Make this 50th anniversary an opportunity for acute listening and historical analysis, for describing specific sounds and tracing artistic influences. Borrow old records and get students to listen to "Catch a Falling Star" (Perry Como), "Your Cheatin' Heart" (Hank Williams), and "Got My Mojo Working" (Muddy Waters). Can they identify musical characteristics that fit the descriptions pop, country and rhythm and blues? Can they see similar musical features in "Rock Around the Clock", "Heartbreak Hotel" or "Peggy Sue"? Can they draw a family tree showing what led where and what became a dead end? Take a song from a decade later - eg "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (The Band) - and investigate where these and other influences led over the course of a mere 10 years.
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