35 Rock Stars Like You've Never Seen Them Before

By Sarah Norman | September 5, 2023

Joan Jett In Los Angeles, 1970s

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The origins of rock and roll have been fiercely debated by fans and historians of music for many years. Almost everyone agrees that it arose in the Southern United States, the region that went on to produce most of the early rock and roll acts. Through the meeting of various influences that embodied a merging of the African musical tradition with European instrumentation rock 'n' roll was born. Let's take a look at the journey rock 'n' roll has been on and pay tribute to the biggest influences and greatest rockstars we have come to know. As Robert Palmer said:

Rock 'n' roll was an inevitable outgrowth of the social and musical interactions between blacks and whites in the South and Southwest. Its roots are a complex tangle. Bedrock black church music influenced blues, rural blues influenced white folk song and the black popular music of the Northern ghettos, blues and black pop influenced jazz, and so on. But the single most important process was the influence of black music on white.

Jimi Hendrix at home, blue velvet suited and smiling, cooking up some food and a pot of tea, 1969

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Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix. He had a difficult childhood, sometimes living in the care of relatives and even acquaintances at times.

King Kasuals, a duo of himself and soldier Billy Cox performed regularly at a club in Nashville, Tennessee. Hendrix then signed a contract with Knight's manager, Ed Chalpin and later formed his own group, Jimmy James & the Blue Flames, and shifted base to New York. The group then performed its first hit single, titled "Hey Joe” in a stage show at London.