The Death of American Rock and Roll
By the late fifties, rock and roll had begun to move away from the raw immediacy of its
early stars and become a vehicle for the banal contrivances of camera friendly faces
singing songs about teenage romance. It had barely established itself, yet rock and roll
was losing its rebellious edge and drifting into the abyss, becoming nothing more then a
catchphrase for corporate-sponsored teen music with a beat.
"The Darkest Hour Is Just Before the Dawn"
Across the ocean in Britain things were much different. British youth had followed rock and roll from its beginnings and from a distance that allowed them a clearer view of the music. England was not saturated with around the clock radio. There exposure came from the few singles shipped from America and limited programming on the government controlled BBC. This limited availability contributed to an excitement, much like young white Americans had discovered late at night with there radios listening to R&B stations in rock's earliest days.
While Americas turned to a lighter pop, teen idols and the Twist, the British kept there taste for authentic rock and roll and R&B. A new generation of British bands - the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five, Animals, Kinks, etc. began reshaping the music in their own image and make England the rock capital of the world.
The British Invasion of 1964 brought America's music - reinvented and revitalized - home, a a new generation of rock fans were born. Rock now entered what is now known as its Classic Era.