Friday, May 1, 2009

The Birth of Rock & Roll

Here is the very first rock & roll tune from 1954.
The term "rock & roll" hadn't even been invented yet.
The Crew Cuts

Here is the tune that conquered the world.
In 1956, this band caused riots wherever they went.
Bill Haley and His Comets
Rock Around the Clock

The first rock & roll superstar was a 21 year-old truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi.
Elvis Presley
You Ain't Nothin', but a Hound Dog

Forced to wear tuxedos for TV, (so they wouldn't scare the parents) these motorcycle toughs from Texas were led by a 20 year-old who was killed two years later on "the day the music died."
Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Peggy Sue

The greatest teen idols of their time, these guys are seen here on American Bandstand: the first weekly rock & roll TV show, which was broadcast live from Philadelphia.
Dion and the Belmonts
A Teenager in Love

Here they are 50 years later. Modern equipment makes a big difference!
Dion and the Belmonts

This was filmed live just four days after "the day the music died" in February, 1959, when Buddy Holly (22), Richie Valens (17) and the Big Bopper (28) were killed in a plane crash. One year after this was filmed, Eddie was also killed in a taxi cab crash in London, England. He was 21.
Eddie Cochran
Summertime Blues

Eddie wrote his own material and he was a local kid from Bell Gardens, California.
Eddie Cochran
C'mon Everybody

White radio stations in the south wouldn't play black rockers on the air, but they were huge stars everywhere else in the world. Here Chuck Berry is introduced by the man who invented the phrase "rock & roll", Alan Freed.
Chuck Berry
You Can't Catch Me

Watch the teenagers react to Chuck Berry more than half a century ago...

Johnny B. Goode (Live 1958)

The wildest of them all was this guy.
Little Richard

Long Tall Sally (1956)

Whole Lotta Shakin Goin on

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