Albuquerque Journal As the World Rocks . . . February 11, 1974 Rock music is a uniquely American contribution to the world. Its roots can be traced all the way back to the Negro spiritual, sung by slaves in North America in the late 1700â€™s and early 1800â€™s. The spirituals evolved into the blues, from which came rock. IT WAS A former country-western singer, Bill Haley, who unwittingly started rockâ€™s wide popularity. His hit, â€œRock Around the Clock,” which was a watereddown imitation of the black rhythm and blues style, became a world-wide hit in 1955. Afterwards, white musicians like Elvis Presley began to adopt the raw excitement and aggressive beat of black music. Then the English began to experiment with the new music. Thanks to the Beatles, rock music became more complicated and sophisticated. RockÂ continued to mature and continued to have worldwide appeal. Other countries soon produced rock musiciansâ€”Canada had the Guess Who, IrelandÂ came up with Rory Gallagher and the Netherlands came up with Focus. TODAY, THEREâ€™S rock music to suit just about any young personâ€™s taste: the soft rock of the Carpenters; the Latin rock of Santana; the soul music of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and the Temptations’ the hard rock of Led Zeppelin; the theater rock of Alice Cooper; the glitter rock of David Bowie; the country rock of Linda Ronstadt; the jazz-rock ofâ€™ Chicago; the nostalgic rock of Bette Midler and the Pointer Sisters; and the classical rock of the Electric Light Orchestra. Rock music is not only a part of our heritage, but also a part of our everyday life. Rock music is entertainment. For some, rock musicians are heroes. The point is, most high school students in Albuquerque are exposed to rock music every day. Many students own radios, televisions, tape decks or record players. Many go to at least a few concerts. Some even imitate the fashions of their favorite stars (hairstyles, shoes, clothes and hats). Rock is important.