The 50s: A Decade of Music That Changed the World
Growing up in the 50's was a blessing due to a strange beast called Rock & Roll, the sound of which was a siren call to many, and the negative reaction given by the parents was like a certification of authenticity for the beautiful, edgy tunes.
According to American pianist Fats Domino, Rock & Roll is essentially Rhythm & Blues, as that was the main inspiration of most of the 50's rockers.
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Rockers like Chuck Berry and Bill Haley, who idolized the legend Louis Jordan, strangely enough, sounded nothing like him. The new rockers, influenced by the previous generation of music, looked and sounded completely original and breathtaking.
Bill Haley and The Comets were a runaway success in 1955, having an R&B style yet a unique sound of their own.
... were recorded by producer Sam Phillips of Sun Label including Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis among other stalwarts.
The tunes were mostly rebellious, catering to the teen crowd, and the ‘Marginal Americans’, those living in the ghettos or doing lowly jobs. This segment helped rock & roll explode in the mid-Fifties, making it a social and generational disruption of the highest degree.
Many Rock & Roll legends of the Fifties started in the sidelines as small-time artists, playing to a handful of audience, while the major music labels concentrated on high-volume sales using disposable songs.
The ‘50s saw the rise of a white rocker, Elvis Presley, to assure the triumph of rock & roll. One look at Elvis Presley and one couldn’t take the eyes off him. His magnetic presence was unheard and unseen, with no match even till now. He became an idol of millions in no time.
The name of this brand of music was coined by an R&B disc jockey, Alan Freed, and it was known to many (but not too many) people that the term ‘Rock & Roll’ was slang for sex.
Rock & Roll was carried to the top by the teens, who had spending money, a rebellious nature, in-group secret codes and ‘slanguage’, which they used to express themselves. They got along with this brand of music like a house on fire.
... were multi-ethnic hybrids with a variety of origins.
The 1955-56 era released from the cage the rock & roll heavyweights like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and of course Elvis Presley.
The dark horse, who can be credited with defining rock & roll as a mainstream genre, was drummer Earl Palmer.
The Fifties rock & roll culture succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, turning out to be an inspiration of every subsequent musical innovation from punk to hard rock.
The few years of high-octane rock & roll were like a fever dream, when it reigned unchecked by any law or political correctness, with limitless possibilities and a free hand to live and create on the edge.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
… was originally, according to Billboard Magazine, Rhythm & Blues music. This was until Producer Sam Phillips (Sun Records), the ‘inventor’ of Rock & Roll, started promoting little known ar...
He was not looking to make big money. His heart always wanted to do something great and original, to leave a mark. He recorded new music from upcoming artists, only to stop doing that once the real surge in sales was about to begin.
... was the original name given by Billboard to the genre which was later called Rhythm & Blues.
Black artists were more creative, edgy, talented, and had a wild style that was light years ahead of white performers. This made ‘race music’ popular across all demographics and regions, something that was picked up by many record companies, including Sun Records.
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