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What has defined pop rock as a specific genre? Has society dictated the boundaries of the form? Give examples of some of the artists who have taken part in the popular music phenomenon. What values are expressed in pop rock?

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Most historians of popular music mark its beginnings at the convergence of radio and recording. If this is the case, Elvis Presley was not just a pioneer of rock and roll, but also the first to have recordings heard on the radio put into popular distribution. Sun Studios, thanks to business minds like Sam Phillips and Col. Tom Parker, created the market that allowed white fans to hear and own the sounds of black blues and gospel artists, as recorded by white musicians. The raw blues of Robert Johnson and Son House was converted into a popular style offered in a slightly censored package for the general listening public. In an era of institutional racism, the sexual themes and pulsing rhythms of the black Mississippi Delta blues players proved too permissive and irreverent for a "popular" audience. For example, "squeeze my lemon 'til the juice runs down my leg," from Johnson's "Traveling Riverside Blues," and "good golly, miss molly, sure like to ball," from Little Richard's version of "Good Golly Miss Molly," gave credence to the theory that black music, particularly blues and rock, was an evil and promiscuous influence on white youth reared in the Protestant ethic. Therefore, Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog" was recorded ...

Solution Summary

The roots of pop rock are deeper than marketing strategies and media exposure. The popular need for "clean" and "socially acceptable" artists as pop idols is traced back to rock pioneers covering works of black blues artists. Pop rock music has, for decades, required a rigid formula to capture a massive audience, and therefore a massive market share. Examples of the pop formula are given from the King of Rock and Roll to the King of Pop.

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