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Fabulous Fifties

Sharing my love for the first decade of rock and roll!

https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/the-50s-a-decade-of-music-that-changed-the-world-229924/

The Platters:

The Platters were formed in 1952.  They were arguably the most successful of the 50s vocal doo wop genre that exploded in the decade and continued through the early 1960’s.  The group has gone through a plethora of members, however, the “classic” or most successful line-up consisted of Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi, founder Herb Reed, and Zola Taylor.  As lead tenor, Williams possessed the voice of an angel.  The Platters charted with several hits, including, Only You (And You Alone), The Great Pretender, You’ve Got the Magic Touch, My Prayer, Twilight Time, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, and Harbor Lights

The Platters-Twilight Time

The Platters routinely get the nod when I feel like slow dancing cheek to cheek with my girl, as well.

The Platters-Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Fabulous Fifties

Eddie Cochran:

Eddie Cochran-C’mon Everybody

Although he didn’t have the number of big hits enjoyed by artists such as Buddy Holly and Little Richard, Eddie Cochran’s influence on the rock and roll and rockabilly scenes was an enormous one that is still felt today.  A rarity in that he wrote his own songs, Cochran played guitar, bass, drums, and piano, often overdubbing tracks for his recordings.  This method of overdubbing paled in comparison to the standard of playing “live” in the studio to record.

Cochran’s biggest US hit was Summertime Blues, while C’mon Everybody, Sittin’ in the Balcony, and Something Else enjoyed moderate success stateside.  Meanwhile, he was a massive success in the UK, with Mean When I’m Mad, Hallelujah I Love Her So, Weekend, and My Way charting.  In addition, his posthumous release, Three Steps to Heaven hit number one in the UK.

Eddie Cochran-Something Else

Cochran was killed in the UK, travelling by taxi to the airport following his last scheduled live performance at the Bristol Hippodrome.  The driver lost control and hit a concrete lamppost, inflicting injuries on Cochran that he would succumb to the following afternoon.  Fellow rocker/rockabilly artist and tour mate Gene Vincent suffered serious injuries to his legs and collarbone.  Cochran’s fiancé, songwriter Sharon Sheely, and tour manager Patrick Tompkins survived their injuries, while the driver (George Martin) did not suffer any injuries.

Dozens of artists have covered Cochran’s songs, including rock heavyweights The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, Rush, The Who, and Led Zeppelin.  Cochran was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Eddie Cochran-Live

Top 5 Eddie Cochran Songs:

5. Skinny Jim

4. Summertime Blues

3. Nervous Breakdown

2. C’mon Everybody

  1. Something Else

Fabulous Fifties-Little Richard

Celebrating my love for rock and roll’s first decade:

Richard Wayne Penniman was born in 1932 and went by the stage name of Little Richard.  He was an influential singer, piano player, and songwriter whose work in rock and roll’s first decade earned him a forefather status in the new genre.  A charismatic and dynamic showman, Little Richard hammered on his piano keys, combining a distinguishable back beat with gravelly and abrasive vocals.  His list of hits is prolonged, and includes, “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Lucille,” “Keep A-Knockin,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” 

Little Richard-Rip It Up

Personally, if I were to recommend one performance that best personifies Little Richard, it would be this television special from the UK in 1964.  Richard gives a mind-blowing performance that at times, leaves his audience in a semi-possessed state.

Little Richard-Live in the UK

Top 5 Little Richard Songs:

5. Lucille

4. Keep A Knockin’

3. Good Golly Miss Molly

2. Long Tall Sally

  1. Rip It Up

Fabulous Fifties

Sharing my love for the first decade of rock and roll!

https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/the-50s-a-decade-of-music-that-changed-the-world-229924/

Buddy Holly:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-last-days-of-buddy-holly-93571/

Born in 1936; Died in 1959 at the age of 22 in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of fellow rock stars Ritchie Valens and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

Holly was a musician ahead of his time, and just before his death had begun toying with overdubbing and effects while recording, such as adding orchestration into his songs. A man of many hits, including That’ll Be the Day, Peggy Sue, Everyday, Oh Boy, It’s So Easy, and Rave On.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets-That’ll Be the Day

Top 5 Buddy Holly Songs:

5. Maybe Baby

4. That’ll Be The Day

3. Brown Eyed Handsome Man

2. Peggy Sue

  1. Rave On