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Rock 'n' roll

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This article is about the music style. For other uses of the term rock and roll, please see rock and roll (disambiguation).

Rock 'n' roll or rock and roll is the earliest form of rock music, originating in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and deriving from rhythm and blues. The name "rock and roll" comes from an African-American vernacular reference to sexual activity. Segregation existing in the Southern United States at the time meant that 'rhythm and blues' was used to describe the 'black' or 'race' version of the music, with its jazz-derived instrumentation including pianos and saxophones, while the contemporaneous 'white' (European American) form of the music, with its emphasis on guitars, is what is often nowadays often called rockabilly.

Early black exponents include Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley (singer-songwriters before the term was invented), Fats Domino, Louis Jordan, Little Richard and Lloyd Price; among the earliest white ones are Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Johnny Burnette, Gene Vincent and Carl Perkins.

See also