Popular Music

A look at the influences and development of rock and roll and country music.

This paper discusses how American popular music is so firmly entrenched in our culture and personal lives that it is sometimes extremely difficult to even begin to accurately remember when many forms of popular music did not exist in American culture. In particular, it looks at how both rock and roll and country music owe much of their popularity to changes in the audience, innovations in technology, and changes in the business world itself. It analyzes how rock and roll has been much more significantly impacted by these factors than has county music, at least during the early half of this century, and how whatever the reasons for their emergence and distribution, today, rock and roll and country music are enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.
“The modern music industry was shaped by a number of business forces. Prolonged and often bitter struggles over music property rights played an important role in this change in business forces. Likely the most crucial of these clashes was the prolonged battle between radio broadcasters and music publishers based in New York (Ennis). Government antitrust legislation essentially broke up the monopoly of existing national broadcasting networks, and brought about the emergence of independent radio stations across the nation (D’Anjou). Ultimately, disc jockeys in small, local stations became a sort of catalyst for the release of many types of popular music (Ennis).”