The term “50s music” is used to refer to music that was popular in the 1950s. The big band sounds of the 1940s began to fade in popularity, and rock and roll and country western took their place. Some music historians believe that television’s increasing availability and popularity aided the success of many 1950s musicians and the genres they represented.
Rock and roll, more than any other genre, epitomizes popular music in the 1950s. Early rock and roll incorporated sounds from the American south, such as rhythm and blues, country western, and gospel music. This combination’s music became extremely popular, quickly eclipsing most other sounds on the music scene at the time. During this time, well-known rock and roll artists such as Elvis Presley, ChubChecker, and Buddy Holly rose to prominence.
Country and western music was primarily popular in the western part of the United States until the 1950s. Its popularity grew in the 1950s thanks to artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, who added a touch of rock and roll to the country sound, making it more appealing to a wider audience. He is credited with inventing rockabilly, a genre of music that combines hillbilly country with rock and roll bass lines.
Dance was another medium that contributed to rock and roll’s era-long dominance, and dance’s popularity was heavily influenced television. Dance shows like American Bandstand influenced not only music and dance in the 1950s, but also fashion, hairstyles, and other aspects of pop culture. In addition to television, radio and print media played a role in defining 1950s music publishing weekly rather than monthly lists of the country’s top 40 songs.
Elvis Presley is unquestionably one of the most well-known musicians of the 1950s. He was raised in the southern United States, where he developed an interest in blues and gospel music. His musical performances wowed audiences, but some church and civic leaders chastised him. Many people believed that his provocative way of moving while singing had a negative impact on the younger generation. His popularity grew to the point where many young men began to imitate his hairstyle and dress style.
Many historians now see the 1950s as the era when musicians began to experiment with sounds that were outside of traditional music genres and explore musical freedom. The 1950s rock music is thought to have paved the way for the more complex sounds of the 1960s. Furthermore, ’50s music is credited with a significant contribution to pop culture’s ever-increasing influence.