Music - 1950s

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David Whitfield

This British crooner was one of the biggest home-produced names in the early and mid-1950s, The singer (who hailed from Hull) had hits including Mama, Cara Mia,...

Dean Martin

Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio in 1917.  By the age of 15 he had dropped out of high school...

Dells, The

The Dells have been around so long they make The Rolling Stones look like young whippersnappers. Starting out in Chicago as a Doo Wop group called The El Rays,...

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...

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)...

Dinah Washington

Born Ruth Lee Jones in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Dinah Washington grew up in Chicago, where she sang and played piano in church. After she joined the...

Dorothy Squires

Dorothy Squires was born Edna May Squires in Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire (South Wales) on 25 March 1915. She began to perform professionally as a singer...

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...

Drifters, The

Formed in 1953 in New York at the behest of Atlantic Records, The Drifters were consistent US hit makers until 1964. A few years later their...

Duane Eddy

Duane was born in Corning in far upstate New York, 150 miles from the Canadian border. He grew up there and in other small...

Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran was born on 3 October 1938, the youngest of five children. The Cochran family home was in Oklahoma City but shortly after Eddie...

Ella Fitzgerald

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

Elmore James

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

Elvis Presley

Elvis Aron (Aaron) Presley was born on 8 January 1935 to a poor family from Tupelo, Mississippi, and moved to Memphis, Tennessee with his...

Embassy Records

Kids today want designer names, the genuine thing. But in the 1950's and 1960's when money was in short supply, they were happy to...

Emile Ford (& The Checkmates)

In a musical climate that had been dominated by white British and American acts, Emile Ford forged a name for himself as Britain's first...

Esther Phillips

Her inimitable ravaged voice - part Nina Simone, part Dinah Washington- combined with patronage from bandleader Johnny Otis saw her soar to the US R&B chart...

Etta James

LA-native Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins) was born in Los Angeles on 25 January 1938. Her mother, Dorothy Hawkins, a 14-year-old groupie and jazz fan, put...

Everly Brothers, The

Born Isaac Donald Everly on 1 February 1937 in Brownie, Kentucky, Don wasn't the twin of Phil, as so many believed. Phil was in...

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...