The Music of the 1950s: Elvis Presley

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The music of the 1950s showed an incredible mixing of the cultures represented in the United States. The music of the 1950’s was led and created by a number of people like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Little Richard. The “50’s music” was influenced greatly by the African American culture of the South. Blues and Jazz played a tremendous role in bringing out new music genres during that time. One of those was the big rock craze.
Elvis Presley was one of the biggest recording artists of that time period (PBS 1). He helped to start the big rock craze of the 50s. 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. He signaled to mainstream culture that it was time to move on from the old and onto the new. He also became the perfect target for critics, parents and clergymen because of his explicit display of sexually suggestive undulations while on stage (PBS 1).
Another very popular artist during the 1950’s was a man known as B.B. King. He was born with the name Riley B.King but later on went by the stage name of B.B. King (Wilson 1). He was known as the “King of the blues” because of his love for blues jazz. He was also known as the “ambassador of the blues .” B.B. King kept up traditional blues trends while also keeping up with modern music trends during the 1950s (Wilson 1). He was best known for his single note solos on his well known Gibson guitar, “...

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...cades to come. Today there are radio stations all over that only play the “oldies”, many of which are songs from the 1950’s or from those same artists into the 1960’s and even the 1970’s. The rock craze looks like it’s here to stay.

Works Cited

PBS. PBS. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. .
"B.B. King, King of The Blues." Mississippi History Now. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. .
"Elvis Presley." Rolling Stone. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. .
"Little Richard Biography." A&E Networks Television. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. .
"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum." B.B. King Biography. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. .
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