Music - 1950s

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Bobby Freeman

17-year-old Bobby Freeman was still at High School in San Francisco when he began enjoying chart hits - none as great as his debut Do...

Brenda Lee

Born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Atlanta, Georgia, on 11 December 1944, Brenda Lee is rumoured to have taken to the road with a singing...

Buddy Holly (& The Crickets)

Born Charles Hardin Holley on 7 September 1936, Buddy (as he was nicknamed from an early age by his family) first performed and broadcast...

Carl Perkins

Born in Lake County, Tennessee, on 9 April 1932, Carl Perkins began playing country music with his brothers Jay and Clayton for nearly a decade...

Chantels, The

Five New Yorkers led by 15-year-old Arlene Smith made the Top 20 in 1956 with Maybe and Look In My Eyes, produced by Alan Freed for George...

Charlie Feathers

Rockabilly pioneer Charlie Feathers was born in the north-Mississippi hill country and experienced his two major musical influences by the age of nine, when...

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins was born Chester Burton Atkins in Luttrell, Tennessee, on 20 June 1924. His father was a music teacher who specialised in piano. Atkins...

Chipmunks, The

Possibly the most popular TV and musical cartoon of all time, the Chipmunks enjoyed two periods of prosperity -  the '60s era of adolescent...

Chordettes, The

The Chordettes, label-mates of The Everly Brothers, were one of the most successful of the many US Girl Groups of the 1950s, scoring seven US Top 40...

Chuck Berry

There is much confusion surrounding the actual birth date of rock legend Charles Edward Berry. Most informed sources agree on 18 October 1931, yet...

Chuck Willis

An outstanding R&B singer from Atlanta, Chuck Willis became known as the 'king of the stroll', although he saw himself as a latter-day Johnny Ace. Legendary...

Cliff Richard

Love him or hate him, Cliff Richard figured large in my early years. He always seemed to be providing the soundtrack to my summer...

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...

Clyde McPhatter

Clyde Lensley McPhatter was born on 15 November 1933 in the tobacco town of Durham, North Carolina. He was one of ten children for...

Coasters, The

Carl Gardner, Leon Hughes, Billy Guy and Bobby Nunn got together in 1955 as The Coasters (originally The Robins) and hit the US charts with...

Connie Francis

Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero was born in 1938 in Newark, New Jersey to Italian parents and began her career in music as a child...

Crew Cuts, The

The song Sh-Boom was originally recorded early in 1954 by The Chords. But it was the version by Canadian group The Crew Cuts (released later the...

Dale Hawkins

As the most prolific white rocker on Checker Records, Dale Hawkins blazed a trail of blues-drenched Rock & Roll that was positively apocalyptic in...

Danny & The Juniors

Danny and The Juniors (originally The Juvenairs) all attended John Bartram High School in Philadelphia and formed in 1955, practising their harmonies in a...

FEATURED 1950s MUSIC POSTS

“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...

2i’s Coffee Bar

The 2i's Coffee Bar was an integral part of British pop music history. Situated at 59 Old Compton Street, Soho (London) it was originally owned by...

Al Martino

Jasper Cini was born in 1927 and became a friend and disciple of Mario Lanza. Changing his name to Al Martino in the late...

Alan Freed

The Disc Jockey widely believed to have first coined the phrase "rock 'n' roll" began life as a jazz trombonist with a band called...

Alma Cogan

Born in London, Cogan's chart career ran from 1954 to 1961 as she sang innumerable hits on the cusp of the rock era. Dubbed "The...