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Graebner, William Coming of age in Buffalo - Teenage culture in the postwar era

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English, Paperback, 20.5x25.5, 80 pages, complete illustrated with rare b&w photos from an... more

Graebner, William: Coming of age in Buffalo - Teenage culture in the postwar era

English, Paperback, 20.5x25.5, 80 pages, complete illustrated with rare b&w photos from an exhibit presented by the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society / rarer Fund eines Paperbacks aus dem Jahre 1986 mit super 50s Fotos aus der Buffalo Area - wenige Exemplare very rare !

I was July 3, 1955, and high above Buffalo's Shelton Square a special kind of independence was being declared. Wearing ber- muda shorts, WWOL disc jockey Guy King had climbed out a studio window, microphone in hand, to broadcast from atop a large billboard. King called on motorists caught in the traffic jam below-many of them teenagers who had jumped in their cars and come downtown just to be part of the event-to honk their horns it they wanted to hear the song he was playing. Honk they did, as King held forth to the repeated strains of Bill Haley and the Comets, and "Rock Around the Clock" (Fig. 1). 

The independence that King proclaimed was the independence of the young, an independence contested less in physical combat than in a series of struggles over music, dance, clothing, language, style, the automobile, and other facets of what future sociologists would call "youth culture." For all its simplicity, the Shelton Square incident incor- porated several important ingredients of the new youth culture. This declaration of independence was not written but broadcast, and its artifact was not a document but a 45 rpm record. Records, radio, disc jockeys, concert promoters, comic books, movies and movie stars-the media were central to the emerging youth culture; so much so, in fact, that disc jockeys like King would be held responsible for rock 'n' roll and other supposed adolescent excesses. 

The centerpiece of the event, Haley's "Rock Around the Clock," proclaimed a freedom from the constraints of time and parental control that was all the more meaningful for being mythical. "Rock," a word taken from black culture, at once sug. gested the liberating possibilities of dancing and sex. The song itself, its place heightened by its use in the film "Blackboard Jungle," gave notice that this new generation would create rather than inherit the music that would play such a significant part in generational politics. And the larger event in Shelton Square--the "demonstration," as the police labeled it-was a product of the mobility, demographic power, and affluence (they had to have horns to honk) of the nation's first generation of "teenagers." …


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Graebner is Professor of History at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Professor Grabner received the Frederick Jackson
Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians for Coal Mining Safety in the Progressive Period: The Political Economy of Reform (1976). Another book, A History of Retirement: the Meaning and Function of an American Institution, 1885-1978, was published in 1980. The Engineering of Consent, a study of democratic methods of social engineering in twentieth-century America, will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 1987.

Article properties: Graebner, William: Coming of age in Buffalo - Teenage culture in the postwar era

  • Interpret: Graebner, William

  • Album titlle: Coming of age in Buffalo - Teenage culture in the postwar era

  • Label KOOP

  • Language English
  • Kategorie Reference book
  • Einband Paperback
  • Seiten 80
  • Artikelart Bücher/Books

  • Verleger Buffalo And Erie County Historical Society
  • Größe 20,5 x 25,5 x 0,5cm
  • Autor William Graebner
  • EAN: 4000127711564

  • weight in Kg 0.28
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