Rock, Alternative & Classic Music History
A form of popular music arising from and incorporating a variety of musical styles, especially rhythm and blues, country music, and gospel. Originating in the United States in the 1950s, it is characterized by electronically amplified instrumentation, a heavily accented beat, and relatively simple phrase structure.
Rock and roll evolved in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and quickly spread to the rest of the world. Its immediate origins lay in a mixing together of various popular musical genres of the time, including rhythm and blues, gospel music, and country and western. In 1951, Cleveland, Ohio disc jockey Alan Freed began playing rhythm and blues music for a multi-racial audience, and is credited with first using the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music.
The term alternative rock was coined in the early 1980s to describe rock artists which didn't fit into the mainstream genres of the time. Bands dubbed "alternative" could be most any style not typically heard on the radio; however, most alternative bands were unified by their collective debt to punk.
Classic rock radio is similar to oldies radio in that the format is based upon music of the past, hence the playlist and artists featured are relatively stable in comparison to Top 40 or other contemporary formats which are based primarily on current releases. However, various bands and songs will come in and out of style on classic rock radio, regional favorites may be featured in a particular market, and newer recordings by the format's core performers will occasionally be showcased.