Creator/Author:Κατσάπης, Κώστας
Title:Sounds and Reverberations. A Social history of the rock and roll phenomenon in Greece, 1956-1967
Title of Series:Historical Archive of Greek Youth
Nr. within series:45
Place of Publication:Athens
Publisher:General Secretariat for Youth
Date of Publication:2007
Nr. of vol.:1 volume
Subject:Mentalities and Behaviour
Spatial coverage:Greece
Temporal coverage:1956-1967
Description:The main object of the research titled «Sounds and Reverberations. A Social history of the rock and roll phenomenon in Greece, 1956-1967» is the examination of the reverberation of rock and roll in the Greek society during the first post-war period. Rock and roll is a music and dancing trend which emerged in the mid-'50s and before long it turned into a social phenomenon. As such, that is as a social phenomenon, rock and roll, even from its emergence in 1956, triggered off a keen interest in the comprehension of the effects it had (or, to be exact, it was supposed to have) on its young fans. In the first section of this research includes a discussion on the emergence of rock and roll in the mid-'50s, as well as the artists considered as its main representatives. The term «rock and roll» was used for the first time by Alan Freed, a white music-producer from Cleveland, to describe the popular Negro-music known as «rhythm and blues» which audience until then consisted of young African-Americans living in the ghettos of big cities of the U.S.A. A «vivid» music with a strong rhythm and lyrics which allowed no doubts about their sexual hints, rhythm and blues had been, until the early '50s, an «insolent» kind of music excluded from the main radio stations. The extended social and political conservatism of the post-war American society, the emphatic pursuit of security and the excesses of McCarthyism allowed until then (the early '50s) the maintenance of a series of racial discriminations in many areas of social activity including music production. Negro-music was marginalized, certain record companies and radio stations involved in this kind of music, its audience was determined, and even the hit songs charts were different than those of white songs. By attaching the name «rock and roll» to rhythm and blues, Alan Freed actually managed to overcome the restrictions set out by racial segregation and introduce black music to large white audiences. The tremendous success of rock and roll and the subsequent acquaintance of white young people with Negro-music and culture were extremely important steps in a process which was in progress during the same period in American society and involved removal of the main segregations forced by racist legislation and outlook. Therefore, rock and roll may not be regarded as a «new» kind of music on any condition, although it was perceived like one in those days, but on the contrary it is the result of the long course of popular Negromusic from the beginning of the 19th century, which seems to explain why it is extremely difficult to find a generally accepted starting point of this music. If, however, the outset of rock and roll as a kind of music may be found in the Negro rhythm and blues and its matching with country music (white folk music), it will be easier to trace the emergence of rock and roll as a social phenomenon back to the particular importance assigned to it in the mid-'50s, when it was perceived as a kind of music capable of driving young people to uncontrollable sexual activity and infringing behavior. The screening of the film called Blackboard Jungle was responsible for this turn. That film dealt with the issue of pupil's infringing behavior and as the song titled Rock Around the Clock (by Bill Haley) composed its soundtrack, rock and roll was automatically associated with juvenile disobedience. Rock Around the Clock was presented as the music of young «rebels» and acquired an unconventional dimension which would never be abolished in the future notwithstanding any of the changes of rock and roll as a kind of music. Regarding Greece, rock and roll turned up in the beginning of 1956 and, in the same way as in most of the countries, the main channel of its spread seems to be the screening of the film called Blackboard Jungle, as well as a series of socalled «rock and roll movies», that is films which only aim was to promote and spread this kind of music and introduce its artists worldwide. The arrival of rock and roll in Greece was the reason for commencing a debate about the effects such music was to have on Greek young people. By adjusting views, set out in many countries of the world during the same period, to Greek facts, the commentators (who were usually criticizing rock and roll) attempted to substantiate the opinion that rock and roll was responsible or at least partially responsible for the presentation of groups of young people called the «teddy boys», who seemed to be characterized by a profound and uncontrollable sexual activity, as well as for a wave of juvenile infringing behavior. Rock and roll, parties, comics, that is anything concerning a kind of entertainment which could not be easily controlled by the world of grown-ups, was considered to be an extremely significant danger to the young people of Greece, while dealing with this danger was considered to have priority. The outbreak of Beatlemania in the beginning of the following decade supplied with ample fuel the debate about the «destructive» effects of rock and roll and the «American type» entertainment. The Beatles were an actual music and social phenomenon. Their success after 1964 has been unrivalled; they practically «revived» a kind of music that was obviously decadent, and led millions of young people all over the world to identifying themselves with them and their music. Those young people, who came to the fore in the early '60s, have been portrayed as a generation which was (supposed to be) characterized by pure hedonism and an unprecedented insolence, having, for the first time in history, its own cultural symbols of identity, and its own music and dressing preferences. As a result of the Beatlemania a «generation gap» without any precedent in the world history emerged in the mid-'60s. The new generation which was connected with the Beatles, seemed to have hardly any points of contact with the previous generations (especially with that of their parents), and first of all to be provocatively indifferent to everything the previous generations thought of as important (national and political issues, values such as respect and propriety, steady jobs, order). The construction of the generation gap appears to have raised a particular interest not only because of its obvious significance, but also due to the political conjunctures: in July 1965 Greece is convulsed by a political crisis of an unheard-of intensity, Athens is torn by consecutive demonstrations and the young people seems to play a leading part in those filled with an unprecedented dynamism. The efforts to understand the behavior displayed by the «angry young men» were intensified, as well as those aimed at tracing any connections supposed to exist between the insolence of the young people of those days and the «political insolence» which was so emphatically displayed by the same. If, according to the self-appointed defenders of morals, rock and roll was the prime reason for a juvenile behavior equivalent to «moral decline» and «miscoduct», the starting-point of the interest of the Left in rock and roll was basically political. The records of the United Democratic Left (EDA) Youth and Lambrakis Democratic Youth (DNL) show that rock and roll was perceived and methodically projected by the Left as the spear-head of an undertaking aiming at «Americanizing» the Greek youth. Such undertaking is alleged to have started in the context of the Cold War in the mid-'50s, with intensified efforts after the Beatles came to the front in 1964. A determining factor in consolidating such view was the assumption (at least in the beginning) that rock and roll was a new form of jazz music, a fact which made the new music trend succeed to all cold-war loadings attached to jazz even from the end of the Second World War. This research attempts to trace both continuities and cuts in the Left point of view, as well as to associate the latter with extended developments which took place in the first two post-war decades in the Greek society as well as at an international level (emergence of the Cyprus issue, Vietnam War etc.). The fundamental view running through this research is that the concern caused by the emergence of rock and roll in the mid-'50s was practically a pretext. The biting broadside unleashed (rather paradoxically) against a music and dancing trend, hid a deeper concern about behavioral models introduced to Greece (described either as «American» by the Left, or «western» by the Church of Greece and certain theological circles), which have been assigned a negative sign in any case.
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p. 385

1. Αισθησιασμός δίχως όρια: οι νέγρικες καταβολές του ροκ εν ρολ υπήρξαν μια ανεπανάληπτη πρόκληση για την ηθική της λευκής, ρατσιστικής και μακαρθικής Αμερικής τη δεκαετία του '50.

p. 386

3. Ενθουσιασμένοι θεατές σε πάρτι του Άλαν Φρηντ (Κλίβελαντ, 1952). Λευκοί και αφροαμερικανοί συγκροτούν ήδη ένα μικτό ακροατήριο.

2. Ο θρυλικός Άλαν Φρηντ, ο «πατέρας του ροκ εν ρολ» (Κλίβελαντ, 1952).

p. 387

4. «Ταινία που κλείνει μέσα της ολόκληρο ηφαίστειο». Διαφημιστική καταχώριση της ταινίας Η Ζούγκλα του Μαυροπίνακος στον ελληνικό Τύπο.

p. 388

5. Ο Τσακ Μπέρι με το χαρακτηριστικό «βάδισμα της πάπιας».

6. Ο θρυλικός Λιτλ Ρίτσαρντ: «the King (and the Queen) of rock and roll».

p. 389

7. Μπιλ Χάλεϋ: το τραγούδι του, Rock Around the Clock, μπορεί να θεωρηθεί η ληξιαρχική πράξη γέννησης του ροκ εν ρολ.

8. Ο Τζέρι Λι Λιούις σε εξώφυλλο δίσκου του από τη θρυλική Sun Records (1958). Ο επονομαζόμενος και «killer», υπήρξε μια μυθική και απόλυτα αντισυμβατική μορφή της πρώτης περιόδου του ροκ εν ρολ.

p. 390

9. Έλβις Πρίσλεϋ: ο λευκός «βασιλιάς» του ροκ εν ρολ, η εμβληματικότερη μορφή του τη δεκαετία του '50.

p. 391

10. Βασικός δίαυλος για τη διάδοση του ροκ εν ρολ σε παγκόσμια κλίμακα υπήρξαν οι ταινίες ροκ εν ρολ (rock and roll movies). Διαφήμιση της ταινίας ROCK, ROCK, ROCK. (1956).

11. Αφίσα της ροκ εν ρολ ταινίας Rock Around the Clock (1956).

p. 392

12. «Κι όποιος μπορεί, ας μην χορέψη στο κάθισμά του!» Καταχώριση για την προβολή της ταινίας ΡΟΚ ΕΝΤ ΡΟΛ στον αθηναϊκό Τύπο.

13. «Στη μέθη του ιλίγγου!» Καταχώριση για την προβολή της (ροκ εν ρολ) ταινίας ΡΟΚ-ΡΟΚ-ΡΟΚ. στον αθηναϊκό Τύπο.

p. 393

14. Επίδειξη του χορού ροκ εν ρολ από αμερικανούς ναύτες στον χώρο του Ζαππείου (Σεπτέμβριος 1957). Οι πιτσιρικάδες που παρακολουθούν εκστασιασμένοι τις χορευτικές φιγούρες, θα αποτελέσουν δέκα χρόνια αργότερα τη γενιά του


p. 394

15. Ο Φράνκι Άβαλον σε εξώφυλλο δίσκου του (1958). Από τους επιφανέστερους εκπροσώπους των teen idols: καλοκουρεμένο μαλλί, ευγενικό ύφος, ένας υποδειγματικός νέος για τη συντηρητική Αμερική της δεκαετίας του '50.

16. Νέοι και νέες χορεύουν μοντέρνους χορούς σε πάρτι στην Καβάλα (τέλη

δεκαετίας '50).

p. 395

17. Στα μέσα της δεκαετίας του '50 η παραβατικότητα των ανηλίκων στις ΗΠΑ προβλήθηκε ως ένα από τα σημαντικότερα κοινωνικά προβλήματα της εποχής. Αφίσα ταινίας της Columbia Pictures με θέμα της το σύγχρονο «δράμα της νεολαίας».

18. Φωτογραφία του πραγματικού, του αυθεντικού «teddy boy». Στενό σακάκι, «εδουαρδιανό» στυλ ντυσίματος, υπεροπτικό ύφος.

p. 396

19. «Fugitives from the party» (Λονδίνο, 1955). Στο περιθώριο των πάρτι αναπτύχθηκαν πολλά ειδύλλια, καθώς τη δεκαετία του '50 υπήρξαν μια από τις ελάχιστες ευκαιρίες που είχαν οι νέοι για να

συνάψουν ερωτικούς δεσμούς. 

p. 397

20. Το τεύχος 7 του περιοδικού Χτυποκάρδι (αρχές 1957). Ένα σκάνδαλο που «λύθηκε» με την παρέμβαση της Ιεράς Συνόδου.

p. 398

εχει και η ρωσια «τεντυ-μπού σ·...

21. Η «γυναίκα του λαού» συμβουλεύει: «Μην καλομαθαίνετε τα παιδιά σας!». Αφίσα για την καταπολέμηση της νεανικής παραβατικότητας στη Σοβιετική Ένωση (μέσα δεκαετίας του '50). Σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο, η ευημερία της μεταπολεμικής περιόδου προβλήθηκε συστηματικά ως το κατεξοχήν θερμοκήπιο της παραστρατημένης νεολαίας.

p. 399

22. Δημόσια διαπόμπευση τεντιμπόη. Τα γουρλωμένα μάτια των πιτσιρικάδων που παρακολουθούν τη σκηνή, βρίσκονται σε πλήρη αντίθεση με την ικανοποίηση που διαγράφεται στα πρόσωπα όσων ενηλίκων υλοποιούν τη διαπόμπευση.

p. 400

23. Οι Μπητλς το 1964 στο περιθώριο των γυρισμάτων της ταινίας A Hard Day's Night. Από αριστερά προς τα δεξιά, Τζορτζ Χάρισον, Τζον Λέννον, Ρίνγκο Σταρ και Πολ Μακάρτνεϊ.

p. 401

24. To «φαινόμενον του αιώνος». Η ταινία Α Hard Day's Night στους αθηναϊκούς κινηματογράφους. Η Μπητλομανία χτυπά (και) την Αθήνα (φθινόπωρο 1964).

p. 402

25. Πιτσιρικάδες επί το έργον: μια από τις πρώτες φωτογραφίες των Quarry Men (1955), της εφηβικής μπάντας εξέλιξη της οποίας υπήρξαν οι Μπητλς. Σε πρώτο πλάνο διακρίνεται ο δεκαπεντάχρονος

Τζων Λέννον.

p. 403

26. Η επιτυχία των Μπητλς λειτούργησε καταλυτικά, ώστε να δημιουργηθούν σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο αναρίθμητες (ερασιτεχνικές κατά βάση) μπάντες από επίδοξους Λέννον και Μακάρτνεϊ. Στη φωτογραφία, έφηβοι στο Μεξικό ποζάρουν σε συναυλία τους (μέσα δεκαετίας '60).

27. Μέλη ερασιτεχνικού συγκροτήματος στην Ελλάδα κάνουν πρόβα με αυτοσχέδια μέσα (μέσα δεκαετίας '60).

p. 404
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