His first big break was a song known as Heartbreak Hotel (PBS 1). Elvis listened to African American gospel music and integrated that style into many of his best known songs . He sold millions of records and his popularity helped to make rock music popular . Elvis Presley made it possible for music from the different cultures to be brought over and intermixed . Elvis performed with a sexuality that appealed to young teens of the 50s.
The country incorporation allowed Chuck Berry to reach larger white audiences. His records had biracial appeal and became successful in the business, “A good blues single usually sold around 10,000 copies and a big rhythm and blues hit might go into the hundreds of thousands, but "Maybellene" probably moved a million” (Christgau). Still, like other race records of the time, white artists would perform covers, made possible by Tin Pan Alley, and Berry’s records were no exception. Overall, Chuck Berry’s records still managed to become successful in a business that oppressed black
Chuck Berry was a very dominant part of history and rock & roll. Berry, a St. Louis native adopted country, blues and R&B inspirations to create a singular guitar technique. Berry paired these skills with astounding charisma, extraordinary stage moves and an expressive voice that was projected more to *white youth and anyone young at heart, guaranteeing his status as one of rock & roll's first great hit makers. Berry was a big player in “The first wave” of rock & roll artists. Historians say Elvis Presley cracked open the door for rock & roll, BUT Chuck Berry kicked it wide open with his signature duck walk over it for good measure.
Revolution of Music Music has continued to change throughout each decade, but the 1960s was the most influential decade in the history of music. Starting in the early 1950s, rock music was first introduced. Major record labels were releasing new “cover songs” which were originally made by black artist, but now by white artist (Rock and Roll). These cover songs changed a few lyrics from the original songs to avoid copyright issues and to also make the song more appropriate for the white listeners. The biggest star of the 1950s was Elvis Presley, who was known as the “King of rock n’ roll”.
The family name is correctly spelled “Holley” but his first recording contract from Decca Records in 1956 spelled his last name “Holly” and he kept it that way for the rest of his career (Griggs 1). Holly took a very influential position in the music industry and built an audience for his Rock and Roll music very quickly due to his unique voice and advanced knowledge of music. Buddy Holly is a prime example of a musical pioneer who blended resources from various music genres including a variety of popular genres such as rhythm and blues (RNB), oriental, and African (Schinder and Schwartz 85). He also was known to influences experimental new music and electronic music. Although he spent a good part of his life in the recording studio, he also performed live.
Black gospel music was very popular and given the label of rhythm and blues (R&B). This music was carried on radio and popular with the disc jockeys. In the mid 50's, Chuck Berry and Little Richard were popular and changed the face of music, which was named rock and roll by the D.J.'s. 1956-1962 At age 21, in 1956, Elvis Presley was introduced to the public with his rockabilly style of music. His first record, "Heartbreak Hotel" was recorded.
Rockabilly was formed in the southern United States with its pioneers being the likes of Elvis, Bill Haley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and many more. (Kaza). Rockabilly was said to have met its peak when Bill Haley and The Comets released the song “Rock Around The Clock” in 1955. This new style of music was not invented solely by Elvis but he was certainly one of the main poster boys for it. Elvis’ fusion of country music and rhythm and blues made him the most successful rocker of all, he brought forth the clearest fusion of black blues music into the newly formed genre of rock and roll (Clarke).
Dozens upon dozens of international smashes from the mid-'50s to the mid-'70s, as well as the steady sales of his catalog and reissues since his death in 1977, may make him the single highest-selling performer in history. More important from a music lover's perspective, however, are his remarkable artistic achievements. Presley was not the very first white man to sing rhythm & blues; Bill Haley predated him in that regard, and there may have been others as well. Elvis was certainly the first, however, to assertively fuse country and blues music into the style known as rockabilly. While rockabilly arrangements were the foundations of his first (and possibly best) recordings, Presley could not have become a mainstream superstar without a much more varied palette that also incorporated pop, gospel, and even some bits of bluegrass and operatic schmaltz here and there.
This was the start of a period of time (basically most of the ‘70s) where Eric Clapton would switch around from backup band to backup band. In doing this, he had to play differently with each one, so it kept his style fresh and ever changing. In the ‘70s Eric took more of a departure from blues and went on to basically playing rock and pop. An exception to this would be when he covered Bob Marley's song "I Shot the Sheriff" and took a stab at reggae. He did excellently with it, too, it was a big Top 40 hit.
Elvis’ breakthrough hit was Heartbreak Hotel, released in 1956. With a sound and style that uniquely combined his diverse musical influences, he blurred and challenged the social and racial barriers of the time. He brought in a whole new era of American music and popular culture. Globally, he has sold over one billion records, more than any other artist. His American sales have earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 150 different albums and singles, far more than any other artist.