One of the best decisions I made last year was taking a music class. Actually, it was much more about music history than it was about the science. The two and a half month class surprisingly covers Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rockabilly lyrics, Hillbilly, Chicago Blues, Black Vocal Pop Groups 1921 – 1953, Doo Wop, Motown Records, Girl Groups 1958 to 1965, Rhythm and Gospel, Country, Gospel, Spirituals the Electric Guitar and much more. Session of the class compelled us to listen to songs, drumming and beats on Spotify, then determine the musician, the album, the title and year of release. This then would come as a quiz.
Before taking this class, I must add that in 2010, for slightly more than a year, I was most fortunate to work for a well-know CPA on the East Coast, in the Hamilton New Jersey township area. While this wasn’t particularly a part of my work, on certain days, I would help with packing record labels, sometimes for hours. There were hundreds of thousands of record labels and cassettes stacked up on shelves in the office. But this great man wasn’t just a Certified Public Accountant, he had some of the top musicians in the country as his clients. And he is a true humanitarian. I have to say that the best part of my job during the time I worked for him was sitting down in the back office and carefully typing the names of record labels, Albums of different sizes, one at a time, together with dates and other details on a desktop that sits before me for storage. That’s how I was able to find most of the class material a bit easier. I passed the class with a B plus because the reading material is voluminous.
Paul A Ressler, my former boss, though still very much in my life, had thought me most everyday things, such as to slow down while speaking and how to shake hand properly. This man afforded me certain exposure which, without him I may never have known….
Music, apart from one very natural phenomenon, can offer one high level pleasure which can lead to vibration and joy. It’s a gift that you’re going to find in every generation going back to the ancients. The better portion of ancient Greek society would answer with name like Orpheus. In Egypt, professional musicians existed on a number of social levels during ancient times, and there, the highest status belonged to temple musicians; the office of “musician,” the “shemayet.” But human beings have found ways of manipulating the art to their own advantage, such as for healing purposes and for the general well-being of the race. The list is long and there are many great names to choose from on it, but for now we will start with the Beetles and then work our way down to show that there have been many musical groups, both modern and contemporary, which have worked to exemplify the living power of music .
The Beatles contributed to a bunch of things; music, film, literature, art, and fashion. They made a continuous impact on popular culture and the lifestyle of several generations. Many of their songs carry “powerful ideas of love and peace.” But also, the Beetle learned from many world cultures and absorbed from various styles. Songs such as “Strawberry Field Forever” and “Hey Jude” in 67 and 68 are gifts to us by the Beetles. Then came The Beach Boys; formed by the three Wilson brothers. The group went on to release many great albums, like the ” Good vibration” in 1966…
Indeed, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries produced many great musicians including men like T-bone Walker, Sidney Bechet and Elvis. Bechet was an inspirational Jazz musician with his otherworldly improvisational style who left an important mark on jazz. And then came Chuck Berry, a man bigger than life- “son of St. Louis, who is credited with combining R&B with country.” His first hit, the “Maybellene” in 1955– the very same year my father was born– indeed became a real storm.
Then there was Bill Haley, a man whose love for music and unique musical ability led him to create a fusion of country and R&B, represents some of the earliest Rock and Roll created by a white artist. This history of Rockabilly, I recently picked up from school during last year’s summer. And if you are interested, it is a blend of hillbilly, blues and boogie with Southern origins. Its first practitioners, as we were told, are mostly White males in their late teens and early twenties. It was the loud and rebellious approach of rockabilly that drew the line between the era of the Big Ballad and the era of the Big Beat. And of course, it all began with the release of one particular title of a Visible Helper; Elvis Presley’s first record; That’s All Right, on Sun Record. The history of Rockabilly is truly fascinating. This is not jazz or Rock ‘n’Roll but Rockabilly that should be given the most credit for bringing the guitar to the forefront of Rock n Roll. And you might be surprised to hear why this genre became so incredibly popular among young people. Especially for Rock ‘n’ Roll, which became an excuse for “teenage rebellion” and for the using of nonsense syllables….