Ethan was a bandleader, singer, soloist, film star, and

Ethan JacobsMrs. MooneyhanHistory of Rock & Roll19 December 2017Rock & Roll Artists Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, a collection of names that symbolize a few of the greatest composers of all time, a few of the greatest minds in music the world has ever seen, and had the pleasure to enjoy their work. Many have tried to recreate such virtuosity, but none have come close to what was truly the beginning of music. Hanz Zimmer, John Williams, and many modern day classical composers have treated the world to an envy of wide ranging instrumental groupings, to long and methodical compositions specifically critiqued for film. As time progressed, so did music, and many new forms of music burst into the spotlight with new and adventurous melodies, instruments, and vocal ranges. An innumerable amount of musical genres are now readily available to be taught, learned about, and listened to. Whether it be Blues, Jazz, Punk, Disco, there is a genre for anybody to enjoy. Collectively, there have been hundreds of musicians, artists, and bands that have influenced many new and rising musical intellects, but the history of those who came before us, should truly be studied. Blues music originated by African Americans in the Deep South of the United States around the end of the 19th century. The genre developed from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, spirituals, and the folk music about white Americans of European heritage. One of the most famous Blues artist was Louis Armstrong. Armstrong was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz and the Blues. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of Blues. Early in his career, Armstrong was taking what was called “Creole jazz” or dance music, which was formally scripted, and combining it with trumpeter Buddy Bolden’s rougher, more improvisation-based street music, to create what would eventually become jazz. Cornetist Freddie Keppard performed in a nearby club. So did trumpeter and bandleader King Joe Oliver, who took the boy under his wing and taught him how to read music and work on his playing technique. More than a great trumpeter, Armstrong was a bandleader, singer, soloist, film star, and comedian. One of his most remarkable feats was his frequent conquest of the popular market with recordings that thinly disguised authentic jazz with Armstrong’s contagious humour. He nonetheless made his greatest impact on the evolution of jazz itself, which at the start of his career was popularly considered to be little more than a novelty. A staple in early Rock & Roll, Johnny Cash was one of the most influential musicians of the 1960s and possibly of all time. With his deep, resonant baritone and spare percussive guitar, he had a basic, distinctive sound. Cash didn’t sound like Nashville, nor did he sound like honky tonk or rock & roll. He created his own subgenre, falling halfway between the blunt emotional honesty of folk, the rebelliousness of rock & roll, and the world-weariness of country. While he was in the Air Force, Cash bought his first guitar and taught himself to play. He began writing songs in earnest, including “Folsom Prison Blues.” Cash finally landed an audition with Sun Records and its founder, Sam Phillips, in 1955.  Eventually, he earned the nickname of “The Man in Black.” Cash became the first Sun artist to release a long-playing album in November of 1957, when Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar hit the stores. Cash’s success continued to roll throughout 1958, as he earned his biggest hit, “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” (number one for ten weeks), as well another number one single, “Guess Things Happen That Way.” Cash’s humble beginnings made him an authentic storyteller whose plain spoken narrative songs spoke to the American everyman. He wrote songs prolifically but never carelessly; each one captured a deeper truth and resonated uncannily with the working man. In many ways, Def Leppard were the definitive hard rock band of the ’80s. There were many bands that rocked harder (and were more dangerous) than the Sheffield-based quintet, but few others captured the spirit of the times quite as well. Emerging in the late ’70s as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Def Leppard actually owed more to the glam rock and metal of the early ’70s, as their sound was equal parts T. Rex, Mott the Hoople, Queen, and Led Zeppelin. Def Leppard completed their fourth album, now titled Hysteria, early in 1987. The record was released that spring to lukewarm reviews, with many critics claiming that the album compromised Leppard’s metal roots for sweet pop flourishes. Accordingly, Hysteria was slow out of the starting gates “Women,” the first single, failed really take hold but the release of “Animal” helped the album gather steam. The song became Def Leppard’s first Top 40 hit in the U.K., but more importantly, it launched a string of six straight Top 20 hits in the U.S., which also included “Hysteria,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Love Bites,” “Armageddon It,” and “Rocket,” the latter of which arrived in 1989. Def Leppard’s music is a mixture of hard rock, AOR, pop and heavy metal elements, with its multi-layered, harmonic vocals and its melodic guitar riffs. A collective of psychedelic-minded Japanese musicians headed by guitarist Masaki Batoh, Ghost Records commune-minded free-range psychedelia with equal debts to the Can/Amon Düül axis of Krautrock, as well as West Coast psych units like Blue Cheer and Jefferson Airplane. The band began releasing their work with the albums Ghostand Second Time Around, each appearing during 1991-1992. The American independent Drag City licensed each of the albums for distribution, and L.A.’s The Now Sound picked up two of Batoh’s solo albums, A Ghost from the Darkened Sea and Kikaokubeshi (released together as well under the title Collected Works). As well as their own work, Ghost have recorded and performed with the ex-Galaxie 500 duo Damon and Naomi. Five years after releasing both Snuffbox Immanence and Tune In, Turn On, Free Tibet, Ghost returned with Hypnotic Underworld, and there were some changes in the band. Cellist Hiromichi Sakamoto and percussionist Setsuko Furuya left and were replaced by a rhythm section of Takuyuki Moriya (electric bass guitar, double bass, and cello) and Junzo Tateiwa (drums, tabla, and percussion). As the 60s rolled on and the 70s approached, a new form of music erupted into the spotlight, taking America and the world by storm. Funk was the new fad and it had infested the minds of nearly everyone. One such funk artist, was and still is considered the man who started Funk. Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia. He joined an R vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters (which later evolved into the Flames), in which he was the lead singer. First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me”, Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra. His success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”. During the late 1960s he moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly “Africanized” approach to music-making that influenced the development of funk music. Brown recorded 16 singles that reached number one on the Billboard R Chart. He also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach number one. Brown has received honors from many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. As the Funk became less and less popular, a new genre came to life, one filled with dancing, lots of sparkling clothes and long hair, it was disco. Disco, a time filled with rhythmic melodies and lots and lots of new dance moves, was captured best by the Village People. Village People is an American disco group well known for their on-stage costumes depicting American masculine cultural stereotypes as well as their catchy tunes and suggestive lyrics. Originally created by Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo to target disco’s gay audience by featuring popular gay fantasy personae, the band quickly became popular and moved into the mainstream. The group scored several disco and dance hits internationally, including three hits in the US, “Macho Man, “In the Navy”, and their biggest hit, “Y.M.C.A.”. The 1978 single “Macho Man” brought them mainstream attention, and their follow-up single “Y.M.C.A.” became one of the most popular hits of the 1970s. In 1979, the United States Navy considered using “In the Navy” in a television and radio recruiting campaign. Belolo offered them permission if the Navy would help film a music video for it. The Navy provided them access to the San Diego Navy base, where the USS Reasoner (FF-1063), several aircraft, and the crew of the ship would be used. The group’s fame peaked in 1979, when they made several appearances on The Merv Griffin Show and traveled with Bob Hope to entertain U.S. troops. They were also featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, Vol. 289, April 19, 1979. Willis left the group at the end of an international tour in 1979, and a decline in popularity followed. As Disco became more and more outdated, and in culmination with the ongoing recession, new waves of angry people started to spring up. This in turn, caused the rise of Punk rock and its extreme influence on the young crowd. The Offspring’s metal-inflected punk became a popular sensation in 1994, selling over four million albums on an independent record label. While the group’s credentials and approach follow the indie rock tradition of the ’80s, sonically the Offspring sound more like an edgy, hard-driving heavy metal band, with their precise, pulsing power chords and Dexter Holland’s flat vocals. Featuring Holland, guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman, bassist Greg Kriesel, and drummer Ron Welty, the Offspring released their self-titled debut album in 1989. The Offspring were played on both alternative and album rock stations, confirming their broad-based appeal. “Self Esteem,” the second single, followed the same soft verse/loud chorus formula and stayed on the charts nearly twice as long as “Come Out and Play.” The Offspring recorded a version of the Damned’s “Smash It Up” for the Batman Forever soundtrack in the summer of that year; it kept the group on the charts as the band members worked on their third album. Tom Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida, on October 20, 1950, the first son of Earl and Kitty Petty. But Petty found refuge in music, idolizing the likes of Elvis Presley and the Beatles and learning to play guitar. By high school, Petty’s passion for music was all-consuming. He began playing bass with a local group called the Epics, and at the age of 17 he dropped out of school to perform with a new band that would become known as Mudcrutch, named after the farm where two of its members lived. In the wake of his success with the Traveling Wilburys, Petty began work on his first solo album, Full Moon Fever, which was produced by Jeff Lynne and included several of the Heartbreakers. Released in 1989, the album was a massive success, reaching No. 3 on the charts and going multi-platinum. Its top single, “Free Fallin'” reached No. 7 on the singles charts and remains among Tom Petty’s best-known songs. “Runnin’ Down a Dream” and “I Won’t Back Down” also performed well. Kicking off the new millennium, Petty got his personal life in order, kicking his heroin addiction and marrying Dana York, whom he had met a decade earlier. In 2002, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their 11th album, The Last DJ, on which Petty aired his ongoing grievances about the record industry. In 2006, Petty went solo once more, working with Jeff Lynne to produce the No. 4-charting album Highway Companion, before reuniting with the Heartbreakers for a 30th anniversary tour. The following year, the group was the focus of a four-hour documentary titled Runnin’ Down a Dream. Few bands in rock history have had a more immediate and tangible impact on their contemporary pop musical landscape than Nirvana did in the early Nineties. When the Seattle trio hit the scene in 1991, mainstream radio was awash in the hair metal of Poison and Def Leppard. But seemingly within hours of the release of Nirvana’s anarchic, angry single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — and its twisted anti-pep-rally video—the rules had changed. Artifice was devalued; pure, raw emotion was king. Cobain and Krist Novoselic grew up in Aberdeen, Washington, a small logging town 100 miles southwest of Seattle. By early 1992, Nirvana’s success was biting back. As “Smells Like Teen Spirit” continued climbing up the charts, Cobain began bemoaning the group’s meteoric rise, worrying that fans were missing the point of Nirvana’s anti establishment message. Cobain’s expressions of support for women and homosexuals also challenged the earlier rock & roll status quo. On September 21, Nirvana released In Utero, which debuted at Number One and produced the Modern Rock radio hits “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies.” On January 7, 1994, Nirvana performed what would be their last American concert, at the Seattle Center Arena. In 1988, with the double-platinum album Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A brought gangsta rap into the mainstream. The record was among the first to offer an insider’s perspective of the violence and brutality of gang-ridden South Central L.A. With songs like “Fuck tha Police” and “Gangsta Gangsta” set in a chaotic swirl of siren and gunshot sounds, it also foreshadowed the 1992 L.A. riots. After N.W.A’s first collection, N.W.A. and the Posse, Cube took a year off to study drafting at the Phoenix Institute of Technology. When he returned in 1988, the group—now with MC Ren and DJ Yella on board—finished Eazy’s solo album and started work on Straight Outta Compton. Released in 1989, the album sold 750,000 copies even before N.W.A embarked on a tour. In the meantime, a media storm developed over the controversial “Fuck tha Police,” resulting in a “warning letter” from the FBI to the group’s distributor, Priority Records. After a tour, Cube got into a financial dispute with N.W.A’s manager, Jerry Heller, who Cube claimed had cheated him out of royalties. The two settled out of court in 1990, and Cube moved on to a successful solo career. N.W.A continued recording and selling records but fell out of critical favor. In June 1991, the group made history again when, despite strong criticism from politicians and being banned from some retail chains, EFIL4ZAGGIN(“Niggaz 4 Life” backward) reached Number One two weeks after its release.Works CitedBush, John. “Ghost | Biography & History.” AllMusic, RhythmOne, 2017. Accessed 11 Dec 2017Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. “Def Leppard | Biography & History.” AllMusic, RhythmOne, 2017. Accessed 10 Dec 2017Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. “Johnny Cash | Biography & History.” AllMusic, RhythmOne, 2017. Accessed 9 Dec 2017Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. “The Offspring | Biography & History.” AllMusic, RhythmOne, 2017. Accessed 11 Dec 2017″Louis Armstrong: ‘The Trumpeter’.” Edited by NPR, NPR, NPR, 15 Aug. 2007. Accessed 10 Dec 2017″N.W.A Biography.” Rolling Stone, Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001), 2017. 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