Rock ’n’ Roll's First Decade: From Elvis to the Beatles
Presented under the auspices of the Carrie & Ronald Ludwig Chair in 20th Century Rock & Soul Music
This course covers the first ten years of rock and roll, the explosive musical phenomenon that shook the world during the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. It spans the ascendance of pioneers like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard to the harmonizing vocal groups, surf, soul, and girl groups of the early ’60s. It features greats like the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, and the Beach Boys, with plenty of rare film clips of the heroes in action. It also celebrates those who helped it flourish: from legendary independent record labels like Sun and Atlantic, to the producers, disk jockeys, songwriters, and exuberant teenage audience that helped make it happen.
Richie Unterberger is the author of numerous rock history books, including volumes on the Who, the Velvet Underground, Bob Marley, and 1960s folk-rock. His book The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film won a 2007 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. He's taught about a dozen different courses at Fromm over the past half dozen years, and gives regular presentations on rock and soul history throughout the Bay Area incorporating rare vintage film clips and audio recordings. His next book, to be published by Taschen, is San Francisco: Portrait of a City.