I am finishing my third year of teaching English to a particularly motivated group of students, and in between business vocabulary and preparing the TOEIC, I've been sharing some American music with them.
It started out with just one song, but they seemed interested so I decided to go back over a 50-year period (yep, rock is that old, I know we all hate to believe it!) and present the singer or group that I feel was the most influential over several different time periods. My focus has been more on rock/folk/pop than soul or rhythm and blues, mainly because of my own tastes and knowledge.
It has been an interesting exercise -- especially for me, and I hope for them.
My criteria have been influence, innovation, and a certain longevity. The five periods I have set are:
I felt these "double decade" categories better reflect what really went on in in American popular music; for example, punk started in 1977 (yep, punk is celebrating its 30-year anniversary, I know we all hate to believe that too!) but it continued to have a heavy influence in the early 80s.
The project has led me to pore over my CD collection , buy new ones, and do research on All Music , which has benefited from quite the facelift since I last visited it.
Of course I'm not going to reveal my choices yet -- that would be too easy! What do you think?
Remember, we're talking about American music here. I'm a big fan of British pop, rock and punk too but have felt like going back to my native country's roots....