WARREN - Rock 'n' roll music along with McDonald's and Coca-Cola are the three things people around the world know about America, said Dr. Kenneth Bindas, chairman of the history department at Kent State University.
Bindas recently concluded the final program of a six-part series on the history of American music in the 20th century held this spring at the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library.
"You can go anywhere in the world and tell people you are from America, and the three things they will think of are McDonald's, Coca-Cola and American music," he said.
He said it was during the 1950s and 1960s when the emergence of rock 'n' roll took place for the baby boom generation.
The jazz-swing era was coming to end in the 1950s replaced by Tin Pan Alley style music, which then introduced a variety of radio-friendly songs for the baby boomer generation who would become the rock'n rollers of the 1960s, he said.
In 1968, 40 percent of the population was 30 and younger, Bindas said.
In the 1950s, the music industry took over rock 'n' roll and made it a commercialized commodity. Bindas noted most of the rock 'n' rollers at the time were white males.
"This generation found the music different and exciting," he said.
By the 1970s, rock and roll led to punk rock.
The series included discussions by Bindas on jazz, bluegrass and country, mambo and hip hop. Each session included a viewing of a documentary on the topic.
At the event, raffles were drawn for audience members for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.