On January 16th, the Smithsonian channel is premiering a six-part series titled "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions." The series discusses the rise of instrumentation and sound within the growth of the music genre. The first 45-minute episode titled "This Damn Music," looks at the growth of devices that were able to produce the growth of music to the masses of fans.
As classic footage and newly recorded interviews tell the story of how the recording of music was first invented and how it has grown into today's streaming world. Recording artists like The Kinks' Dave Davies and Graham Nash discuss, along with music experts like Bob Harris and Greg Milnerand, about the growth of the jukebox and the 45 rpm single. The full LP movement in the U.S. in the fifties, began with Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, but music critics like Bob Stanley mark Lonnie Donegan's "Rock Island Line" as one of the most important song's in British music history, that may have inspired the birth of The Beatles.
One of the most important inventions for music was the transistor radio in 1954. It allowed young music fans to listen to music wherever they went, without the need for a plug and cord. The episode also dives into the use of stereo effects in music verses monotone recordings. Then it moves on to discuss the movement from albums, to cassettes to compact discs and the associated listening device, from ghetto blasters to Walkman to the CD player. The episode closes with the latest revolution of streaming music on the smallest devices ever created.
Other upcoming episodes discuss the birth of the electric guitar, the rise of keyboards in music and the technology behind live rock concerts. To find out more about this new six-part series "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions," please visit smithsonianchannel.com.