History of Rock & Roll: The 50s and 60s

ALL1375-C       12 Weeks     Tuesdays 1:30-2:50     Start Date 10-Sep
Grossman 106     Limit 25

Rock & Roll was everything the suburban 1950s were not. While parents of the decade were listening to Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and watching “Your Hit Parade” on television, their children were moving to a new beat. To the horror of the older generation, young people were twisting, thrusting, and bumping and grinding to the sounds of this new beat: Rock & Roll. This generation of youth was much larger than any in recent memory, and the prosperity of the era gave them money to spend on phonographs and records. By the end of the 50s, the phenomenon known as Rock & Roll had become the dividing line between youth and adulthood. At the beginning of the 1960s, the music of Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Connie Francis, and Mitch Miller (an avowed enemy of R&R) ruled the airwaves and the recorded music charts, giving some observers the hope that decency and order had returned to the popular mainstream. But within a couple of years, rock would regain its disruptive power with a joyful vengeance until, by the decade’s end, it would be seen as a genuine form of cultural and political consequence. For quite a while it was a truism – or threat, depending on your point of view – that Rock & Roll could (and should) make a difference. It was eloquent and inspiring enough to change the world – maybe even to save it.

Coordinator: Lew Taylor
Lew is a retired public librarian and has a BA and MA in American History and is currently pursuing an MA in Sociology. Lew has taught many courses at ALL and is now back after a four-year absence.