Tag Archives: music

The origin of rock and roll

The father of rock and roll and the king of rock and roll. (Not pictured: about a hundred black artists.)
The "father of rock and roll" and the "king of rock and roll." (Not pictured: about a hundred black artists.)

What was the origin of rock and roll? Scholars (and by scholars I mean stoner music majors) have debated it for centuries, at least as far back as 1750, when Methaius Palmer observed: “The back beat in the Negro jump music causes one’s body to rock, but the rhythm in the Negro spiritual causes one’s body to roll. This, say I, is the origin of the ‘rock and roll’ and not, as some have claimed, the Polack’s polka.” Indeed. But what exactly was the origin of rock and roll?
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“Mack the Knife” and 5 other famous songs completely different from the originals

Not Splish Splash.
Not "Splish Splash."

It takes guts to find a song you like and change it to make it your own. And it takes brains and a real feel for music to find a song you don’t like and realize it has potential if it were done differently. “Mack the Knife” is one of the great songs recycled from lesser songs. These aren’t covers, tho—they’re rearrangements and extreme rearrangements at that. A cover just remakes the song with the same arrangement and different vocalist and/or instrumentation. A rearrangement fundamentally changes the song’s rhythm, tempo, chord structure, and/or lyrics.
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