Rock historian to lecture at Penn State York

September 14, 2009

An annual event in Penn State York’s free Cultural and Performing Artists series, Barry Drake, rock historian, returns to campus on Oct. 15 for his multimedia presentation “The Roots of Rock and Roll 1953-63.” Travel back to the dawn of rock and roll at 7 p.m. in the Conference Center, Main Classroom Building. This free program, sponsored by the campus and MediaOnePA, is open to the public.

Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Bill Haley all broke the rules and fused black rhythm and blues with white hillbilly and pop music. They sparked a cultural revolution that continued for decades. Drake begins his musical journey just before the dawn of rock and roll and examines the styles of music that came together on the early recordings. "The Roots of Rock and Roll 1953-63” follows music’s development though the 1950s and early 1960s covering rhythm and blues, rockability, doo-wop, teen idols, girl groups and early soul. The presentation concludes with an examination of how this music was given back to us by the groups of The British Invasion.

Drake, often called a walking encyclopedia of rock and roll, is a graduate of Manhattan College and has been involved in the world of music since buying his first rock and roll record in 1954. He grew up in New York City and saw everyone from Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry at the Brooklyn Paramount in 1957, to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin at the Filmore in 1967. In 1965, Drake became a performer and songwriter and in 1970 was signed to Capitol Records. Since then, Drake has recorded three albums and has extensively toured the United States and Europe.

In 1984 Drake added rock and roll lectures, four different topics, to an already busy concert schedule. His lectures have become the most popular shows on college campuses. Drake is the five-time winner of the Campus Lecturer of the Year Award by the National Association for Campus Activities and the three-time winner of the Campus Lecturer of the Year Award by Campus Activities Magazine.

Drake combines his extensive knowledge of music and abilities as a dynamic entertainer in his multimedia presentation. Get ready to rock around the clock and put on your blue suede shoes as Drake helps you discover or rediscover the roots of rock and roll as he explores this fascinating time in music at Penn State York.

For more information on Drake visit his Web site at online. For more information on the variety of free and ticketed performances at Penn State York, please visit online.



  • Barry Drake performs Oct. 15 at Penn State York.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015