ROCK 'N' ROLL!
Elvis Presley | Buddy Holly |
Chuck Berry | Little Richard |
Rock 'n' Roll! The 'Big Bang' that gave rise to The Beatles. The 'King'—Elvis—was paramount in influence, in both voice and style. But so too were Buddy Holly and The Crickets—the singer-songwriter and his backing group that not only helped inspire the songwriting talents of Lennon & McCartney, but also the very name 'Beatles'.
When it came to writing songs, there were few artists either side of the Atlantic who could match 'the greatest ever poet of rock 'n' roll'—Chuck Berry. Or—when it came to performing—the whirlwind that was Little Richard.
There were many other artists that influenced The Beatles in the early days—Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, the Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, Fats Domino—as well as the performer who made 'skiffle' popular in Britain and who first inspired John and Paul and George to pick up their guitars—Lonnie Donnegan—but Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard were undoubtedly the cornerstones to it all.
Singer | Guitar Player |
The undisputed 'King'
of Rock ‘n’ Roll
That's All Right | Heartbreak Hotel | Hound Dog | Don't Be Cruel | Blue Suede Shoes | I Got a Woman | I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry | Shake, Rattle and Roll | Lawdy, Miss Clawdy | All Shook Up | Teddy Bear | Jailhouse Rock |
8 January 1935 – 16 August 1977
Elvis Presley. 'The King' The absolute embodiment of Rock 'n' Roll. A pop music phenomenon. Utterly inimitable—although imitated times beyond number. Elvis sold more than a billion records. Most all of them timeless. Some still as shockingly brilliant as the day they were first heard. Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel (1956) has to be the best double-sided jukebox record of all time. Rockin' just doesn't get any better. As John Lennon said: "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been Elvis, there would not have been The Beatles." 'Nuff said.
Guitarist | Singer | Songwriter | The Poet
Laureate of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Roll Over Beethoven | Johnny B. Goode | Rock and Roll Music | Bye Bye Johnny | Sweet Little Sixteen | School Day | Memphis Tennessee | Maybellene | Nadine | Come On |
18 October 1926 – 18 March 2017
Chuck Berry is Rock ‘n’ Roll. Both The Beatles and the Rolling Stones covered many of his songs and cite him as one of the main influences on them and their music. Save perhaps for Lieber & Stoller, his song 'narratives' were better than anything that came out of the Brill Building in New York. A brilliantly original guitarist—with a unique stage presence courtesy of his trademark 'duck-walk'. The very first person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986). Natch.
John Lennon once said: “If you tried to give rock ‘n’ roll another name, you might as well call it ‘Chuck Berry’.
Singer | Guitar Player | Songwriter | The Prince
of Rock ‘n’ Roll
That’ll Be The Day | Peggy Sue | Heartbeat | Everyday | It Doesn't Matter Anymore | It's So Easy! | Love Is Strange | Maybe Baby | Not Fade Away | Oh, Boy! | Raining in My Heart | Rave On! | Words of Love | True Love Ways |
7 September 1936 – 3 February 1959
Buddy Holly was one of the first rock ‘n’ roll musicians who wrote, recorded, and produced his own songs. He also introduced the two guitars | bass | drums rock group line-up. In 1955 he and his band opened for Elvis Presley, in Lubbock Texas and the experience turned him into an ardent rock 'n' roller. "We owe it all to Elvis," he said later. Holly toured extensively. Visited the UK and played Liverpool Stadium. He died in an air crash in the US, aged just 22. Buddy Holly was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986)
Singer | Piano Player | Songwriter | The Quasar
of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Tutti-Frutti | Long Tall Sally | Good Golly, Miss Molly | Lucille | Baby Face | The Girl Can’t Help It | Rip It Up | Keep A Knockin’ | She’s Got It | Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On | Ready Teddy |
5 December 1932 –
Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman). One of the most influential figures in Rock ‘n’ Roll—combining elements of boogie-woogie, gospel, and rhythm and blues. Explosive. Dynamic. Flamboyant. Charismatic. His frenetic piano playing, hollering, singing voice, and whoops of sheer delight are spine-tingling in their effect and all but defined performance dynamics of rock ‘n’ roll. He did then. He does now. A huge influence on The Beatles—especially Paul McCartney—and so many others. Little Richard was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986) Awopbopaloobop-alopbamboom!