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May 23 2016


Rockabilly Music: That Unlikely Mixture of Musical Styles Changed the face area of Pop Music

1950s rockabilly
Rockabilly music is musical whapatooli. Websters.com doesn't recognize the term, but anyone who was ever a teen probably has a decent handle on what this means. The website whapatooli.com defines it as, "1) A punch-like alcoholic beverage whose ingredients include beer, rum, vodka, Kool Aid�, 7-Up�, ginger ale, and chunks of fruit. 2) A confused combination of loosely related items." It's definition #1 that most of us probably remember from those college parties (or maybe not!), but #2 is the one that fits rockabilly music. Or does it?

rockabilly fashion
Rockabilly is certainly a mixture of loosely-related items. A wholesome dose of new bands, a bunch of blues, a handful of gospel, and a heaping portion of rhythm and Blues, all topped served by a pinch of jazz for flavoring. But I wouldn't really call the music a "confused" mixture of these ingredients.

Rockabilly music has a very logical structure into it. Like other forms of popular music such as country, blues, folk, and so forth, it's pretty an easy task to identify the sections of a rockabilly tune. But possibly the music does seem confused with a people. It's certainly manic and energetic. And I guess if you really analyzed it, you'd need to agree that any thinking person would doubt you could get away with throwing hardcore country licks over no-nonsense blues sensibility and come up with a completely new genre of music. Sure, maybe it'd work with a song or two here and there--sort of like a novelty--but you couldn't sustain a complete movement. And certainly not merely one that would change the world of pop music forever!

But that is exactly what happened. There have been the blues and there was country music and there was even country blues. But none of it was rockabilly. Away from first. Not until it evolved and grew and the world was finally ready for rockabilly! When rockabilly finally arrived, it didn't come knocking politely at pop's door. It exploded on the scene! It crashed through radio speakers and new TV screens as a hip-shaking, golden-voiced kid named Elvis. As well as the explosion sparked countless fires all over the world. Soon the whole planet was ablaze with rockabilly.

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