Music - 1950s

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Shirley Goodman

Born in New Orleans on 19 June 1936, Shirley Goodman was 16 years old when she signed to Aladdin, the jazz and R&B label that...

“5” Royales, The

The "5" Royales began life in the 1940s as a gospel group called The Royal Sons Quintet but rechristened themselves The Royals after going...

Freddy Cannon

Freddy Cannon was born Frederick Anthony Picariello in Boston (USA) on 4 December 1940. Signed by producers/songwriters Frank Slay and Bob Crewe to Swan Records...

Digby ‘Dig’ Richards

Australian singer Digby George Richards was born in Dunedoo in New South Wales on 12 September 1941. Digby (or 'Dig' as he was better known)...

Ronnie Hilton

Born Adrian Hill in Hull, in January 1926, Ronnie Hilton was one of the great UK singers of the 1950s. He was actually working a...

Fireballs, The

They were acclaimed as pioneers of the surf sound alongside Dick Dale, Link Wray and The Ventures, but The Fireballs (from Raton, New Mexico)...

Vipers, The

The Vipers, featuring a young singer called Wally Whyton, became the first group to earn a residency at the famous 2i's coffee bar in London's Soho. Wally...

Clovers, The

The Clovers hailed from Washington DC and signed with Atlantic Records in 1951. Under the guidance of producer Ahmet Ertegun they had a series of...

Five Satins, The

                     

Sun Records

During the immediate post-WWII period, following disputes over music publishing, small record labels proliferated, offering a rich selection of country, jazz and blues. In the...

Elmore James

Despite his brief career - spanning little more than a decade before his early death in 1963 - bluesman Elmore James affected rock and...

Dickie Pride

Richard Charles Kneller was born in Thornton Heath, Surrey. After leaving school he tried a wide variety of jobs including stonemason's assistant, spraypainter, electric...

Stargazers, The

Fronted by Marie Benson, The Stargazers were the most popular British vocal group of the Fifties and became the first British act to achieve...

Sonny Boy Williamson

Alec Rice Miller was born into a sharecropper's family around 1897 in Mississippi and travelled from town to town trying to eke out a...

Smiley Lewis

Smiley (real name Overton Lemon) recorded initially for Deluxe before joining Imperial in 1950. His rich, blues-based voice bore certain similarities to stable mate Fats...

Slim Whitman

Discovered by Elvis Presley's manager 'Colonel' Tom Parker in the late 40s, Slim Whitman became known for an easy demeanour, his romantic ballads offset...

Frank Sinatra

The Voice. The Sultan of Swoon. The Chairman of the Board. Old Blue Eyes. The Greatest Singer of the Popular Song. The provider, according to...

Shirley Bassey

Already established as a star by virtue of strident big-voiced romps through the likes of Kiss me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me and As Long As He Needs...

Shep & the Limelites

James 'Shep' Sheppard's career began in St. Alban's Park, New York, in 1954 when, in the fashion of the day, his vocal group was...

FEATURED 1950s MUSIC POSTS

Ella Fitzgerald

Born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1917, Ella Fitzgerald never knew her father - he left the family while she was an infant -...

Guy Mitchell

Guy Mitchell was born Albert Cernik in 1927 and recorded for King Records as Al Grant. When he signed with Columbia Records, label president...

Tokens, The

This Brooklyn doo wop group was originally known as The Linc-Tones when they formed in 1955 at Lincoln High School. Original members Hank Medress, Neil Sedaka, Eddie Rabkin...

Terry Dene

South Londoner Terry Dene (born Terence Williams) was one of many early UK rockers to benefit from the opportunity to sing at London's 2i's...

Dovells, The

The Dovells were an American vocal group, formed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1957, under the name The Brooktones. Their first single...