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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. The Coasters
24. LaVern Baker
25. Eddie Cochran

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

51. Etta James
52. Huey "Piano" Smith & The Clowns
53. Dion & The Belmonts
54. The Cadillacs
55. Bobby Darin
56. The Del-Vikings
57. Mickey & Sylvia
58. "Little" Esther Phillips
59. Percy Mayfield
60. Ritchie Valens
61. Gene & Eunice
62. Big Maybelle
63. The Penguins
64. Smiley Lewis
65. The Cleftones
66. Johnny Burnette Rock 'n' Roll Trio
67. The Crests
68. The Harp-Tones
69. Marvin & Johnny
70. Big Mama Thornton
71. The Spaniels
72. Dale Hawkins
73. Gene Allison
74. Buddy Knox & The Rhythm Orchids
75. The Five Satins

76. Johnny "Guitar" Watson
77. Roy Hamilton
78. Bobby Day/Hollywood Flames
79. Wanda Jackson
80. Don & Dewey
81. Bobby Freeman
82. The Robins
83. Lee Andrews & The Hearts
84. Bill Doggett
85. The Larks
86. El-Dorados
87. The Heartbeats
88. Richard Berry
89. The Skyliners
90. Brenda Lee
91. Bobby Mitchell
92. Little Anthony & The Imperials
93. Amos Milburn
94. Cliff Richard
95. Roy Orbison
96. Don Julian & The Meadowlarks
97. Andre Williams
98. The Chords
99. The Diamonds
100. The Crows

101. Brook Benton
102. Ike Turner
103. The Treniers
104. Jimmy Clanton
105. The Falcons
106. The Swallows
107. Young Jessie
108. Joe Morris (featuring Laurie Tate)
109. Rosco Gordon
110. Varetta Dillard
111. The Spiders
112. The Cardinals
113. Billy Wright
114. The Hearts
115. The Collins Kids
116. Tiny Bradshaw
117. Esquerita
118. The Medallions
119. Big Jay McNeely
120. Billy Lee Riley
121. Earl King
122. The Mello-Kings
123. Clarence "Frogman" Henry
124. The Four Blazes
125. The Bobbettes

126. Wilbert Harrison
127. Roy Brown
128. Shirley Gunter & The Queens
129. The Du Droppers
130. Buster Brown
131. The Diablos
132. The Checkers
133. Lula Reed
134. The Cadets/The Jacks
135. Johnnie & Joe
136. Red Prysock
137. Billy "The Kid" Emerson
138. Robert & Johnny
139. Little Junior Parker
140. Nappy Brown
141. The Ravens
142. Warren Smith
143. The Dells
144. Boyd Bennett & His Rockets
145. Arthur Lee Maye & The Crowns
146. The Cues
147. Charlie Feathers
148. Dave Bartholomew
149. Titus Turner
150. Lee Allen

151. Conway Twitty
152. The Monotones
153. Marie Adams
154. The Turbans
155. Dee Clark
156. The Fabulous Wailers
157. The Elegants
158. Sonny Burgess
159. The Dubs
160. Chuck Higgins
161. Tony Allen
162. Bobby Charles
163. The Flairs
164. Jewel King
165. The Olympics
166. Eugene Church
167. Jody Reynolds
168. Dave "Baby" Cortez
169. Earl Bostic
170. Johnny & The Hurricanes
171. Phil Phillips
172. Bill Black's Combo
173. Dean Barlow & The Crickets
174. Rufus Thomas
175. The Fireballs

176. Bobby Hendricks
177. The Jewels
178. Ronnie Hawkins
179. The Mystics
180. The Prisonaires
181. Jimmy McCracklin
182. Little Joe & The Thrillers
183. Janis Martin
184. Kent "Boogaloo" Harris
185. Mac Curtis


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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)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DQOQ3woFhI&feature=related


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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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