This course will explore the cultural phenomenon of rock and roll, from its beginnings in the early 1950s, through to the early 1960s. This period was nothing less than an explosion of creativity in American popular music, and we will examine a variety of sounds and major figures. Styles covered include the piano-based R&B of New Orleans; Memphis rockabilly; Brill Building pop; and Californian surf rock. We will also look at the socio-cultural context for the emergence of rock and roll, including a growing youth culture and changing race relations. From Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, to the Ronettes and the Beach Boys, the music of the 1950s and early 1960s exerted a cultural influence that lives on to the present.
Facilitator: Keith McCuaig – MA in Music and Culture.
With an MA in Music and Culture, and over twenty years’ experience as a musician, Keith McCuaig is dedicated to all things music and art. He loves exploring the histories of popular music, especially the interconnectedness of genres, and the socio-cultural significance of music. Keith has extensive experience in researching, writing and teaching a variety of music-related topics; he has taught courses through Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, and presented at international musicology conferences. From performing, writing, and recording, to lecturing, giving music lessons, and working with community music programs, Keith’s life and passion is music.