Sheet Music


We thought that visitors to our site might enjoy this article. Additional sections will follow.

The History of Rock and Roll

For the origins of rock and roll, see Origins of rock and roll.


The History of Rock & Roll was a radio documentary on rock and roll music, originally syndicated in 1969. One of the lengthiest documentaries of any medium (48 hours in the 1969 version, 52 hours each for the 1978 and 1981 versions),[1] The History of Rock & Roll is a definitive history of the Rock and Roll genre, stretching from the early 1950s to its day. The "rockumentary," as producers Bill Drake and Gene Chenault called it,[2] featured hundreds of interviews and comments from numerous rock artists and people involved with rock and roll.

Notable features of this documentary include the "chart sweep," featuring a montage of #1 songs and notable hits from a given year or artist, a "time sweep" for each one-hour segment providing a montage of the major hits for each year or individual artist, and closing with a special climactic time sweep featuring a montage of every #1 hit from 1955 to the year of the latest version. The 1989 edition (made with different producers and otherwise unrelated in content to its predecessors) also included news headlines and clips for each year covered.

While the documentary focuses on Rock & Roll and its variants, some songs and artists from other genres, such as Johnny Cash, Anne Murray and Barry Manilow, are also represented here, as they have made the Top 40, or even #1, on stations that primarily played Rock & Roll.


"The History of Rock and Roll," 1969

Running time

48 hours





Home station



RKO General


Bill Drake


Pete Johnson


Ellen Pelissero


Ron Jacobs

Narrated by

Robert W. Morgan, Humble Harve Miller.

Popular Categories