. Crooners such as Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, and Patti Page, who had dominated the first half of the decade, found their access to the pop charts significantly curtailed by the decade's end. [12] However, new Pop vocalists continued to rise to prominence throughout the decade, many of whom started out singing Rock ‘n’ Roll.

These include: Pat Boone (" Don’t Forbid Me", " April Love", " Love Letters in the Sand"), Anita Bryant (" Till There Was You", " Paper Roses"), Connie Francis (" Who’s Sorry Now", " Among My Souvenirs", " My Happiness"), Gogi Grant (" Suddenly There’s a Valley", " The Wayward Wind"), Bobby Darin (" Dream Lover", " Beyond the Sea", " Mack the Knife"), [13] and Andy Williams (" Canadian Sunset", " Butterfly", " Hawaiian Wedding Song"). Even Rock ‘n’ Roll icon Elvis Presley spent the rest of his career alternating between Pop and Rock (" Love Me Tender", " Loving You", " I Love You Because"). Pop would resurface on the charts in the mid-1960s as " Adult Contemporary".

[Mitch] Miller also conceived of the idea of the pop record "sound" per se: not so much an arrangement or a tune, but an aural texture (usually replete with extramusical gimmicks) that could be created in the studio and then replicated in live performance, instead of the other way around. Miller was hardly a rock 'n' roller, yet without these ideas there could never have been rock 'n' roll. " Mule Train", Miller's first major hit (for Frankie Laine) and the foundation of his career, set the pattern for virtually the entire first decade of rock.

The similarities between it and, say, " Leader of the Pack," need hardly be outlined here. [11] Patti Page kicked things off with what would become the decade's biggest hit, " Tennessee Waltz". Her other hits from this period included: " Mister and Mississippi", " Mockin' Bird Hill", " Detour", " (How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window", and " Old Cape Cod".

Frankie Laine's 1949 hits, " That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)" and " Mule Train", were still riding high on the charts when the decade began. He continued to score with such hits as: " Georgia on My Mind", " Cry of the Wild Goose", " Jezebel", " Rose, Rose, I Love You", " Jealousy (Jalousie)", " High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)", " I Believe", " Granada", " Moonlight Gambler", and " Rawhide". Johnnie Ray had a long run of hits in the early half of the decade, often backed by The Four Lads, including: " Cry", " The Little White Cloud That Cried", " Walking My Baby Back Home", " Please, Mr.

Sun", and " Just Walkin' in the Rain". The Four Lads racked up some hits on their own with " Who Needs You", " No, Not Much", " Standin' on the Corner", and " Moments to Remember". Nat "King" Cole dominated the charts throughout the decade with such timeless classics as " Unforgettable", " Mona Lisa", " Too Young", " Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup", " Pretend", " Smile", and " A Blossom Fell".

Perry Como was another frequent visitor to the charts with hits like: " If", " Round and Round", " Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes", " Tina Marie", " Papa Loves Mambo", and " Catch a Falling Star". Rock and roll dominated popular music in the mid 1950s and late 1950s, and quickly spread to much of the rest of the world. Its immediate origins lay in a mixing together of various black musical genres of the time, including rhythm and blues and gospel music; with country and western and Pop


[1] In 1951, Cleveland, Ohio disc jockey Alan Freed began playing rhythm and blues music for a multi-racial audience, and is credited with first using the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music. [2] Other major stars in the early 1950s included Frank Sinatra (" Young at Heart", " Three Coins in the Fountain", " Witchcraft"), Tony Bennett (" Cold, Cold Heart", " Because of You", " Rags to Riches"), Kay Starr (" Bonaparte's Retreat", " Wheel of Fortune", " Rock and Roll Waltz"), [9] Rosemary Clooney (" Come On-a My House", " Mambo Italiano", " Half as Much", " This Ole House"), Dean Martin (" That's Amore", " Return to Me", " Sway"), Georgia Gibbs (" Kiss of Fire", " Dance With Me, Henry", " Tweedle Dee"), Eddie Fisher (" Anytime", " Wish You Were Here", " Thinking of You", " I'm Walking Behind You", " Oh! My Pa-Pa", " Fanny"), Teresa Brewer (" Music! Music! Music!", " Till I Waltz Again With You", " Ricochet(Rick-O-Shay)"), Doris Day (" Secret Love", " Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera)", " Teacher's Pet"), Guy Mitchell (" My Heart Cries for You", " The Roving Kind", " Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania", " Singing the Blues"), Bing Crosby (" Play a Simple Melody with son Gary Crosby, " True Love with Grace Kelly), Dinah Shore (" Lavender Blue"), Kitty Kallen (" Little Things Mean a Lot"), Joni James (" Have You Heard", " Wishing Ring", " Your Cheatin' Heart"), Peggy Lee (" Lover", " Fever"), Julie London (" Cry Me a River"), Toni Arden (" Padre"), June Valli (" Why Don't You Believe Me"), Arthur Godfrey (" Slowpoke"), Tennessee Ernie Ford (" Sixteen Tons"), Les Paul and Mary Ford (" Vaya Con Dios", " Tiger Rag"), and vocal groups like The Mills Brothers (" Glow Worm"), The Weavers "( Goodnight Irene"), [7] The Four Aces (" Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing", " (It's No) Sin"), The Chordettes (" Mister Sandman"), Fontane Sisters (" Hearts of Stone"), The Hilltoppers (" Trying", " P.

I Love You"), The McGuire Sisters (" Sincerely", " Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite", " Sugartime") and The Ames Brothers (" Ragmop" " The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane"). (Mitch) Miller and the producers who followed his model were creating a new sort of pop record. Instead of capturing the sound of live groups, they were making three-minute musicals, matching singers to songs in the same way that movie producers matched stars to film roles.

As Miller told "Time" magazine in 1951, "Every singer has certain sounds he makes better than others. Frankie Laine is sweat and hard words—he's a guy beating the pillow, a purveyor of basic emotions. Guy Mitchell is better with happy-go-lucky songs; he's a virile young singer, gives people a vicarious lift.

Rosemary Clooney is a barrelhouse dame, a hillbilly at heart. " It was a way of thinking perfectly suited to the new market in which vocalists were creating unique identities and hit songs were performed as television skits. [8] Classic pop [ edit ] In 1951, Little Richard Penniman began recording for RCA Records in the late-1940s jump blues style of Joe Brown and Billy Wright.

However, it wasn't until he prepared a demo in 1954, that caught the attention of Specialty Records, that the world would start to hear his new, uptempo, funky rhythm and blues that would catapult him to fame in 1955 and help define the sound of rock and roll. A rapid succession of rhythm-and-blues hits followed, beginning with " Tutti Frutti" and " Long Tall Sally", [14] which would influence performers such as James Brown, [15] Elvis Presley, [16] and Otis Redding. [17] Novelty songs, long a music industry staple, continued their popularity in the Rock and Roll medium with hits such as " Beep Beep".

In 1959, two black-owned record labels, one of which would become hugely successful, made their debut: Sam Cooke's Sar, and Berry Gordy's Motown Records. [19] [20] Blues [ edit ] Whereas big band/swing music placed the primary emphasis on the orchestration, post-war/early 1950s era Pop focused on the song’s story and/or the emotion being expressed. By the early 1950s, emotional delivery had reached its apex in the miniature psycho-drama songs of writer-singer Johnnie Ray.

Known as "The Cry Guy" and "The Prince of Wails", Ray's on-stage emotion wrought "breakdowns" provided a release for the pent-up angst of his predominantly teenage fans. [9] As Ray described it, "I make them feel, I exhaust them, I destroy them

. " [10] It was during this period that the fan hysteria, which began with Frank Sinatra during the Second World War, really began to take hold.

Stax Records was founded in 1957 as Satellite Records. The label was a major factor in the creation of the Southern soul and Memphis soul styles. In 1957, a popular television show featuring rock and roll performers, American Bandstand, went national.

Hosted by Dick Clark, the program helped to popularize the more clean-cut, All-American brand of rock and roll. By the end of the decade, teen idols like Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Bobby Rydell, Connie Francis, and Fabian Forte were topping the charts. Some commentators have perceived this as the decline of rock and roll; citing the deaths of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in a tragic plane crash in 1959 and the departure of Elvis for the army as causes.

Rock and roll has also been seen as leading to a number of distinct subgenres, including rockabilly (see below) in the 1950s, combining rock and roll with "hillbilly" country music, which was usually played and recorded in the mid-1950s by white singers such as Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and with the greatest commercial success, Elvis Presley. [6] Another subgenre, Doo Wop, entered the pop charts in the 1950s. Its popularity would spawn the parody " Who Put the Bomp".

R&B [ edit ] Pat Boone became one of the most successful artists of the 50s with his heavily Pop-influenced " covers" of R&B hits like " Two Hearts, Two Kisses (Make One Love)", " Ain't That a Shame", and " At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama)". Boone got his fame by covering black R&B hits, his cover versions of the original artists outsold the originals. Boone removed the raw feel of the original versions and replaced it with his own voice making it safer and appropriate for mainstream pop radio stations at the time.

Boone later found success by ballads and less by R&B covers because R&B covers were declining due to the fact that most people at the time were preferring the originals. Boone's traditional pop approach to rock and roll, coupled with his All-American, clean-cut image helped bring the new sound to a much wider audience. Although often ignored by musical historians, Pop music played a significant role in the development of rock 'n' roll as well: Artists such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and His Comets, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Big Joe Turner, and Gene Vincent released the initial rhythm and blues-influenced early rock and roll hits.

Rock and roll forerunners in the popular music field included Johnnie Ray, The Crew-Cuts, The Fontane Sisters, and Les Paul and Mary Ford. The Rock and Roll Era is generally dated from the March 25, 1955 premiere of the motion picture, " The Blackboard Jungle". This film’s use of Bill Haley and His Comets' " (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" during the opening credits caused a national sensation when teenagers started dancing in the aisles.

Popular music dominated the charts for the first half of the decade. Vocal-driven classic pop replaced big band/ swing at the end of World War II, although it often used orchestras to back the vocalists. 1940s style Crooners vied with a new generation of big voiced singers, many drawing on Italian Canto Bella traditions.

Mitch Miller, A&R man at the era's most successful label, Columbia Records, set the tone for the development of popular music well into the middle of the decade. [7] Miller integrated country, Western, rhythm & blues, and folk music into the musical mainstream, by having many of his label's biggest artists record them in a style that corresponded to Pop traditions. Miller often employed novel and ear-catching arrangements featuring classical instruments (whooping french horns, harpsichord), or sound effects (whip cracks).

He approached each record as a miniature story, often "casting" the vocalist according to type. At the urging of Leonard Chess at Chess Records, Chuck Berry had reworked a country fiddle tune with a long history, entitled " Ida Red". The resulting " Maybellene" was not only a #3 hit on the R&B charts in 1955, but also reached into the top 30 on the pop charts.

[18] The 1950s saw the growth in popularity of the electric guitar (developed and popularized by Les Paul). Paul's hit records like " How High the Moon", and " The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise", helped lead to the development of a specifically rock and roll style of playing of such complicated exponents as Chuck Berry, Link Wray, and Scotty Moore. [3] Chuck Berry, who is considered to be one of the pioneers of Rock and roll music, refined and developed the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, focusing on teen life and introducing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

[4] A decade earlier, Sister Rosetta Tharpe fused gospel and blues, inventing rock ‘n roll electric guitar by developing sophisticated phrasing and licks that served as the basis for the iconic rock guitar style of the 1950s and beyond. On the other side of the spectrum, R&B-influenced acts like The Crows, The Penguins, The El Dorados and The Turbans all scored major hits, and groups like The Platters, with songs including " The Great Pretender" (1955), and The Coasters with humorous songs like " Yakety Yak" (1958), ranked among the most successful rock and roll acts of the period. [5] Elvis Presley, who began his career in the mid-1950s, was the most successful artist of the popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances, motion pictures, and chart-topping records.

Elvis also brought rock and roll widely into the mainstream of popular culture. Elvis popularized the four-man group and also brought the guitar to become the lead instrument in rock music. Presley popularized rockabilly, a genre that combined country with rhythm and blues which some claimed it was a new sound.

Some claimed that Presley invented the genre by combining country with rhythm and blues. Elvis became the biggest pop craze since Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial during that period.

Presley's massive success brought rock and roll widely into the mainstream and made it easier for African-American musicians to achieve mainstream success on the pop charts. Boone and Presley's styles/images represented opposite ends of the burgeoning musical form, Boone was known as being safe while Presley was known as being dangerous, which competed with one another throughout the remainder of the decade. Frankie Laine (at piano) and Patti Page, circa 1950.