Grease Is The Word

UPB is having a Grease-filled evening, both showing the movie and having a 1950’s themed Late Night Breakfast. The 50’s were a great time for the country and particularly for some of the great music (that you can hear in the movie tonight!)

In the 1950’s music was transforming. Billboard only had 3 genres of music at the time: country & western, popular and blue grass. This was an America music industry without designated scenes throughout the country like Cleveland, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City and hundreds of others. Then one day, a Cleveland Disc Jockey, Alan Freed coined a phrase describing how this new music made him feel. He was talking about the song “My Baby Rock Me with a Steady Roll” and ranted on and on about rocking and rolling with a sexual connotation. The type of music he was speaking of came from blues and rhythm originally. Electric guitars, heavy base and lyrics about the youth took the nation by storm.

The new technologies coming out at this time, electric guitars, amplifiers, microphones and 45 rpm, revolutionized the industry. These new mediums allowed artists such as Nat King Cole, Ames Brothers, Tony Bennet, Fontane Sisters, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley to grow and become icons. Today the music scene has expanded and the billboard charts are endless with the amount of genres. Band’s today find it hard to categorize themselves. If Alan Freed was here today, he would be shocked at the thousands of bands who were influenced by the 45s he spun – but I’m definitely glad they do.

– Angela Marino

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