Explores the factors — musical and cultural — that led to the birth of American rock 'n' roll music in the early 1950s. Covers in detail the genres, styles and people that converged to create this new music.
- Week 1 What is rock 'n' roll? It's a whole lot more than just music. It's a business, an attitude, a cultural phenomenon, a showcase of technology and more.
- Week 2 Before there was rock: Major musical genres, technological advances and players integral to the birth of rock 'n' roll. The genres include jazz, blues, country, western, bluegrass, gospel, popular music and more.
- Week 3 Mississippi Ghosts: W.C. Handy and the Delta Blues of Robert Johnson, Son House, Charley Patton and Lead Belly.
- Week 4 A Tale of Three Cities: New Orleans' jazz and early rock 'n roll, Chicago and its electric blues, and Memphis, Tenn., home of Elvis Presley and Sun Records.
- Week 5 The emergence of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Bo Diddley; the Sun Records "Class of 1955" and "The Day the Music Died."
- Week 6 The major labels finally awaken and start to rock: The search is on for the next big thing, Elvis II.
- Week 7 The five styles of rock 'n' roll as postulated by author Charlie Gillett.
- Week 8 Summation and project review.
Professor David Carlson
Executive Director of the Center for Media Innovation + Research and Cox/Palm Beach Post Professor of New Media Journalism
College of Journalism & Communication: Center for Media Innovation