angeles Psychedelic Scene
The Strip
The Doors
Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention
Woodstock and the Era of the Rock Music Festival
Woodstock Performers
British Blues and the Emergence of Hard Rock
Meanwhile, Across the Pond...
Hard Rock—The Forerunner to Heavy Metal
Eric Clapton/Cream
Jimi Hendrix
The Experience
Coming To America
Study Questions

Chapter 8 Changing Directions
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Seventies
The Changing Landscape
Folk Rock
The Dylan Influence
The Byrds
The Mamas and the Papas
Buffalo Springfield
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Simon & Garfunkel
Other Folk Rock Artists
The Dylan Influence (Again!)
Carole King
Joni Mitchell
Carly Simon
James Taylor
Van Morrison
Other Singer/Songwriters
Country Rock
Dylan Strikes Again
Gram Parsons
The Band
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Other Country Rock Bands
Southern Rock
The Rural Cousin
Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Allman Brothers Band
Other Southern Rock Bands
Corporate Rock
Mergers and Megahits
The Eagles
Fleetwood Mac
Study Questions

Chapter 9 The Harder Edge of Rock in the Seventies
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Birth of Heavy Metal
The Industrial Roots
The Earliest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath
Led Zeppelin
Other Important Heavy Metal Bands from the Seventies
Deep Purple
Judas Priest
Van Halen
Other Metal Bands From the 70s
Art Rock
The Origins of Art Rock
Important Art Rock Bands
The Moody Blues
King Crimson
Other Important Art Rock Bands
Shock Rock: Arenas, Theatrics and Glam
Alice Cooper: Godfather of Gruesome Rock Theatre
Glam Rock
David Bowie
Other Important Glam Rockers
Study Questions

Chapter 10 Beyond Soul 
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Changing Soul Landscape
Soft Soul/Disco
The Sound of Philadelphia
Disco—The Underground Revolution
Disco Conquers The Airwaves
The Backlash
Black Pop Gets a Brand New Bag
George Clinton
Sly and the Family Stone
Other Important Funk Bands
What Is Reggae?
Rastafari Culture
Historical Background To Reggae
Bob Marley and the Wailers
Other Reggae Artists
Muhammad Ali and the Beginnings of Hip-Hop Culture
The Jamaica-South Bronx Connection
The Beginnings of Rap
East Coast Rap
CNN for Black Culture
West Coast and Gangsta Rap
The East Coast-West Coast Rivalry
Chapter 10 Terms and Definitions
Study Questions

Chapter 11 Punk and Its Aftermath
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The Origins of Punk
The Anti-Revolution
Punk Culture
The Earliest Punk Bands
The Velvet Underground
The New York Scene
The Ramones
The London Scene
No Future
The Sex Pistols
The Clash
Other Important Punk Bands
The Punk Aftermath
New Wave
Important Hardcore Bands
Study Questions

Chapter 12 The Eighties
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
Technology Rules
Changing Consumer Technologies
MIDI and Digital Tape Recording
Michael, Madonna, and Prince: Post-Disco Dance Dominance
The King of Pop
The Material Girl
The Artist Formerly Known As...
The Boss, Bono, and the Rest: Back to Basics
The Boss
Whitney Houston
Eighties Alternative
The Cultural Underground Railroad
Important Alternative Bands
The Edgier Side of the Eighties
1980s Metal,
Other Eighties Goings On
Study Questions

Chapter 13 The Nineties and Beyond
Key Terms
Key Figures
Key Albums
The 1990s: The Triumph of Alternative Nation
Grunge and the Seattle Scene
Other Nineties Alternative Rock
Pop in the 1990s
The Boy Bands
The Girls Respond
Rock in the New Millennium
Contemporary Hard Rock/Metal
The Music Industry in the Eighties and Nineties: Living Large in LA
The Majors Rule
The Majors Meet Their Match
The iTunes Music Store and Beyond
The Future
The End of the World as We Know It?
Study Questions



Name Index

Subject Index

Thomas E Larson

Tom Larson is Assistant Professor of Composition (Emerging Media and Digital Arts) at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to authoring The History of Rock and Roll, he is also the author of Modern Sounds: The Artistry of Contemporary Jazz, and The History and Tradition of Jazz, both published by Kendall Hunt Publishing. His first CD of original jazz compositions, Flashback, was released in 2003. He has studied jazz piano with Dean Earle, Fred Hersch, Bruce Barth, and Kenny Werner, jazz arranging with Herb Pomeroy and music composition with Robert Beadell and Randall Snyder. In addition to performing with jazz ensembles throughout the Midwest and East Coast, he has performed with Paul Shaffer, Victor Lewis, Dave Stryker, Bobby Shew, Claude Williams, Bo Diddley, Jackie Allen, the Omaha Symphony, the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, and the University of Nebraska Faculty Jazz Ensemble.

 Tom also writes and produces music for documentary films; among his credits are the scores for three documentaries for the PBS American Experience series (a production of WGBH-TV, Boston): In the White Man’s Image, Around the World in 72 Days, and Monkey Trial. He also scored the documentaries Willa Cather: The Road Is All for WNET-TV (New York), Ashes from the Dust for the PBS series NOVA, and the PBS specials Most Honorable Son and In Search of the Oregon Trail. Tom has written extensively for the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, and the University of Illinois Asian Studies Department. His music has also been used on the CBS-TV series The District. His commercial credits include music written for Phoenix-based Music Oasis, L.A.-based Music Animals, Chicago-based Pfeifer Music Partners and General Learning Communications, and advertising agencies in Nebraska.

 A Lincoln native, Tom received a Bachelor of Music in Composition in 1977 from Berklee College of Music in Boston and a Master of Music in Composition

in 1985 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is also an avid runner, and completed the Boston Marathon in 2005, 2006, and 2007. More information on Tom Larson can be found at



Over the past 7 years I have not seen another text equal to History of Rock & Roll. The publication has exceeded all other texts for visual clarity and content appropriate for non-music majors.
Steve Goforth | Thomas More College

History of Rock & Roll is one of the most reader-friendly textbooks I have ever used. The amount of content is just about right for a one-semester survey course; there’s a good balance of information about societal issues, artists’ career and personal lives, musical elements, and interesting little factoids.
Dr. Shirley Mier | Century College



Related ISBN's: 9781524998493, 9781524998738

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ISBN 9781524998493

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