SOMETHING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF EARLY ROCK & ROLL, POSTED IN NEWSWEEK: I have been a radio DJ since 1949. In 1946 I began listening to a black, now legendary, DJ named Al Benson, broadcasting from station, WHFC, on the south side of Chicago. When Decca sent me a copy of Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley it all came back to me, I had heard this music 10 years earlier. I contacted a Chicago music distributor, Milt Salstone, and asked if he would send me the original R&R recordings of the hits that were being covered by white artists, [Little Richard by Pat Boone], etc. -- I wanted the kids who listened to me to hear the originals. Received a lot of flack from the record companies [a bit of this in the below article] but continued to play the original black artists versions, they were raw and ruckus, but highly stimulating. Must have done something 'right' as I still hear from those kids that listened to me in the early '50s, on KCRG, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a city 98% white. www.SandySinger.biz SinatraDJ@juno.com
Ok, to start off being a music tech major, I am currently taking a history of production techniques/rock history class (up to 1985) that can easily answer this question. Most people listen to "classic rock" because it is timeless. Who knew back in the late 60's we would still be listening to the rolling stones, led zeppelin, the beatles, and so forth 40 years later. So because we are, it shows those records are more then just good albums, but also showcase a time in history. Because of this, many old folks like to reminisce about the past, and newer younger generations appreciate the good old rock and roll that influenced today's current music. The reason less people know the alternative rock classics is because they are still fairly recent, and even though most people would agree albums such as Nirvana's Nevermind will probably still be played 20 years later from now, we cannot tell all the albums that will since music fads come and go, leaving the most essentials left. Perhaps 20 years later we will re look at some of these alternative classics and still see which ones are still being popular sellers.