Timeline of music in the United States (1950 - 1969)

Timeline of music in the United States (1950 - 1969)

This is a timeline of music in the United States from 1950 to 1969.__NOTOC__


*The Fender Esquire guitar is released; it is the first "mass-produced, solid body electric guitar". [Miller, pg. 39]
*The recent success of "Tennessee Waltz", a "folk" or country song, a number of cover versions are released, including Jimmy Mitchell's, arranged for jazz band by Erskine Hawkins, and Patti Page, whose version is "pathbreaking" as Page sings "four-piece harmony with herself, creating a delicate latticework of sound... simultaneously direct and ethereal, plain yet highly ornamented, with an aura of childlike magic". [Miller, pg. 46]
*Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson's Atlantic Records has its first major hit with Ruth Brown's "Teardrops From My Eyes". [Miller, pgs. 48-49]
*Pete Seeger and The Weavers release a cover of Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene", inspiring a brief fad for pop-folk music based around a "bright, homey, simple, folksy melody sort of tune" [Miller, pgs. 187-188: "This claim is in quotes in Miller, but is not specifically cited."] that tamed the rough sounds of American folk music for mainstream tastes. [Lankford, pg. xii] [Mitchell, pg. 70]
*North Korea invades South Korea, instigating the Korean War and delaying the U.S. Army's intention to implement a program to train military bands. [http://bands.army.mil/history/default.asp?chapter=23 U.S. Army Bands] ]
*Seeburg introduces the first 45 rpm jukebox.cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Jukebox|first=Dave|last=Laing|pages=513-515]

*"American Bandstand" introduces a number of "cleaned-up versions of the coolest new black dances", promoted in "conjunction with upbeat new songs, often specially recorded just for this purpose. Two of the earliest were "The Bop", from "At the Hop", and "The Stroll", from "The Stroll". [Miller, pg. 147] The success of "American Bandstand" and host Dick Clark turned Philadelphia, the show's home, into a "mecca for music men". [Miller, pg. 149]
*"Lonely Teardrops" by Jackie Wilson is a major hit. Producer Berry Gordy perfected the "formula he would exploit for the next decade, producing an unprecedented series of best-selling records with a variety of different black artists". [Miller, pg. 161] "Lonely Teardrops"' "upbeat arrangement was designed to exploit one of the latest dance fads... called the "cha-lypso", a kind of "cha-cha" done to a modified calypso beat". [Miller, pg. 162]
*The second wave of the American folk revival begins, led by the apolitical group the Kingston Trio" [Miller, pg. 188] , and their hit single, "Tom Dooley". [Lankford, pg. xiii] [Mitchell, pg. 70]
*La Monte Young's "Trio for Strings" is an early work of experimental West Coast chamber music that began the field of minimalism.
*Gus Palmer Sr. revives the Black Legs Society, or "Tonkonga", of the Kiowa, a society that features song, dance and music.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Plains|year=440-450|last=Gooding|first=Erik D.]
*The Chantels' "Maybe" is the first of many songs from the next few years to cross "over into the mainstream and (establish) the commercial viability of 'girl groups' in the music industry".
*Mantle Hood founds the first gamelan education program in the United States, at the University of California, Los Angeles, with Hardja Susila becoming the first Javanese instructor; Hood will also establish the concept of bi-musicality, in which music students are expected to perform the music they study.
*Rogers and Hammerstein's "Flower Drum Dance" becomes the first American musical with an Asian American cast.
*Alvin Ailey's Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater becomes the first African American resident concert dance company to earn a national reputation. [Southern, pg. 566]
*The Country Music Association is formed to promote country music in the United States; its predecessor was the Country Music Disk Jockeys Association.cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Halls of Fame/Museums|pages=29-31|first=David|last=Buckley] [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Trade Organizations|pages=569-570|first=Dave|last=Laing|coauthors=John Shepherd]
*Gibson introduces the first twin-necked electric guitar, and the Flying V guitar, the first of many with outlandish shapes.
*Stereo records are introduced. [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music|pages=437|first=Paul|last=Théberge|chapter=Mono]
*The Grammy Awards are first instituted to recognize popular performers, as voted on by the United States National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. They will become the most prestigious award in popular music. The name "Grammies" is chosen in a contest, with the winning entry coming from Jay Danna of New Orleans, who wins twelve LPs as a reward. [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Awards|pages=533-535|first=Dave|last=Laing]


*The Mark II, an advanced electronic synthesizer, is installed in a Columbia University studio by the Radio Corporation of America. This technological advance greatly simplified electronic music-making and recording. [Crawford, pg. 705]
*Bluegrass music gains greatly in audience and acclaim with the release of "Mountain Music Bluegrass Style", compiled by Mike Seeger for Folkways, the Folksong '59 concert in Carnegie Hall and an article by Alan Lomax in "Esquire". [Crawford, pg. 744]
*Miles Davis' "So What" from "Kind of Blue" reflects a major innovation, basing "the thirty-two bar structure... not on a chord pattern but an eight note Dorian, or modal, scale". "Walkin'" was released as a 33-1/3-rpm record, "a format developed for classical music". This is the beginning of modal jazz.
*Berry Gordy forms Motown Records, which will be among the most influential (title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|pages=742-743|first=Jon|last=Fitzgerald|chapter=Motown (Tamla Motown)]
*Columbia University opens the first "fully-equipped academic electroacoustic music studio" in the country. [Hinkle-Turner, pg. 16]
*The "Lucky Strike Hit Parade", a staple show on both radio and television, is canceled, due to decreased demand for the "Hit Parade" specialty, "old-fashioned pop singers, who usually lacked the immunity to standards of musical taste essential to carry off a convincing rendition of a typical rock and roll tune". [Miller, pg. 164]
*Bessie Griffin becomes the first gospel singer to perform in a cabaret, as the lead in "Portraits in Broze" at New Orleans' Cabaret Concert Theater.
*"Jazz on a Summer's Day" is the most influential, and one of the first, full concert documentary films. [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Film and Television Documentaries|pages=26-29|first=Robert|last=Strachan|coauthors=Marion Leonard]
*The payola scandal rocks the American music industry, leading to Congressional inquiry, [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Plugging|pages=560-561|first=Dave|last=Laing|coauthors=John Shepherd] after the publication of a "New York Times" article the day after Alan Freed is fired from WABC radio "after refusing to sign a statement that he had never taken money or gifts to promote a record". [Miller, pg. 164]
*One of the most acclaimed performers of the American folk revival, Joan Baez, begins performing in the Cambridge, Massachusetts coffee house scene. [Lankford, pg. 74]
*Englewood Cliffs Studios is founded in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey by Rudy Van Gelder. It will be the primary recording studio for much of the soul jazz and hard bop recordings of the 1950s and 60s. [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music|chapter=Englewood Cliffs Studios|pages=659-660|first=Alan|last=Stanbridge]
*The New Lost City Ramblers record six albums and an EP for Folkways Records, "initiating a new genre within the (American folk revival) called 'old time'". [Lankford, pg. 86]
*The Drifters are the first of a number of African American rhythm and blues combos to have hits using the Brazilian "baion" rhythm ("cha cha"dn) with "There Goes My Baby" and "Dance with Me".
*Berry Gordy founds Motown Records in Detroit, which will go on to dominate the field of soul music. [Southern, pg. 515] One of the other major labels of soul will be Stax Records, also founded this year, by James Stewart in Memphis.
*The Cross-Bronx Expressway in New York has profound effects on the area's socioeconomic conditions, escalating the "deterioration of buildings nd the displacement of people", an important development that will "profoundly shape the aesthetics and activities" of hip hop culture.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Hip-Hop and Rap|first=Dawn M.|last=Norfleet|pages=692-704]
*Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba, prompting a wave of immigration to Miami and elsewhere, leading to increased prominence for Cuban music.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Overview|last=Sheehy|first=Daniel|coauthors=Steven Loza|pages=718-733]
*Richie Valens, the first Latin rock star who had a hit with an English version of a Mexican "huapango", "La Bamba", dies in a plane crash with the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly, also both popular rock stars. It will become known as the "Day the Music Died".
*The first African Americans initiated into the "Santeria" Afro-Cuban religion, of which music is an integral part, travel to Cuba to do so.
*Johnny Pacheco joins the band of Charlie Palmieri, establishing Pacheco's career; he will go on to become one of the most popular bandleaders and performers in the New York salsa scene.
*The Association of Ukrainian Choirs of America is formed to promote the burgeoning field of both religious and secular Ukrainian American choral singing.
*Dennis Murphy begins working on the construction of gamelan instrumentation, possibly becoming the first American to "build gamelan instruments who meant to model Indonesian ensembles directly".
*By far the most well-known Filipino folkloric dance company, the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, tours the United States for the first time, bringing newfound public awareness of Filipino music throughout the country.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Filipino Music|last=Trimillos|first=Ricardo D.|pages=1024-1027]
*The jazz quartet of Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins and Charlie Haden release "The Shape of Jazz to Come" and "Change of the Century", landmark recordings that help establish the field of free jazz. [Chase, pgs. 519-520]
*One of the first successful white blueswomen, Barbara Dane, becomes the first white woman featured on the cover of "Ebony" magazine. [Komara, pg. 442]


*"Asian Music" begins circulation; it is the first magazine to focus on scholarly research on Asian music.
*Jerry Goldsmith's score for "Planet of the Apes" helps "revitalize the symphonic score, using existing practices and vocabularies".Kassabian, Anahid, "Film", pgs. 202 - 205, in the "Garland Encyclopedia of World Music"]
*Richard M. Graham becomes the first African American on the faculty at the University of Georgia after he is made an assistant professor of music. [JBHE Foundation, pg. 122]
*Robert Moog's "Switched-On Bach", conceived and performed by Wendy Carlos, becomes a hit and brings "to the fore fascinating issues of electronic 'orchestration'".Pegley, Karen and Rob Haskins, "Snapshot: Two Forms of Electronic Music", pgs. 250 - 255, in the "Garland Encyclopedia of World Music"]
*When riots threaten Detroit, DJ Martha Jean Steinberg is credited for calming her listeners by playing gospel music. [Darden, pg. 10]
*The first books on rock are published: J. Marks' "Rock and Other Four Letter Words" and John Gabree's "The World of Rock".
*Olly Wilson wins Dartmouth College's first prize for electronic music, for his composition "Cetus" for electronic tape.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Concert Music|last=Wright|first=Jacqueline R. B.|pages=603-613]
*The National Black Theater in Harlem begins producing works using African and Caribbean-derived dance, music and ritual elements.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Musical Theater|last=Riis|first=Thomas L.|pages=614-623]
*"Hair" is a "revolutionary" rock musical, by Galt McDermot, James Rado and Gerome Ragni. It opens the "way for other rock musicals". [Chase, pg. 540]
*Aretha Franklin is featured on the cover of "Time" magazine, along with a lengthy article entitled "Lady Soul Singing It Like It Is"; a year later, "Billboard" magazine will begin using the term "soul" in place of "rhythm and blues". These two events constitute the beginning of the media's acceptance of the term "soul".
*Duvalier begins suppressing student activism in Haiti, leading to a wave of emigration to the United States; many of these activists organize groups in major North American cities, most famously including Atis Endepandan, Tanbou Libete, Haïti Culturelle and Soley Leve. This movement is known as "kilti libete" ("freedom culture").
*The International Polka Association is founded, focusing in large part on promoting Polish American polka.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Central European Music|last=Levy|first=Mark|pages=884-903]
*Marcus Thompson becomes the first African American with a "notable career" as a violist.
*Bill C. Malone's "Country Music U.S.A." is the first major history of country music.cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Histories|pages=31-38|first=David|last=Horn]


*The American blues roots revival peaks. [Crawford, pg. 747]
*The funeral of gospel singer Roberta Martin is attended by fifty-thousand people in Chicago, without any national media coverage; this event comes to be seen as a "symbol of black gospel music's place in American life: a blend of acceptance and obscurity". [Crawford, pg. 751]
*The Stonewall riots forces mainstream Americans to recognize the existence of homosexuality, and gay men begin making a musical "impact felt beyond their immediate communities", especially in the field of disco.Krasnow, Carolyn H. and Dorothea Hast, "Snapshot: Two Popular Dance Forms", pgs. 227 - 234, in the "Garland Encyclopedia of World Music"]
*Edwin Hawkins' "Oh Happy Day" is a surprise crossover gospel hit, a "jolt of energy that cut through the static and the airwaves in the spring of 1969". [Darden, pg. 274] It "ushered in the contemporary gospel era", and was innovative in its use of horns, bongos and the Fender bass.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Religious Music|last=Burnim|first=Mellonee V.] The song is the first true hybrid of rhythm and blues and gospel. [Southern, pg. 607]
*Ovation creates a pioneering electric-acoustic hybrid guitar by adding amplification to a plastic-backed acoustic guitar.
*Jim Morrison of The Doors is arrested for public indecency after controversially flashing his genitalia onstage in Miami. [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Alcohol|pages=149-152|first=Davidlast=Buckley|coauthors=Dave Laing]
*The first explicitly lesbian-oriented popular song is released, "Angry Athis" by Maxine Feldman. [Peraino, pg. 290]
*Influential gospel label Malaca Records is founded. [Darden, pg. 294]
*The first Christian rock album is Larry Norman's "Upon This Rock".
*Phyl Garland's "The Sound of Soul" is an influential publication, focusing on the social context behind the emergence and acceptance of African American soul music in the United States.Cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Overview|last=Maultsby|first=Portia K.|coauthors=Mellonee V. Burnin and Susan Oehler|pages=572-591]
*The Gospel Music Association begins issuing the Dove Awards, to reward gospel artists. [Tribe, pg. 14]
*The Institute for Jazz Research begins publishing "Jazzforschung"/"Jazz Research", a German and English periodical and one of the earliest popular music journals. [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Popular Music Journals|pages=42-43|first=Robert|last=Strachan|coauthors=Marion Leonard]
*The James Cleveland Gospel Music Workshop of America is founded, the largest gospel convention of the time, with more than 20,000 annual attendees. [Southern, pg. 487]
*After performing at the Newport Jazz Festival with several rock bands, Miles Davis records "Bitches Brew",an influential recording that fuses jazz and rock.cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Jazz|last=Monson|first=Ingrid|pages=650-666] cite book|title=Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World|chapter=Music Festivals|pages=281-284|first=Ralph|last=W. Willett]
*Phyl Garland's "The Sound of Soul" is an influential study of African American that shapes the future of academic research on soul music.
*Recordings by Sly & the Family Stone are an innovative step in the development of funk, which used elements of rock, such as the fuzz box, wah-wah pedal, vocal distortion and the echo chamber, in soul-based music. In hits like "Hot Fun in the Summertime", "Stand!" and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)", bassist Larry Graham created a unique style on the bass guitar, using "pulling, plucking, thumping and slapping" to "produce a distinctive percussive style".cite book|title=The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music|chapter=Funk|last=Maultsby|first=Portia K.|pages=681-686]
*The Songwriters Hall of Fame is founded.
*The first Tamburitza Extravaganza is held by the Tamburitza Association of America.
*A fan is stabbed to death by one of the Hell's Angels, who had been hired by the Rolling Stones to provide security for a concert at Altamont.
*The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair is held in New York. It is considered a defining event for the era which helped shape the hippie movement and the counterculture.
*The Wally Heider Recording Studio is founded by Wally Heider, quickly becoming the standard recording facility for San Francisco's psychedelic rock scene. [cite book|title=The Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music|chapter=Wally Heider Recording Studio|pages=679-680|first=Jim|last=Dawson]


* cite book
first = E.
middle = Lawrence
last = Abel
title = Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy, 1861-1865
publisher = Stackpole Books
id = ISBN 0811702286
location = Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
year = 2000

* cite book
author = Chase, Gilbert
id = ISBN 0-252-00454-X
publisher = University of Illinois Press
title = America's Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present
year = 2000

*cite book
author = Crawford, Richard
id = ISBN 0-393-04810-1
publisher = W. W. Norton & Company
title = America's Musical Life: A History
year = 2001

*cite book
title=Rural Roots of Bluegrass: Songs, Stories and History
location=Pacific, Missouri
publisher=Mel Bay Publications

* cite book
title=Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience
first=Henry Louis
coauthors=Anthony Appiah
publisher=Basic Civitas Books

* cite web
title=The Valadiers Biography
accessdate=July 27

*cite book|title=The American Wind Band: A Cultural History|first=Richard K.|last=Hansen|year=2005|publisher=GIA Publications|isbn=1579994679
* cite book
last = Koskoff
first = Ellen (ed.)
id = ISBN 0-8240-4944-6
publisher = Garland Publishing
title = Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 3: The United States and Canada
year = 2000

* cite book
first = James
last = Miller
title = Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947-1977
publisher = Simon & Schuster
id = ISBN 0684808730
location = New York

*cite book|title=The Cambridge Companion to Blues and Gospel Music|first=Allan|last=Moore|year=2003|publisher=Cambridge University Press|id=0521001072
* cite book
first = Ronald D.
last = Lankford, Jr.
title = Folk Music USA: The Changing Voice of Protest
year = 2005
publisher = Schirmer Trade Books
location = New York
id = ISBN 0825673003

*cite web|publisher=The New York Times|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE3D6143EF930A25751C0A9669C8B63|accessdate=July 30|accessyear=2008|first=David|last=Mermelstein|date=February 13|year=2000|title=Opening the Gates for Black Opera Singers
*cite book
editor = John Shepherd, David Horn, Dave Laing, Paul Oliver and Peter Wicke (eds.)
publisher = Continuum
year = 2003
location = London
id = ISBN 0-8264-6321-5
title = Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, Volume 1: Media, Industry and Society



Further reading

*cite book|title=Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance|last=Becker|first=Howard|year=1963|location=Chicago|publisher=Free Press of Glencoe
* cite book
author = Chase, Gilbert
id = ISBN 0-252-00454-X
publisher = University of Illinois Press
title = America's Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present
year = 1955

*cite book|last=Cooper|first=David|year=1975|title=International Bibliography of Discographies: Classical Music and Jazz & Blues, 1962-1972|location=Littleton, Colorado|publisher=Libraries Unlimited
*cite book|last=Early|first=Gerald Lyn|year=1995|title=One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture|location=Hopewell, New Jersey|publisher=Ecco Press
*cite book|title=The Encyclopedia of Jazz|location=New York|publisher=Horizon Press|first=Leonard|last=Feather|year=1955
*cite book|title=The Sound of Soul|first=Phyl|last=Garland|year=1969|location=Chicago|publisher=H. Regnery Co.
*cite book|title=Gospel Records 1943-1969: A Black Music Discography|location=London|publisher=Record Information Services|last=Hayes|first=Cedric J.|coauthors=Robert Laughton
*cite book|last=Jepsen|location=Copenhagen|first=Jorgen Grunnet|year=1963-1970|title=Jazz Records 1942-1962|publisher=Nordisk Tidskrift and Karl Emil Knudsen
*cite book|last=Jones|first=Leroi|others=Imamu Amiri Baraka|year=1963|title=Blues People: Negro Music in White America|location=New York|publisher=William Morrow & Co.
*cite book|title=The Literature of Rock, 1954-1978|last=Hoffman|first=Frank|location=Metuchen, New Jersey|publisher=Scarecrow Press
*cite book|title=Blues Records, 1943-1970: A Selective Discography|location=London|publisher=Record Information Services|last=Leadbitter|first=Mike|coauthors=et al
*cite book|title=Country Music U.S.A.|first=Bill C.|last=Malone|year=1968|publisher=University of Texas Press|location=Austin, Texas
*cite book|title=A Bibliography of Jazz|first=Alan|last=Merriam|year=1954|location=Philadelphia|publisher=American Folklore Society
*cite book|title=Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit|location=Cambridge, Massachusetts|publisher=Harvard University Press|last=Smith|first=Suzanne E.|year=1999

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