The Sociology and History of Rock ‘n’ Roll—a class taught by Professor of Sociology and the Laura and Carl Peterson Endowed Chair of Social Science Keith Farrington—looks at the origins of the musical genre and the distinctive historical events and trends that were influenced by rock and roll, from the Cold War to the social and political upheavals of 1960s’ America and beyond.
Pictured are three records used in the class. The Rolling Stones’ Around And Around (1964, top left) features “their version of a song given to them by the Beatles to record. So much for the fierce rivalry,” Farrington said. “The Stones were the best pure rock and roll band for the 20 years or so following the release of ‘(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction’ in 1965.”
Bottom left is The Blues Project’s Projections (1966), a record that portended a fusion of folk, jazz and rock. Top right is Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel (1974). “Who knew that the institution of rock 'n' roll could be every bit as patriarchal as everything else in our society at that supposedly progressive time?” Farrington said. But Ronstadt’s “beautiful voice and her ability to deliver up-beat rockers and soulful ballads with equal command certainly helped to move that meter.”