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Word Count: 361
During the 1950s the term rock and roll was actually a synonym for black RB music Rock and roll was first released by small independent record companies and promoted by radio disc jockeys DJs like Alan Freed who used the term rock n roll to help attract white audiences unfamiliar with black RB Indeed the appeal of rock and roll to white middle-class teenagers was immediate and caught the major record companies by surprise As these companies moved to capitalize on the popularity of the style the market was fueled by cover versions performances of previously recorded songs of RB songs that were edited for suggestive lyrics and expressions and performed in the singing style known as crooning by white vocalists such as Pat Boone The most successful rock-and-roll artists wrote and performed songs about love sexuality identity crises personal freedom and other issues that were of particular interest to teenagers Popular rock-and-roll artists and groups emerged from diverse backgrounds The group Bill Haley and the Comets which had the first big rock-and-roll hit with the song Rock Around the Clock 1955 was a country-music band from Pennsylvania that adopted aspects of the RB jump-blues style of saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan The unique style of Chuck Berry came from his experience playing a mixture of RB and country music in the Midwest The rock-and-roll piano style of Fats Domino grew out of the distinctive sound of New Orleans RB which also influenced singer and songwriter Little Richard Rockabilly a blend of rock-and-roll and country-and-western music was pioneered by Memphis producer Sam Phillips who first recorded artists Elvis Presley Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on his Sun Records label The earthy style of guitarist Bo Diddley derived from the blues of the Mississippi Delta region The standard four-piece instrumentation of rock bands drum set and lead rhythm and bass guitars was developed by Texas musician Buddy Holly who produced his own studio recordings From
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