The Online Roots of Rock

The Online Roots of Rock
JUKEBOX CLIP
Blue Suede Shoes
Carl Perkins
1956

Rockabilly

Rockabilly

Rockabilly burst onto the national scene in 1956 and quickly filled the pop music void that existed in the early 1950s.
This new sound seemed to come out of nowhere and, at first, didn't even have a name. Some referred to it as "country boogie". Others called it "hillbilly rock" or "hillbilly bebop."
It was raunchy, rebellious, adult-oriented music born of Country Boogie and Rhythm & Blues. Eventually it became known as "Rockabilly," a term that acknowledged both its black and its white origins. "Rock" was an old Blues euphemism and "billy" was short for "hillbilly."
Of course it didn't just happen overnight, or appear out of nowhere. The sound of Rockabilly was foretold in the music of such Country Boogie and Honky Tonk singers as the Delmore brothers, Hank Williams, and others during the late 1940s.
Bill Haley combined the influences with Jump Blues and Rhythm and Blues to become the first successful proponent of Rockabilly in 1953 and 1954. Recognizing both black and white sources for his material, Haley promoted his group as "The Cowboy Jive Band."
By 1954 Elvis Presley was becoming a regional sensation in the mid south. Billed as "The Hillbilly Cat," (a term that again recognizes both black and white influences) Elvis sang both Blues and Country songs recorded by Sam Phillips on the Sun label. The music establishment looked on bemused, not yet realizing that everything was about to change.
In 1956 Elvis signed with RCA and received national exposure. His television appearances in 1956 delivered Rockabilly into the living rooms of middle America. As Elvis wiggled his hips and sang his songs to spellbound television audiences through 1956, kids were enthralled and parents were shocked. They didn't realize it at the time, but they were witnessing the birth of a new music genre — Rock 'n' Roll.
The other major labels, although not understanding the music, understood market share and quickly signed Rockabilly singers to compete with Elvis and RCA.
The involvement of the majors marked the beginning of the end for Rockabilly. Rockabilly was the product of unfettered singers captured on small independent labels in the mid south. The sound was raunchy with adult themes. The majors tamed the sound and targetted the emerging youth market.
Rockabilly didn't last long. By 1958 most of its heroes were dead or buried in the playlists.
But the emergence of Rockabilly during the mid '50s was nothing short of revolutionary. By combining black and white roots music — Country with Blues — Rockabilly marks the moment in American pop music when indigenous music went mainstream.
And for many, Rockabilly IS Rock 'n' Roll.

Abridged from Jive: Rock 'n' Roll And Other Four-Letter Words

.
.

Click on any artist below for profile with links to online resources


.Featured Sites .

Rockabilly Hall of Fame
Rockabilly Central
Blackcat Rockabilly
fan-sponsored
Rockabilly sites
fan-sponsored
biography resource
base
largest Rockabilly
site in Europe

Other Recommended Sites
The Rockabilly Ring
almost 200 Rockabilly sites
The Women of Rockabilly
artists / timeline / fashion
Rockabilly Girls, Gals & Women
artists / links / and more


 

Click on any link below for more information, or to order online

Go Cat Go!
Rock A Billy
Unsung Heroes of Rock n Roll
Roadkill on the Three Chord Highway
Go Cat Go - Rockabilly Music and its Makers - Craig Morrison
Rock A Billy - A 40 Year Journey - Billy Poore and Danny Gatton
Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll - Nick Tosches
Roadkill on the Three Chord Highway - Colin Escott
Rockabilly Music
and Its Makers
by Craig Morrison
A 40 Year Journey
by Billy Poore and
Danny Gatton
The Birth of Rock in the Wild Years before Elvis
by Nick Tosches
Art and Trash
in American Popular Music
by Colin Escott


Country
Lost Highway
What It Was
Was Rockabilly
The Rockabilly
Legends
Country - The Twisted Roots of Rock 'n' Roll - Nick Tosches
Lost Highway - Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians - Peter Guralnick
What It Was was Rockabilly - Richard E Jandrow
What It Was was Rockabilly - Richard E Jandrow
The Twisted Roots of
Rock n Roll
by Nick Tosches
Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians
by Peter Guralnick
by Richard E Jandrow
They Called it Rockabilly Long Before They Called It Rock and Roll


Other Rockabilly Titles Available Online
Rockabilly (Life and Times Music Series)
by Tim Frew (paperback with CD)
Rockabilly: A Bibliographic Resource Guide
by B Lee Cooper and Wayne S Haney

Rockabilly Songbooks and Instruction
Rockabilly Guitar Bible
by Hal Leonard Publishing

Rockabilly magazines


Click on any link below for more information, or to order online

Sun Rockabilly
Rockabilly Stars
As Good As It Gets
Sun Rockabilly
Rockabilly Stars
Rockabilly - As Good As It Gets
The Classic Recordings
Rounder Special Series
1 CD /14 tracks
various artists
Sony
Volume 1 / 24 tracks
Volume 2 / 24 tracks
Volume 3 / 28 tracks
various artists
Disky
2 CDs / 64 tracks


Whistle Bait
Ain't I A Dog
Rockabilly Riot
Rockabilly - Whistle Bait
Rockabilly - Ain't I a Dog
Rockabilly Riot
25 Rockabilly
Rave-Ups
Sony
1 CD /25 tracks
25 more Rave-Ups
Sony
1 CD / 25 tracks
original recordings remastered
Sanctuary Records
1 CD / 22 tracks


More Rockabilly Recordings Available Online


Click on any link below for more information, or to order online

Carl Perkins and Friends
Good Rockin' Tonight
Eddie Cochran at the Town Hall Party
Gene Vincent
at the Town Hall Party
Carl Perkins and Friends - A Rockabilly Session
Good Rockin' Tonight - The Legacy of Sun Records
Eddie Cochran at the Town Hall Party
Gene Vincent at the Town Hall Party
A Rockabilly Session (1985)
Released 2002
info / order online
The Legacy of
Sun Records
info / order online
VHS | DVD
recorded live
Feb 7, 1959
info / order online
VHS | DVD
info / order online
VHS | DVD


Rockabilly Instructional Videos
'50s Rockabilly Guitar
Hal Leonard Studio (VHS)
Rockabilly Guitar (Vol 1)
— taught by Jim Weider
Rockabilly Guitar (Vol 2)
— taught by Jim Weider
Rockabilly Slap Bass
taught by Lee Rocker (VHS)
Rockabilly Rockin' Swing
— drum technique taught by Slim Jim Phantom (VHS)



The Online Roots of Rock
The Online Roots of Rock

The Online Roots of Rock
100 Years of Popular Music in America
from a Rock 'n' Roll perspective

Legal Footer

The Online Roots Of Rock and the jukebox logo are trademarks
of Gary Wilcox Studios Incorporated. Contents copyright © 1998-2015
Gary Wilcox Studios Incorporated. All rights reserved.
All photos/artwork/music copyright of
respective copyright owners