Popular Music of the 20th and 21st Century
The 20th and the 21st century have brought about some great music. It is better known as popular music and appeals to a much larger variety of people. Some of the styles of music we have enjoyed are the “Classic” American Music, Early Rock ‘N’ Roll, Pop, Heavy Metal, dance-pop, and rap.
Some of the great composers of the “classic” American music are Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Richard Rodgers. Cole Porter was a major songwriter for the Broadway Musical Stage. His well known works include “Fifty Million Frenchmen”, “Can-Can”, “Anything Goes”. But his most successful musical was “Kiss Me, Kate”. Irving Berlin was responsible for over 3000 ...view middle of the document...
On August 16, 1977, Elvis Pressley, the King of Rock and Roll died at his mansion of heart failure. Jerry Lee Lewis also shook up the 50’s with his tune “Great Balls of Fire”. Jerry Lee’s career was all aflame until the press discovered his marriage to his 13 year old cousin while on tour of England. His career almost did not recover from this devastating blow. The last of our greats we will discuss from the 1950’s is Buddy Holly. Buddy’s life was tragically cut short when he perished in a plane crash on 1959 along with another up and coming star, Ritchie Valens. Buddy Holly wrote and performed “That’ll Be The Day” and “Peggy Sue”. Despite his death in 1959, we continued to get his music until well up into the 1960’s.
Along about the 1960’s, another style of music came along. It was Pop/Rock. During this time period we had a British invasion with the Beatles. The Beatles made their American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. They are responsible for great hits such as “She Loves You” and other great songs. The Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Four Tops are other artists who were popular during this time period.
In the late 1960’s, early 70’s and 80’s, we discovered Heavy Metal which is a form of Rock Music. Heavy Metal Artists include Led Zeppelin and Poison. Led Zeppelin was one of the biggest bands of the 1970’s. They sold over 200 million albums making them one of the top album selling groups of all time. Poison achieved great success in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The band sold over 25 million albums and they are still recording and performing today.
In the 1980’s, music was revolutionized by MTV (Music Television). MTV helped in the rebirth of Michael Jackson who was one of the largest dance-pop artists. Michael and his brothers were a huge hit in the 1960’s in their group known as the Jackson 5. Michael caused quite a stir in the 1980’s with his album “Thriller”. This solo album sold more than 40 million copies worldwide! Michael like Elvis earned a nickname. His nickname was the King of Pop. He incidentally was married to the daughter of Elvis Pressley for a period of time. He like his father-in-law, Elvis, also died at a young age long before his career was over. Other artists that were popular during this time include Cindy Lauper, Madonna, Boy George, and Prince. ...