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In the United States, the abuse of drugs and popular music was first intertwined when jazz musicians in the 1930s began to smoke marijuana massively. …
Rock and roll in the late 40s and 50s was mainly identified as African American music. Moreover, white middle-class youth enjoyed it immensely. These youth would go in search of dancing halls where rock and roll was the staple as the predominantly White areas would not play it. The notion that Rock and Roll music merely supports the pure expression of reality is erroneous. Since its inception in the 1950s many ‘Rock and Roll’ musicians have romanticized drug abuse and early death and have been partially responsible for the broad acceptance of psychedelic drugs in society. This scandalized their parents as they felt that White youth would inevitably adopt Black culture and mannerisms if they only listened to Black musicians. Mixing with Black people in any context was strictly forbidden in the 50s in the United States. The rock and roll beat, which was so intriguing, was viewed by the older generation of Americans as being similar to the primitive rhythms which originated in Africa. What was especially frightening for the parents of this era is that they could not seem to be able to stop their children from liking this new and foreign music. There were many attempts to quell the ‘wild’ beats used in rock and roll by using mellow White singers like Pat Boone re-do songs that were originally done by Black musicians (Evans, 1998). Moreover, this did nothing to stop the popularity of rock and roll among the youth.
One of the reasons why parents were so concerned with this music genre is because the Black musicians did not make any effort to hide the fact that they believed that drugs were a necessity if one was to create good music. ...
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