Fabulous Fifties

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

Bobby Darin:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bobby-Darin

Bobby Darin was a unique talent who performed in the genres of rock and roll, pop, jazz, swing, folk, and country. Not only a singer, he was an adept songwriter who wrote for Connie Francis. In addition, he was an actor and political activist who worked on Robert F. Kennedy’s Democratic presidential campaign. Darin was at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when RFK was assassinated.

Darin’s major hits were, “Splish Splash,” “Mack the Knife,” “Dream Lover,” and “Beyond the Sea.”

Darin spent most of his life in poor health and died in 1973 at the age of 37, posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Furthermore, he has a star in the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bobby Darin-Mack the Knife

Fabulous Fifties

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

Ritchie Valens:

https://www.biography.com/musician/ritchie-valens

Ritchie Valens, the first Latino musician to cross over into the mainstream, was a pioneer of Chicano rock and Latin rock, inspiring numerous Latin musicians, such as Carlos Santana and Los Lobos. In addition to his heritage, Valens’ guitar skills influenced a plethora of six-stringers, including Jimi Hendrix and Chris Montez.

Valens’ major hits include, “La Bamba,” “Donna,” and “Come On Let’s Go.”

Valens was killed after a concert in Clear Lake, Iowa, along with fellow artists Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, as well as pilot Roger Peterson in 1959.

Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Fabulous Fifties

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

Jerry Lee Lewis:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/may/18/the-100-greatest-uk-no-1s-no-15-jerry-lee-lewis-great-balls-of-fire

Jerry Lee Lewis is widely considered rock and roll’s first wild entertainer, complete with jaw dropping on-stage antics. He is one of the genre’s pioneers and influential pianists known for his boogie-woogie style, pounding on the keys, standing up to play, and playing with his feet.

Lewis rose to fame on the strengths of hits such as “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Breathless,” and “High School Confidential.” He was also part of the famous Million Dollar Quartet recording session at Sun Studios in Memphis TN in 1956.

Jerry Lee Lewis-Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Lewis’ career plunged in 1958 due to his marriage to his 13-year old cousin. That said, a cover of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say,” as well as his well-received live album, “Live at the Star Club, Hamburg” kept his career afloat before a transition to country music in 1968 saved it.

Lewis has won four Grammy Awards, along with Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, as well as recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Jerry Lee Lewis-Great Balls of Fire

Fabulous Fifties

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

Chuck Berry

https://www.biography.com/musician/chuck-berry

Chuck Berry died 5 years ago today, March 18, 2017.  It is only fitting that this week’s post features him.

Berry was considered a pioneer in the emerging rock and roll scene of the 1950’s.  He was renowned for his exemplary guitar playing skills, bringing the instrument to the forefront of the genre.  Although borrowed from the black rhythm and blues players of the late forties and early fifties, Berry’s guitar solos became his own unique and undeniable sound.  In addition, his showmanship became a major influence on artists who came after him, namely his one-legged hop and duck walk.  Furthermore, Berry related to the record-buying youth of the day by writing songs about teen culture, high school, and fast cars.

Chuck Berry-Maybellene

Berry is known for a plethora of rock and roll hits including, Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, Maybellene, School Days, Sweet Little Sixteen, Rock and Roll Music, and No Particular Place to Go.

Chuck Berry-Sweet Little Sixteen

Berry was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s first inductee in 1986.

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