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 Post subject: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:06 am 
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GREATEST ROCK ARTSTS OF THE 50'S
EDITOR: SAMPSON
http://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_artists50s.html

CRITERIA: Based equally on Commercial Impact, Influence, Musical Impact and Cultural Impact.

1. Elvis Presley
2. Fats Domino
3. Chuck Berry
4. Little Richard
5. The Everly Brothers
6. Bill Haley & The Comets
7. Ray Charles
8. Buddy Holly & The Crickets
9. The Clovers
10. The Platters
11. The Dominoes
12. Ruth Brown
13. Bo Diddley
14. Jerry Lee Lewis
15. Sam Cooke
16. Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
17. Johnny Otis
18. Ricky Nelson
19. Big Joe Turner
20. The Drifters
21. The "5" Royales
22. Johnny Ace
23. Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
24. The Coasters
25. LaVern Baker

26. The Flamingos
27. Chuck Willis
28. Eddie Cochran
29. Carl Perkins
30. Little Willie John
31. Clyde McPhatter
32. Jesse Belvin
33. The Moonglows
34. Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps
35. Ivory Joe Hunter
36. Jackie Wilson
37. Lloyd Price
38. Shirley & Lee
39. The Spaniels
40. James Brown
41. Faye Adams
42. Jack Scott
43. Duane Eddy
44. Screamin' Jay Hawkins
45. Larry Williams
46. Huey "Piano" Smith & The Clowns
47. Sonny Til & The Orioles
48. Link Wray
49. Professor Longhair
50. The Chantels

51. Etta James
52. The Five Keys
53. Dion & The Belmonts
54. The Cadillacs
55. Otis Williams & The Charms
56. The Del-Vikings
57. Bobby Darin
58. The Penguins
59. Roy Brown
60. Bobby Freeman
61. Big Maybelle
62. The Harp-Tones
63. Ritchie Valens
64. Smiley Lewis
65. "Little" Esther Phillips
66. The Cleftones
67. Gene & Eunice
68. The Crests
69. Mickey & Sylvia
70. The Crows
71. Ike Turner/Jackie Brenston
72. The Chords
73. Buddy Knox & The Rhythm Orchids
74. Wynonie Harris
75. The Five Satins

76. Bill Doggett
77. Roy Hamilton
78. Johnny "Guitar" Watson
79. Amos Milburn
80. Don & Dewey
81. Big Mama Thornton
82. Marvin & Johnny
83. The Robins
84. Lee Andrews & The Hearts
85. Dale Hawkins
86. The Heartbeats
87. The El-Dorados
88. Bobby Day/Hollywood Flames
89. Richard Berry
90. The Skyliners
91. Wanda Jackson
92. Little Anthony & The Imperials
93. Brenda Lee
94. Percy Mayfield
95. The Diamonds
96. Bobby Mitchell
97. Cliff Richard
98. Don Julian & The Meadowlarks
99. Dave Bartholomew
100. Johnny Burnette Rock 'n' Roll Trio

101. The Diablos
102. Billy Wright
103. Big Jay McNeely
104. The Falcons
105. Rosco Gordon
106. Tiny Bradshaw
107. Danny & The Juniors
108. Joe Morris (featuring Laurie Tate)
109. Gene Allison
110. The Cardinals
111. Varetta Dillard
112. The Spiders
113. Roy Orbison
114. The Hearts
115. Guitar Slim
116. The Big Bopper
117. Jerry Butler & The Impressions
118. The Medallions
119. Wilbert Harrison
120. The Treniers
121. Buster Brown
122. The Mello-Kings
123. Shirley Gunter & The Queens
124. Archibald
125. The Olympics

126. Andre Williams
127. Charlie Feathers
128. The Du Droppers
129. Esquerita
130. The Checkers
131. Nappy Brown
132. Lula Reed
133. The Cadets/The Jacks
134. Johnnie & Joe
135. Billy Riley & His Little Green Men
136. Young Jessie
137. Robert & Johnny
138. The Ravens
139. Sandy Nelson
140. The Bobbettes
141. Red Prysock
142. The Dells
143. The Collins Kids
144. Bill Black's Combo
145. The Swallows
146. Barrett Strong
147. Jimmy Clanton
148. Dee Clark
149. Arthur Lee Maye & The Crowns
150. Lee Allen

151. Conway Twitty
152. The Monotones
153. Marie Adams
154. The Isley Brothers
155. The Larks
156. Phil Phillips
157. The Dubs
158. Chuck Higgins
159. The Elegants
160. Tony Allen
161. Dave "Baby" Cortez
162. The Pastels
163. The Flairs
164. Jewel King
165. Frankie Ford
166. The Cues
167. Jody Reynolds
168. The Four Buddies
169. Earl Bostic
170. Johnny & The Hurricanes
171. Clarence "Frogman" Henry
172. Rufus Thomas
173. The Turbans
174. Ronnie Hawkins
175. Sugar Boy Crawford

176. The Shirelles
177. Eugene Church
178. Bobby Charles
179. The Mystics
180. The Prisonaires
181. Margie Day/Griffin Brothers
182. Eddie Bo
183. The Fabulous Wailers
184. Little Willie Littlefield
185. Ann Cole
186. Floyd Dixon
187. The Lamplighters
188. Eunice Davis
189. The Four Blazes
190. Willis “Gator” Jackson
191. Tarheel Slim (& Little Ann)
192. The Teen Queens
193. Kent "Boogaloo" Harris
194. Dean Barlow & The Crickets
195. Titus Turner
196. Bobby Hendricks
197. The Jewels
198. Boyd Bennett & His Rockets
199. The Fireballs
200. H-Bomb Ferguson


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:41 pm 
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All right, let's get the ball rolling, here. I've got CDs from Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. I've got to get myself some Everly Brothers, one of these days. I also want to get good Eddie Cochran, Bill Haley and Gene Vincent collections. Considering my love of the energy, simplicity and purity of the best of fifties rock 'n' roll, I really should be discussing it a lot more often, here.

I was born in 1974 and the first rock 'n' roll that I fell in love with was the rock 'n' roll of the fifties, due to a good oldies radio station in Buffalo that played tons of it. My family also got one cassette of Time-Life's fifties rock 'n' roll collection. It was just 1958, but, man, was it loaded with great stuff, from Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" to Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues".

Growing up, I was always under the impression that the greats of fifties rock 'n' roll were Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. I mean, they were unquestionably the big five. But I'm wondering, now, why that was so and if others had the same impression that I did. I mean, the likes of the Everly Brothers, Fats Domino and Ray Charles were definitely secondary to Jerry Lee Lewis in fifties rock 'n' roll greatness to me, despite the disparity in success.

I think it may be because those five artists fit the most neatly into the narrative of rock 'n' roll "dying" in the early sixties before the British Invasion gave it a jolt. Elvis went into the army, Chuck Berry was arrested, Buddy Holly died, Little Richard got religion, and Jerry Lee Lewis was disgraced. It seems the huge interuptions in their careers, and in Buddy's case the end of his life, elevated them above the likes of Fats Domino and the Everly Brothers, who were as successful or more successful than all of them, with the obvious exception of Elvis. But Eddie Cochran was not similarly elevated, perhaps because he wasn't quite big enough to begin with, and/or because he got a later start.

So I'll put this question out to anyone who cares to answer it. Have you ever been under the impression that Elvis, Chuck, Buddy, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis were the big five of fifties rock 'n' roll? Or did you at least recognize that attitude among the general public? And if so, what are your theories on why that's so?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:20 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
I was born in 1974 and the first rock 'n' roll that I fell in love with was the rock 'n' roll of the fifties, due to a good oldies radio station in Buffalo that played tons of it. My family also got one cassette of Time-Life's fifties rock 'n' roll collection. It was just 1958, but, man, was it loaded with great stuff, from Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" to Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues".


Amazingly, that was the first cassette on 50's rock I got myself. I actually got the whole series, but the '58 one still sounds best to me, the song selection and sequencing on it was great.

ClashWho wrote:
Growing up, I was always under the impression that the greats of fifties rock 'n' roll were Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. I mean, they were unquestionably the big five. But I'm wondering, now, why that was so and if others had the same impression that I did. I mean, the likes of the Everly Brothers, Fats Domino and Ray Charles were definitely secondary to Jerry Lee Lewis in fifties rock 'n' roll greatness to me, despite the disparity in success.

I think it may be because those five artists fit the most neatly into the narrative of rock 'n' roll "dying" in the early sixties before the British Invasion gave it a jolt. Elvis went into the army, Chuck Berry was arrested, Buddy Holly died, Little Richard got religion, and Jerry Lee Lewis was disgraced. It seems the huge interuptions in their careers, and in Buddy's case the end of his life, elevated them above the likes of Fats Domino and the Everly Brothers, who were as successful or more successful than all of them, with the obvious exception of Elvis. But Eddie Cochran was not similarly elevated, perhaps because he wasn't quite big enough to begin with, and/or because he got a later start.

So I'll put this question out to anyone who cares to answer it. Have you ever been under the impression that Elvis, Chuck, Buddy, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis were the big five of fifties rock 'n' roll? Or did you at least recognize that attitude among the general public? And if so, what are your theories on why that's so?


I think the simple answer is - writers like colorful characters and Lewis was more colorful than Domino. I also think most writers on rock in the years since have viewed it through a prism of the 60's, which is when many of them came of age, and Berry and Holly were two of the most commonly referred to influences of that era.

Up until the mid-80's Bill Haley was given a lot more credit than he is now when his age (30 when he was huge), his looks (balding, moon-faced), his band's outfits (plaid jackets) and ironically considering how much of subsequent rock has been whitewashed, his race, all played into the lessening of his impact.

To me the revelation in 50's rock didn't come with the Cochrans, Vincents, or even Diddleys, but rather the pre-integration stuff. The early Drifters with Clyde McPhatter blew my mind. Even earlier McPhatter sides with Billy Ward's Dominoes were outrageous. The Clovers were shocking to hear with their odes to drinking, sex and other taboo subjects that never got used by late in the decade when the pressure from the establishment cleaned rock up. The "5" Royales were amazing, they invent soul basically, get no credit for it and Lowman Pauling dashes off some of the most extraordianary guitar licks ever heard and is all but forgotten. Discovering someone like Professor Longhair was a revelation - how did this music almost get lost to time? That's the era that gets shafted historically but that's the era when it all started. The fact that so few rock fans know it today is a travesty.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Maybe it's just plain ol' charisma and live prowess. Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis are such powerhouse performers and huge, larger-than-life personalities, that they've become embedded and adored in popular culture, punching way above their weight when it comes to their actual chart success. As for Buddy, he was just so bloody brilliant and distinctive, besides the added impact of his tragic early death. And Chuck is Chuck and Elvis is Elvis. 'nuff said.

But I really want to know if others see those five as being the dominant fifties rock 'n' roll artists when it comes to popular culture, of if it's just me.

As for Ray Charles, I think it's because he's so much more than a fifties rock 'n' roller that made me discount him as one of the big five. He's more an icon of American popular music than an icon of rock 'n' roll.


Last edited by ClashWho on Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:32 pm 
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Check this out. Pure adrenaline fueled rock 'n' roll.

The Dominoes (Clyde McPhatter lead) - "Have Mercy Baby" (#1 10 weeks 1952)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdGG1ry-Rks


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:36 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Up until the mid-80's Bill Haley was given a lot more credit than he is now when his age (30 when he was huge), his looks (balding, moon-faced), his band's outfits (plaid jackets) and ironically considering how much of subsequent rock has been whitewashed, his race, all played into the lessening of his impact.


His stuff is so rock 'n' roll, though. I've heard a lot of it, including live stuff, and they were simply an astoundingly fantastic, shit-hot rock 'n' roll outfit. I've got to get their best-of collection.

Sampson wrote:
To me the revelation in 50's rock didn't come with the Cochrans, Vincents, or even Diddleys, but rather the pre-integration stuff. The early Drifters with Clyde McPhatter blew my mind. Even earlier McPhatter sides with Billy Ward's Dominoes were outrageous. The Clovers were shocking to hear with their odes to drinking, sex and other taboo subjects that never got used by late in the decade when the pressure from the establishment cleaned rock up. The "5" Royales were amazing, they invent soul basically, get no credit for it and Lowman Pauling dashes off some of the most extraordianary guitar licks ever heard and is all but forgotten. Discovering someone like Professor Longhair was a revelation - how did this music almost get lost to time? That's the era that gets shafted historically but that's the era when it all started. The fact that so few rock fans know it today is a travesty.


Well, I'm in that boat, too, although I know of the "5" Royales and I have heard some killer Clovers stuff. My favorite of theirs, of the stuff that I've heard, is "One Mint Julep". I know what you mean about a revelation, though, because Louis Jordan's stuff slayed me when I finally discovered it. He's managed to still get his props, though. He's not nearly as forgotten as many of the others of his era.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:37 pm 
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Or this. Obscene rock from 1954. Check out how the instruments replicate the sounds of sex and Hank Ballard's "do it baby" cries. The lyrics don't leave much to the imagination either. And just how old is this chick if her parents are gone when he's doing it with her? 15??? No wonder mainstream society wanted to ban rock 'n' roll when they heard this stuff.

The Midnighters - Sexy Ways http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3khr_lp6CY&feature=related


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:40 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
Sampson wrote:
Up until the mid-80's Bill Haley was given a lot more credit than he is now when his age (30 when he was huge), his looks (balding, moon-faced), his band's outfits (plaid jackets) and ironically considering how much of subsequent rock has been whitewashed, his race, all played into the lessening of his impact.


His stuff is so rock 'n' roll, though. I've heard a lot of it, including live stuff, and they were simply an astoundingly fantastic, shit-hot rock 'n' roll outfit. I've got to get their best-of collection.


Start with this, the first rock 'n' roll LP to make the charts. Basically a greatest hits, especially with the three bonus tracks on the reissue of hit singles that came out after the original LP was released. Same artwork as you'd have gotten in '56 too. http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Around-Clock-Haley-Comets/dp/B0001JXQG0/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1290051474&sr=1-2


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Amazingly, that was the first cassette on 50's rock I got myself. I actually got the whole series, but the '58 one still sounds best to me, the song selection and sequencing on it was great.


Wow, yeah, I played that tape countless times as a kid. It's such a huge part of why I'm on this website.

Sampson wrote:
I think the simple answer is - writers like colorful characters and Lewis was more colorful than Domino.


Yeah, I had just come to that exact same conclusion. :cool:


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:49 pm 
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Thanks for the links, I'll definitely check them out when I'm at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:28 pm 
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Sampson, gotta say I'm glad that you're participating in the boards. You have so much to add.

To the list, the first thing I'd like to say is that I think Berry > Little Richard. Speaking purely on terms of DDD's other lists, Berry is significantly higher than Richard on the Greatest Artists list, and for both of them their primary artistic output took place during the '50s. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:55 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
As for Ray Charles, I think it's because he's so much more than a fifties rock 'n' roller that made me discount him as one of the big five. He's more an icon of American popular music than an icon of rock 'n' roll.


To me all of his stuff is rock and roll, but there's no question that he was more than a Fifties icon. While his 50s output was his most important and influential--and it's some of the most influential music in all of rock--his commercial peak came a few years later, and some of that music was highly influential as well.

If we did a list covering 1955 to 1964, say, Ray Charles--and, for that matter, Sam Cooke--would do better than he does on either the 50s or the 60s list. Buddy, Richard, and Jerry Lee would lose ground.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:59 am 
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The Man wrote:
Sampson, gotta say I'm glad that you're participating in the boards. You have so much to add.

To the list, the first thing I'd like to say is that I think Berry > Little Richard. Speaking purely on terms of DDD's other lists, Berry is significantly higher than Richard on the Greatest Artists list, and for both of them their primary artistic output took place during the '50s. Thoughts?


Where you write "Little Richard" do you actually mean "Fats Domino"?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:29 pm 
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I really want to know Fats Domino´s music. Where I can begin?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock Artists of the 1950's
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:08 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
The Man wrote:
Sampson, gotta say I'm glad that you're participating in the boards. You have so much to add.

To the list, the first thing I'd like to say is that I think Berry > Little Richard. Speaking purely on terms of DDD's other lists, Berry is significantly higher than Richard on the Greatest Artists list, and for both of them their primary artistic output took place during the '50s. Thoughts?


Where you write "Little Richard" do you actually mean "Fats Domino"?


Shit. Yeah... Either way, the outcome is the same. Sorry about that, I don't know what I was thinking


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