The music from the 1950’s was the start to the great musical revolution … it changed the world!
The biggest genres of the decade were in fact from the likes of doo-wop, swing, pop, r&b, country and rockabilly, but the main leading and defining genre was ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ which started in the early part of the fifties and continued through to the later fifties when it then started to evolve into the more commonly known genre of today … rock music.
Some of the most popular artists of the decade were Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, The Drifters, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and Johnny Cash to name but a few.
The fifties in many ways witnessed the birth of the ‘teenager’, it started to lay the very foundations of the future of all the modern music we have and listen to today.
The 1950’s was the start to so many different cultural shifts in the way people thought, what they believed in, what they thought and believed to be true, the 50’s was the sign of progression and hope and a way out of the darkness created by the war years.
The big bands from the 1940’s were now sitting on the edge of time, declining in social popularity.
Popular magazines, radioshows and also televised dance shows which could now be easily viewed on home television sets helped to increase the overall popularity of the fifties boom and this in turn generated an exciting enthusiasm for the artists and their music at the time.
The fifties was a time of freedom and exploration and musical experimentation ….
The most popular music of the 1950’s was rock’n’roll, doo-wop, swing, pop, country, rockabilly and R&B
Today’s Top Ten most popular songs from the 1950’s were ….
The cover version by Nat King Cole spent five weeks at number one in the Billboard singles chart in 1950. Cole’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992. Cole recorded this song again in a stereo version (with Ralph Carmichael and his Orchestra) on March 30, 1961. Cole described this song as one of his favorites among his recordings.
The best-known version of the song, recorded by Doris Day, charted in 1952. It was recorded on February 7, 1952, and released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39673. The song quotes Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” and Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”, both played on a pipe organ. The flip side was “Who Who Who”. The song first entered the Billboard Best-Selling Records chart on March 7, 1952, and lasted 19 weeks, peaking at #4 on the chart. (According to some sources, the song reached #1 on the chart “Most Played in Juke Box”.)
“It’s April Again” (also known as “The Song from Moulin Rouge” and “Where Is Your Heart“) is a popular song that first appeared in the 1952 film Moulin Rouge. It became a No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart when recorded by Mantovani.The music for the film was written by Georges Auric; the original French lyrics were by Jacques Larue, with the English words by William Engvick. The Auric-Engvick song was published in 1953
Bill Haley & His Comets recorded a cover version of the song on June 7, 1954, the same week Turner’s version first topped the R&B charts. The Comets provided the instrumental accompaniment: Johnny Grande on piano, Billy Williamson on rhythm guitar, Marshall Lytle on bass, and Joey Ambrose on saxophone. Haley’s version was released in August and reached number seven on the Billboard singles chart, spending a total of twenty-seven weeks in the Top 40
“Heartbreak Hotel” is a song recorded by American singer Elvis Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley’s first on his new record label RCA Victor. It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton, with credit being given also to Presley.
The song is best known in a recording by the Everly Brothers, issued by Cadence Records as catalog number 1337. The Everly Brothers record reached No. 1 on the Billboard Pop chart and the Cash Box Best Selling Records chart, despite having been banned from Boston radio stations for lyrics that, at the time, were considered suggestive, according to a 1986 interview with Don Everly. “Wake Up Little Susie” also spent seven weeks atop the Billboard country chart and got to No. two on the UK Singles Chart. The song was ranked at No. 318 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
“Peggy Sue” is a rock and roll song written by Jerry Allison and Norman Petty, and recorded and released as a single by Buddy Holly on September 20, 1957. The Crickets are not mentioned on label of the single (Coral 9-61885), but band members Joe B. Mauldin (string bass) and Jerry Allison (drums) played on the recording. This recording was also released on Holly’s eponymous 1958 album.
“What’d I Say” (or “What I Say“) is an American rhythm and blues song by Ray Charles, released in 1959. As a single divided into two parts, it was one of the first soul songs. The composition was improvised one evening late in 1958 when Charles, his orchestra, and backup singers had played their entire set list at a show and still had time left; the response from many audiences was so enthusiastic that Charles announced to his producer that he was going to record it.
So folks, there we go, some of the most popular songs from the 1950’s – hope you enjoyed the line up for this episode of Down Memory Lane – Series 1 – 1950’s E4#