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The 1950's
Rock and Roll Comes to TV



Rock and Roll Comes to TV
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.64

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    topo, unimpressed, controversial, presented, response, disrupt, entertainment, popularity, criticism, reception, poll, boomers, automobile, bands, natural, unable
     content words:    Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, World War II, Ed Sullivan Show, Topo Gigio, In August, Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Ed Sullivan


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Rock and Roll Comes to TV
By Jane Runyon
  

1     By the 1950s, television was becoming a common sight in American households. Everyone felt they needed this new "picture box" in their living rooms. The pictures were still mostly black and white. The reception could be very fuzzy. But families began to gather around the TV to watch their favorite shows.
 
2     Music was also changing in the 50s. Moms and dads of 1940s war years had listened to big bands. Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Judy Garland sang old standards. The 1950s brought a new sound. It was to become the personal favorite of "baby boomers." That's the name given to people born in the years right after World War II. Rock and roll was creating a whole new sound. It seems only natural that TV and rock and roll would hook up to spread this new sound.
 
3     Toast of the Town first aired in 1948. It officially became the Ed Sullivan Show in 1955. It was a very popular show in the 50s. It aired on Sunday nights. Families would gather round the TV to watch a variety of acts. Actors, singers, dancers, magicians, and jugglers could be seen regularly on this show. Topo Gigio, a puppet mouse, became a favorite guest on the show. In August of 1955, Sullivan presented the first rock and roll band to ever perform on national TV. His guest was Bill Haley and the Comets. Haley had a hit called "Rock Around the Clock." This guest appearance opened the doors to rock and roll artists everywhere.

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