"Se houver sentimento, a musica é boa". Ray Charles

Em 5 de março de 1955 fo declarado morto o saxofonista Charlie Parker, um dos expoentes maiores de um estilo de jazz radical que fazia menos concessões ao gosto popular, o bebop, que foi criado na segunda metade dos anos 40 e revisto, radicalizado e ampliado nos anos 50 com o hard bop. Em resposta à agressividade do bebop e do hard bop, aparece também nessa década o cool jazz, com uma proposta intelectualizada que está para o jazz assim como a música de câmara está para a música erudita.

Os anos 50 foram de enorme prosperidade para os Estados Unidos. Ao fim da Segunda Guerra Mundial, o país havia saído vencedor e ainda mais poderoso, sua economia estava finalmente recuperada por completo da depressão dos anos 30. O padrão de vida melhorava e cada vez mais se consumiam eletrodomésticos e outros utensílios. As famílias de classe média se mudavam para os idílicos subúrbios, onde afastadas do caos das cidades podiam desfrutar da pax americana. Com dinheiro sobrando, os americanos se divertiam nos drive-ins, com o rock'n'roll de Bill Haley e Seus Cometas, Little Richard e Elvis Presley, entre outros.

Os beats tomavam de assalto a cena cultural e literária norte-americana, pregando a retomada de uma tradição visionária e dionisíaca, vivia-se a paranóia da Guerra Fria e a institucionalização do “american way of life”. Kerouac, Ginsberg, Snyder e McClure abriram-se para outras culturas, com a introdução do zen e do budismo e o resgate dos mitos indígenas norte-americanos. Recuperaram a tradição oral da poesia, fazendo-a saltar da página impressa para a fala, em recitais pioneiros que fundiam poesia e jazz (foi exatamente no famoso recital da Six Gallery, em San Francisco, 1955, que o movimento beat teve início).

Não é por mero detalhe que os anos 50 são chamados de os "anos dourados". O Rio de Janeiro vivia um raro momento de florescimento artístico, como poucas vezes se viu na história da cultura nacional. O Brasil vivia então um período de crescimento econômico que acabou se refletindo em todas as áreas. Em 1956, Juscelino Kubitschek tomou posse na Presidência da República com o slogan desenvolvimentista "50 anos em 5".

Tom Jobim entao com 29 anos, trabalhava pela primeira vez com seu grande parceiro, Vincícius de Moraes. O nome mais conhecido da música brasileira em todo o mundo é certamente Tom Jobim. De seu acervo, sete composições passaram do recorde de um milhão de execuções em todos os tempos. "Garota de Ipanema" superou os quatro milhões. A Bossa Nova fruto daqueles anos dourados se tornaria um dos gêneros musicais brasileiros mais conhecidos em todo o mundo, especialmente associado a Tom Jobim e João Gilberto.

John Coltrane

John Coltrane começa sua escalada ao patamar de mito na banda de Miles Davis. Como o sideman do “pai do cool” marcou a história da música com momentos inesquecíveis, como a versão daquele quinteto de Miles tocando versões clássicas de clássicos como “Autumn Leaves” e “Stella by Starlight”.

Surgimento do Pop

O entrelaçamento das inovações tecnológicas às práticas cotidianas é fundamental para o entendimento da cultura pop, como, aliás, para o de qualquer manifestação cultural.

A estrutura de produção/circulação/consumo das cadeias mediáticas agrega os músicos, os distribuidores, a audiência e os críticos. Assim, os dispositivos midiáticos englobam as pessoas que criam e interpretam a música, as mídias e os locais de apresentação, os distribuidores, sejam comerciantes, promotores de shows ou divulgadores; os críticos que buscam padrões para avaliação das canções, e a audiência, que varia desde consumidores ocasionais até colecionadores. É no desdobramento desse cenário durante o pós-guerra que surge a música que marcou profundamente o século XX: a música pop.


1950s

1951: WJW Cleveland DJ Alan Freed allegedly coins the term "rock and roll" during a broadcast of his "Moondog Rock and Roll Party." A hugely popular figure during the genre's early years, Freed organized concerts and tirelessly promoted this "new" music.

His contributions would be overshadowed by scandal in 1960 when the United States Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a payola investigation that uncovered chart rigging, and kickbacks and other corruption in the music business. In 1962, Freed, then with WINS New York, pleads guilty to two charges of commercial bribery, for which he receives a fine and a suspended sentence. It spells the end of his legendary career.


1954: Elvis Presley records Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right" with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black at the Memphis Recording Service, later known as Sam Phillips' Sun Records. Often credited as the birth of rock'n'roll, the July 5 recording is captured during a break in a session while Presley is fooling around with the tune. The resulting single (b/w "Blue Moon Of Kentucky") starts the ball rolling on an iconic career that redefines celebrity and
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1955: The film "Blackboard Jungle" is released, boasting a soundtrack that features Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around the Clock." In July, the song reaches No. 1 on Billboard's Best Sellers in Stores chart, the precursor to the Top 100. It marks the start of the "rock era."


1955: Journeyman blues guitarist Chuck Berry plays his demo of "Ida Mae," a hillbilly tune from the Bob Wills repertory, for label pioneer Leonard Chess. The lyrics are changed to "Maybelline," the topic, cars and girls. Berry invents and perfects the template for teenage rock'n'roll in subsequent hits, "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Johnny B. Goode" and a dozen others, without which the early Beatles, Beach Boys and Rolling Stones would lack both material and a sense of how to play it.


1955: Ray Charles fathers rhythm and blues -- or R&B -- with "I Got a Woman," his pioneering -- and some said sacrilegious -- marriage of blues and gospel. Subsequent ventures in music (country and western) and business (owning his master recordings) provided further testament of Brother Ray's genius. Charles died June 10, 2004, of liver disease; four months later his final album, "Genius Loves Company," became his first platinum recording.


1955: Dámaso Pérez Prado's irresistible mambo "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" (RCA Victor) becomes the first Latin track to hit No. 1 on Billboard's pop singles chart, which measures U.S. sales. Its success illustrates the broad possibilities of Latin music.


1956: Johnny Cash releases his third Sun Records single, "Folsom Prison Blues." The song initially peaks at No. 4 on Billboard's country singles chart, but at the time, few among that inner circle in Memphis could have predicted the Kingsland, Ark. native would become an international icon. more »


1957: Buddy Holly and his band, the Crickets, chart their first single and only No. 1 record, "That'll Be the Day" for Decca subsidiary Coral Records. Besides Berry, Holly would be rock's most prolific singer/songwriter ("Peggy Sue," "Not Fade Away") for but a tragic year or so. He perished in the Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash, along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, that would be memorialized as "the day the music died."


1957: "American Bandstand" is first broadcast nationally on Aug. 5 on ABC, hosted by Dick Clark, who took over that role on the Philadelphia-based program a year earlier. Practically a teen-viewing requirement, the pop music and dance show aired daily until 1964 (when it moved to Los Angeles), then weekly through 1987.


1957: The "Nashville Sound" is born as producers Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins introduce a more string-oriented approach and smoother sound to help keep Nashville's country music business contemporary in the wake of the rock'n'roll explosion. Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight" springs from that era as do Jim Reeves' "Four Walls" and Ferlin Husky's "Gone." All three songs are hits in 1957.


1958: The Recording Industry Association of America certifies its first gold single for Perry Como's "Catch a Falling Star" (RCA), based on 1 million copies sold to U.S. retailers, and first gold album the cast recording of "Oklahoma!" (Capitol) based on $1 million in sales to U.S. retailers.

In 1975, the rules were revised with a gold album needing U.S. shipments of 500,000 copies and $1 million in sales; the next year, platinum awards are added for shipments of 1 million albums and 2 million singles. Multi-platinum releases are recognized in 1984 and in 1999 the RIAA introduces the diamond award for releases that have shipped 10 million copies.


1958: Composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein becomes music director of the New York Philharmonic and launches the "Young People's Concerts" television series, which runs for 14 seasons with Bernstein and introduces classical music to generations of listeners in the United States and around the world.


1958: A year after an American standard is set by the Recording Industry Association of America, the world standard for stereo records is established and the first stereo LPs are sold.


1958: A landmark Latin music year as The Champs' "Tequila" (Challenge) hits No. 1 on the Billboard charts, Perez Prado's "Patricia" reaches No. 2 and Del-Fi signs Ritchie Valens, who would become the first Chicano rock star.


1959: Berry Gordy launches Motown Records in Detroit with $800. The "Motown Sound" orchestrates an iconic chapter in music history, thanks to songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland, backing by the Funk Brothers band and an enviable roster including the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, the Temptations and the Jackson Five. The label's first No. 1 pop hit is the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" (Dec. 11, 1961).


1959: The Dave Brubeck Quartet releases "Time Out" (Columbia), an essential album of original compositions, including alto saxophonist Paul Desmond's classic "Take Five," which features odd time signatures such as 7/4 and 9/8. The album solidified Brubeck's fame following his appearance on the cover of Time magazine in 1954 and subsequent college-circuit playing engagements -- marking the first tapping of the commercial potential of performing at colleges and universities.

1959: Saxophonist Ornette Coleman startles the jazz world with his aptly titled, landmark recording "The Shape of Jazz to Come." His third album and Atlantic Records debut features his firebrand quartet comprised of trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins. Dubbed "free jazz" and "avant-garde jazz" because of its innovative dispensing of chordal improvisation and harmony, Coleman's melody-rich music would swing open the doors to a myriad of experimental jazz excursions.