History of Rock N' Roll discussed March 29

March 22 2006

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A nationally-recognized scholar will outline the history of rock n' roll in a presentation "The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock & Roll" at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at the Landsbaum Center for Health Education, located at 1433 North 6 1/2 Street. This presentation, part of Indiana State University's Dewey Institute for Lifelong Learning, is free and open to the public.

Rock n' roll's varied and uniquely American roots in blues, rhythm & blues, country western, jazz, pop, gospel and boogie-woogie made it a fascinating musical melting pot, as each style and region contributed its own heritage to the unruly offspring.

Many other people thought that rock n' roll was simply rhythm & blues by another name when pioneering disc jockeys like Alan Freed began playing it for a new audience of young listeners in the early 1950s. "Crossover" hits by R & B groups blurred racial lines and created a new generational divide, turning the pop charts into a battleground. The music industry reacted with typical dollar-driven blandness, churning out sanitized "cover" versions of rhythm & blues hits that led many impressionable teenagers to believe that Pat Boone was rock n' roll--until the arrival of Elvis sealed rock's triumph in the mainstream and threw the charts into glorious confusion again.

Glenn Gass, a professor of music at Indiana University, teaches a series of courses on the history of rock & roll and popular music. His courses on the history of rock n' roll, which were the first of such classes to be offered in any music school or conservatory, have garnered significant recognition for the IU School of Music and have established his national reputation as a teacher and scholar.

Gass, a 2000 recipient of IU's Herman B. Wells Lifetime Achievement Award, is a member of the Education Advisory Board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. He is the author of "A History of Rock Music: The Rock & Roll Era" (McGraw-Hill, 1994).

The Dewey Institute for Lifelong Learning at Indiana State University is a non-profit, membership organization open to all adults in the Greater Wabash Valley, regardless of age or academic background. Academic programs are designed by its members and tailored to suit their interests. Lectures, courses, and special events are offered without concern for prerequisites, credit, or grades. The only prerequisite for membership in the Institute is a love of learning.

The Institute, affiliated with the Elderhostel Institute Network, emphasizes collaborative leadership and active member participation. The primary responsibilities for programs are assumed by Institute members all of whom volunteer their time. It is only because of the substantial support of Indiana State University that the Institute can offer these unique educational opportunities to residents of the Wabash Valley.

For more information about the Dewey Institute for Lifelong Learning, call Cheryl Pruitt or Anne Roy at (812) 237-8707.

Contact: Linda Crossett, ISU Office of Continuing Education, 812.237.8479

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812.237.3783 or devmeyer@isugw.indstate.edu

ISU Communications & Marketing: 812.237.3773, http://isunews.indstate.edu

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Glenn Gass will outline the history of rock n' roll in his presentation, "The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock & Roll."

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