Chapter 0

In the Beginning...

Covering years of the late 50s to early 60s


Metal Music actually started getting its foundation with Blues, a little bit of Soul/Gospel, Dixieland Jazz and a little bit of what they now call Rockabilly.

The Godfathers of Metal are Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley & the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Bo Didley, Elvis Presley, and many others. They might not have thought of themselves as being Metal musicians, but they were the ones who experimented with wah-wah pedals, bending guitar strings, and adding other effects to the notes they were playing on guitar. They also slammed the piano as hard as they could, to get the sounds they needed, at least until electronic keyboards/synthesizers came around (see the next chapter on the sixties). Drummers ended-up changing their rhythms and tempos and upgraded their style of playing to go beyond the basics of time-keeping and incorporate many more rolls and dynamism.

The Fathers of the Drums--Old School: Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Roy Johnson, T.E. Williams.
They were considered the forerunners of the field at the time. They eventually went on to leading their own bands and creating a whole new sound, different from their original bands'. Gene was the one of the first Rock/Jazz musicians to be busted for smoking Cannabis. There were a lot of similar musicians who got blacklisted for this same activity, and it wasn't just for drugs: it was also for booze. During that time, the musicians that had been blacklisted secretly met with others of their same ilk. This eventually became known as Underground or Outlaw music!

The birth of the Underground took place between the years 1955 to 1959. The prominent music at that time, on the radio or in the clubs, was Rhythm 'n' Blues, Gospel, or Soul. In 1959, Rock was becoming mainstream. The Godfathers of Metal now had records out, were touring, and some of their songs became landmark statements that the change was coming. Some of these songs were: "Good Golly Miss Molly", "I Got a Spell on You", "Black Magic", "Rock Around the Clock", "Ain't Nothin' But a Hound-dog", "Shake, Rattle & Roll".

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