50s legacy in the Digital Era

Topics: Synthesizer, Entertainment, Electronic music Pages: 8 (2266 words) Published: December 2, 2014

ENT 201

Entertainment Since 1945

Assessment Description: Students are required to submit a report based on their first assignment, their in-class presentation and feedback from their peers. The report should focus on the topic: “The roles of culture and technology in the future of entertainment”. This should address any issues raised during the in-class discussion including opinions, arguments, insights or points of view raised by the class. It should present a synopsis of the student’s own work and that of other students with respect to each of the eras and technologies discussed in this course. It should conclude by outlining a vision of the future of the entertainment industry and showing how technology and current cultural trends will shape it.

Emilio Riveros Martínez

Student ID: 207475

The 50s legacy in the Digital Era

“Right around the end of the fifties, college students, young people in general, began to realize that this music was almost like a history of our country – this music contained the real history of the people of this country,” declared Browne (1976) referring to one of the biggest phenomenons of human history: Rock ‘n’ roll. It’s influence and power had crossed barriers throughout the globe, reaching every corner and every person’s ears, creating a huge impact in cultural, economic, social and even political aspects. Since its birth and evolution in the late 40s and early 50s, Rock ‘n’ Roll music has gone hand in hand with a number of key technological advances, making a significant effect within societies and giving way to a series of developments that have and will shape our history. Some innovations that left the 50s - and subsequently impacted the entertainment industry – are; the first credit card, in 1950; the first musical synthesizer, in 1953; the first computer hand disk, in 1956; and the popularization of the portable radio. This document will explore the roles of culture and technology in the future of entertainment, analyzing the impact of the credit card and synthesizers in streaming services, music production, and live shows in the digital era.

Although the period from 1950 to 1960 is considered by most of the Americans as a traditionalist period, a transition from conservative to open-minded thoughts among the American society was taking place and music took a lead position for this. That shift in people’s thoughts, driven by repressed young Americans, suddenly was spread thanks to the globalization and popularization of new devices. The message and attitude transmitted in every Rock song, scattered in every corner of the country thanks to the radio and television, eventually acquired an impressive power that produced a great cultural impact. “Television was becoming more and more a part of everyday life, more families had televisions in their homes, and AM radio was also getting popular, along with the advent of 45 records, jukeboxes, and eventually albums.” (Cox 2009). Then, the entertainment industry differed from the current. The primary way of music consumption was based on the acquisition of physical CDs and vinyl records. In the mid-50s, people used to go to their local record store to buy singles of their favourite artists, however, it was one Tupelo man that revolutionized the music and entertainment industry breaking every sales record: Elvis Aaron Presley. “The King” helped to shape young people’s minds, which were exhausted of the adult repression and the terrible segregation that the nation was suffering. A sense of “rebellion” started to flourish: suddenly Rock’n’Roll music was the responsible of a massive cultural modification, and its legacy has been reflected through the decades.

The 1950s were a time of innovation. Developments of this period had made a significant impact in the entertainment industry, as will be discussed next. Initially, Diners Club introduced to the society a card...
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