best songs of the 50s

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Elvis had flustered teenagers all shook up, while the likes of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and the like were destroying the old safety nets with a virile, passionate new sound. Nice woodblocks too. Lastly, if you think I may have missed any great acoustic songs in the list above, don’t forget to leave a comment below. Brown was never more energized than during this early period of his career when his Gospel roots collided with the passionate blues of his Famous Flames band. A showy and expansive number, ‘The Great Pretender’ inevitably found favour with Freddie Mercury who once more took it into the UK top 5 in 1987, out-camping The Platters no doubt but possibly not wringing out similar emotion. Lee’s version might be the one everyone remembers but Little Willie John’s swinging soul take was a specialist US hit and million-seller in its own right. One of the many tracks that’s been claimed as the first rock and roll record (alongside efforts from Fats Domino, Bill Haley, and Roy Brown), the Pelvis’ cover of blues singer Arthur Crudup’s ‘That’s All Right’ is certainly the one that broke him. Hard to believe sometimes that Cliff was once a genuine, lip-curling rock’n’roller, but ‘Move It!’ is a convincing start. One of the rawest early rock tracks, Bo Diddley’s self-regarding jerker has been covered, ripped off and filleted repeatedly since. Elvis may have the more popular version but nobody delivers ‘Hound Dog’ like the Mama; altering her inflections on every line she delivers by far the most captivating rendition. Little Richard’s best track was revolutionary in terms of how it shaped rock and roll, not just in musically but in its pioneering use of double entendre. Cole Porter had written the track back in the 1930s but it was covered by Sinatra for his ‘Songs For Swingin’ Lovers’ album in 1956 . An utterly tragic love story of two doomed lovers from rival American Indian tribes who drown in each other’s arms. The song was listed as Number 3 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs.The song is probably best known today as the centerpiece of the 1952 musical film Singin' in the Rain, in which Gene Kelly memorably danced to the song while splashing through puddles during a rainstorm. Forget Lulu’s rendition – this is the real deal. The number one songs of the 1950s also included teen idol hits, zany novelty tunes, folk music, country pop, instrumental songs, and various other styles. Eddie Cochran lived fast and died young in classic teen rebellion style but left a beautiful body of work to show for his two short years in the business. The results in this chart are not affiliated with any mainstream or commercial chart and may not reflect charts seen elsewhere. Nina Simone’s hepcat jazz cut was a cover of a number from the 1930 musical Whoopee! A cover of the bluesy Big Mama Thornton track, Elvis changed the track into hip-swiveling pound of rolling drums and grinding guitars that set teenage girls alight and made parents blush. Rock-n-Roll emerged in the mid-50s as the teen music of choice with Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Bobby Darin, Ritchie Valens, Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochran, Brenda Lee, Bobby Vee, Connie Frances, Johnny Mathis, Pat Boone and Ricky Nelson being notable exp… Chuck Berry’s first record, and first hit, pumped more excitement and genius guitar work into its short few minutes than most post-millennial bands muster in a career. The source for this decade is the "Kent Music Report".These charts were calculated in the 1990s in retrospect, by David Kent, using archival data.. Featuring one of the dirtiest riffs this side of Jimmy Page’s fretboard, this is five minutes of low down, grungy, swampy blues at its best, Muddy Waters delivering his gravelly take on Willie Dixon’s classic, which incidentally refers to a provocative belly dance from the late nineteenth century. Written by Quartet member Paul Desmond, ‘Take Five’ features Brubeck on nudging, insistent piano and Desmond on the meandering sax, and was a pioneering jazz/pop crossover. Another one for Back To The Future – and Superman III and The Karate Kid II as the 80s went crazy disinterring early rock’n’roll era favourites – ‘Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)’ is an exquisite doo-wop pleasure written by Penguins baritone Curtis Williams that made the US top 10, the group’s only real success of note. That riff, that piano, and that chorus – all packaged into a timeless track about rock ‘n’ roll itself. Where’s it going? An ancient 29 – and appearing years older – Haley nevertheless led a well-drilled band and he and his Comets toured incessantly to establish themselves as unexpected trailblazers. Similar song lists for further reading: 1960s love songs; 1970s love songs; 1980s love songs; 1950s Love Songs. Written by blues rock stalwarts Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, ‘A Teenager In Love’ found itself in the UK charts three times over in June 1959. Holly And The Crickets created a penetrating slab of early, guitar driven blues. Related Articles. The following lists the number one singles on the Australian Singles Chart during the 1950s. Turner eventually disputed and won. Jimmy Reed’s first US chart hit, ‘Honest I Do’ is a slow blues drawl featuring guitar and harmonica duelling from the man himself. Patti Page, the biggest-selling female artist of the decade, did the honours. A cover of a Doris Day standard, Nat King Cole’s version was a creamy confection of dream-like music covered in swathes of layered strings, over which Cole’s velvet voice floated. But then everything changed. Making influenza catchy since ’57. She’d actually written the mesmeric ‘Freight Train’ when she was 12 – after 50 years in mothballs, it was soon covered by artists including country star Chet Atkins and folkie Joan Baez. Clarence earned his nickname from an uncanny ability to sing like a frog – as he boasts on ‘Ain’t Got No Home’, “I can sing like a bird/ And I can sing like a frog”. They were so lush in fact that you could forget that they were singing lines like “I feel like I could die”. Played live since his Delta blues days in the ‘30s and honed for two decades before its release in ’56, it sees harmonica, train references and a repeated E major chord collide to mesmerising effect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEl3UUl1Fmw. 100 best tracks of the ’50s – Spotify playlist, http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1483850446001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAABumiUU~,CmZu1qzq0NyICxn2Vp-nk3_Z6ll_Smhf&bctid=1585785053001. $(document).ready(function() { https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XxGUIbYjmY. These noble, traditional sentiments inspired huge swathes of artists to have a go too, tempting Elvis, The Beatles, Little Richard and – almost certainly definitively – the great Shakin’ Stevens in 1982. It also meant that it was just a matter of time before songs were written about them. Holly was inspired to write the track after his cinematic hero John Wayne repeatedly used the phrase in a film and it ended up a chart-topper on both sides of the pond. The 1950s marked the birth of rock’n’roll. The filthiest thing to be released in all of 1956. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley 3. ‘C’mon Everybody’, with its motorik guitar foundations and raspy vocal from Cochran still stands up and was memorably covered in 1979 by Sid Vicious – another briefly burning rock’n’roller. Music from 1950 -1959. King and – well – how much time have you got? The subject of discord over writing credits, ‘Blue In Green’ is now credited to Davis and occasional collaborator and legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans. Where’s it coming from? Vladimir Putin attempted it live last year – every time someone watches that rendition, a cat is tortured somewhere on the globe. Another Elvis classic recorded for the movie Loving You, it was also laid down by rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson in ’60 and used on the soundtrack for Dead Poet’s Society. Danny Rapp sustains his lead vocal over a breakneck couple of minutes, but it’s baritone Joe Terranova who steals the show. 100 best tracks of the ’50s – Spotify playlist. Still, his salsa-tinged instrumental lives on, a cheeky soundtrack to shenanigans the world over. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for 100 Greatest 50s & … The Twist is the most popular of all dances, with ten hits represented. Let us know what your favorite acoustic guitar song is! With a ragtime piano and a crowing vocal, Little Richard creates a sonic romp that suggests there’s a lot more going under the covers than one initially suspects. The song is also performed during the opening credits of the film. Here's a list of the best teen tragedy songs of the '50s and '60s, hand-picked by your guide. It would become a standard for any jazz/soul singer hoping to prove their chops, picked up by Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan and – naturally – Rod Stewart. Also credited to his band The Teen Kings just before The Big ‘O’ stepped into the spotlight once and for all, ‘Ooby Dooby’ is a lithe bit of trad rock’n’roll that convinced Sam Phillips to give Orbison his Sun Records break and introduced America to one of its finest pop voices. His spry take on the song, released six months before his death from heart failure, remains definitive but well-known versions have been cut by Fats Domino and MOR legends The Carpenters. Originally written for the 1934 film Dames, before being covered by Peggy Lee, the definitive version of this track was by the vocal harmony group The Flamingos. He left behind this delicate ballad – reputedly the first record Paul Simon ever bought – that lives on in 50s-fuelled movies like Stephen King’s Christine and, of course, Back To The Future. In one form or another The Dells have stuck around for the past 60 years, but it was ‘Oh, What A Night’ that gave them their first hit. Being broke never sounded so good. }); Once the adolescent screams had abated, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ was revealed to be a jaunty 50s jive-a-thon, a simple plea from a puppy dog faced Elvis to not dismiss his pure, beating heart of love. that appeared on her debut album but only made megahit status when it was used for a 1987 Chanel No.5 advert. A perennial blues fave, ‘Don’t Start Me Talkin” was a self-penned hit for Williamson and housed a who’s who of blues heavyweights in its credits, including Willie Dixon on bass and Muddy Waters on guitar. Almost from the get-go it established the Canadian Anka as a mainstream crooner who continues to record and perform into his 70s. 0-8230-7646-6 This list is odd. This article is about the US number-one songs chart from 1950–1958.. The biggest hit belonged to Kim’s dad Marty Wilde but Dion DiMucci launched a career off the back of this doo-wop beauty, hitting paydirt with ‘Runaround Sue’ and ‘The Wanderer’ and still mooching around today. Few songs come spring-loaded with the amount of energy this tune packs. Easily one of the most recognisable cuts in the entire list, Valens’ adaption of a Mexican folk song is jam-packed with infectious refrains, classic guitar lines and monster drumming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFCePEPdaU4. Backed by ‘Hound Dog,’ the track became one of the biggest sellers of his career. Memphis-born Johnny Burnette and his trio patented that dirty rock’n’roll sound pretty much by accident when guitarist Paul Burlison knocked over his Fender Deluxe amp. Makes you proud to be human. It’s remarkable for its minimalist presentation, with London accompanied only by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on double bass. ‘Rock Me Baby’ is an essential part of any blues grounding, cropping up in the oeuvre of Jeff Beck and The Animals and on Otis Redding’s 1965 classic ‘Otis Blue’. Yes, the UK had its very own Elvis, for a time at least, and sent his debut single straight to No.2. The rest is, as you know, history. The Everly’s celestial harmonies were goose bump inducing, and would later influence everyone from The Beatles to Fleetwood Mac. Where the sound of street doo-wop met rock and roll, the precocious Harlem teen Lymon and his vocal harmony group The Teenagers sang with the type of honesty about teenage love angst which that only a (then) 15 year old could have known about . I was undeterred. But that’s not his fault. Subsequently covered by everyone from Elvis Presley to Carl Perkins – and Bubba Sparks. LA vocal group The Platters made their name with this – their second and biggest hit, a US No.1 and UK No.5. Hard to re-appraise objectively after its use and abuse on films and adverts – from Hot Shots to So I Married An Axe Murderer, Alvin And The Chipmunks and beyond – over the years, The Platters’ sweetly harmonised ballad is nevertheless a total classic. Released after his death, it would typify a sort of ageless, heart-sore balladeering form that Williams helped inaugurate. Top songs of the 1960's is updated by the minute by Gigbuilder - The world's most popular Event Management System. McKinley ‘Muddy Waters’ Morganfield wasn’t the first artist to record ‘Got My Mojo Working’ – that accolade goes to gospel singer Ann Cole – but as a blues pioneer his thundering version has set the standard and been covered by Elvis, Etta James, Canvey Island rockers Doctor Feelgood, fellow blues legend B.B. They deserve their longevity with this meaty doo-wop stayer led by Fred Parris’s clearcut vocals and backed by rootsy, grainy sax. Rankings are based on the popularity of each song during the period of 1950 through 1969. On its initial release ‘Reet Petite’ was a throaty solo debut for Wilson, who had just left his band The Dominoes, and a lyrical inspiration for Van Morrison’s 1972 R&B classic ‘Jackie Wilson Said’. This track was famously used as a key part of his gig routine, when a handler came out, covered Brown in a cape and escorted a seemingly overwrought Brown off-stage. Written and arranged by one Ike Turner, who turns in the rolling piano too, it was released on Chicago blues label Chess with singer Jackie Brenston taking all the glory and publishing cash. Here are the top 100 tracks from the decade that that sparked a musical revolution. It was co-written by nominal lead singer Pookie Hudson and Calvin Carter and its “doh-doh-doh” vocal rhythms often rear up on other records, including Pete Wingfield’s 1975 pastiche ‘Eighteen With A Bullet’ featured on the Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels soundtrack. The Shirelles for the invention of the girl group. Recorded when the remarkable Anka – who also managed to co-write it – was only 15, this perky slice of doo-wop turned into one of the biggest selling singles of all time, apparently shifting nine million units. The rolling rumble of bass and drums and the lo-fi guitar sound would influence everyone from The Beatles to Girls, while the simplicity of its chord structure provided that the most infectious tracks often came in seemingly basic packages – the effect of which would be seen until this day. Number One on the country music chart for a month, Cash’s fictional account of incarceration at the Californian clink was a mid-fifties smash, and opened his seminal live album from the state penitentiary, ‘At Folsom Prison’. Rock n' roll caused an explosion in the world music scene like few others, but it also signaled a taste change in what made America laugh: while the pre-rock novelties of the '50s were occasionally clever, they were also usually staid, the remnants of the Greatest Generation's safe, homespun humor. An early work of rock genius. A favourite of The Rolling Stones, this ramshackle r ‘n’ b classic was thrust into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2010 and with good reason – it’s a perfect little slab of catchy choruses and infectious guitar. Still, it had the cash rolling in, which would explain The Five Satins’ continued existence. Its skittering groove would underpin many of rock’n’roll’s dancefloor cuts, most dubiously Jive Bunny’s 1988 megamixes where the Big Bopper’s “Ooh, baby, that’s what I like!” provided regular punctuation. If not rock ‘n’ roll’s calling card then a strong contender, this track’s been covered approximately 12,000 times, mostly notably by The Beatles for several years at the start of their career. New Orleans pianist Antoine ‘Fats’ Domino was a profound influence on later pop idols Elvis Presley and John Lennon, bringing swing to rock’n’roll’s baby steps. A bluesy rock and roll number with a dour undercurrent, it was Elvis’ first number one. ‘Willie And The Hand Jive’ is that old staple, a tie-in with a dance craze, but was fresh and vital enough to crack the US top 10. Beyond the fact that I wasn't born until well after the end of that decade, the 50s pose quite a few other listmaking challenges. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. Parping sax and handclaps drove a kinetic track that earned a reputation as a crucial bridge between black music and white audiences, and it remains the calling card of a band that endures with Speedoo Carroll still upfront. Berry’s song follows one such rabid fan over a simple blues riff. An early doo-wop success, The Chords’ stray cat strut through ‘Sh-Boom’ would end up being their only hit, albeit a sturdy one, reaching the Billboard top 10. The reverend of the double entendre, Little Richard’s portrait of a good time “mama” is unforgettable. It's very hard to accurately track down dates for a lot of worthy 50's era music. Since its 1955 release its rickety power has been harnessed by ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore, blues supergroup The Yardbirds and that man Dion again. If there were any blues contained in this summer, we couldn’t detect them. Best 1950s Music is a list of the most popular songs of the 1950s to hit the charts and become hits in American culture. For Ray, ‘Cry’ was the start of a long, successful career in music and film. A simple blues-rockabilly shake-down which was enlivened by sprawling axe work from future guitar legend James Burton. With tremolo guitar from Chet Atkins, ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ is one of the decade’s more saccharine options, but proved how vital harmonies could be to a song’s DNA. $(".comp-slideshow-03 br").remove(); As legend would have it, this track was penned by Williams about his first wife, but dictated to his second wife, whilst he was driving. Elizabeth Cotten got her belated break in 1957 at the grand old age of 62 when her shimmering guitar playing talents were finally spotted by the Seeger family. It took a claymation video to finally shoot ‘Reet Petite’ to the top of the UK charts at the end of 1986, at that point setting a record for longest gap between release and hitting No.1. The gossamer tones of Cline’s voice and honky tonk rhythms were paired with the creepy undercurrents of the lyrics, that suggested insomnia or even some sort of psychotic, night-time mania. } Either way, it’s the latter’s version that rules, and proves beyond dispute why the guy was dubbed “the king of slide guitar”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGI4PgAHxtg. Think blues and you think Howlin Wolf and ‘Smokestack Lightnin’. Forget Lady Gaga’s 2008 album monstrosity, this slinky shuffle features some top vocal lines from the Drifters’ tenor, bass, and baritone voices and, halfway through the playful sax solo, one of the greatest screams in rock history. Later recorded by The Rolling Stones and George Clinton, there’s a timeless carefree spirit about ‘Let The Good Times Roll’, which gives the whole thing a gentle ‘Happy Birthday’-like vibe. However, Fats did it best, and it remained his biggest track. $(".photo-thumb-link").lightbox();$(".comp-slideshow-03 p a").lightbox(); Whether you’re looking for a famous song to learn on guitar or want to discover some of the best players of all time, this list will point you in the right direction. Almost krautrock in its relentless, headlong rhythm, Little Richard’s ‘Lucille’ showcases the flamboyant rock’n’roll pianist at his blistering best. Songs have been written about every topic imaginable, but the best ones -- from swooning '50s ballads to contemporary club bangers -- have been penned about the ups and downs of being in love. After years of prom-friendly sweetness, here was a track that finally soundtrack the rampant, fiery nature of spurned love. Source: _Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits_ compiled by Fred Bronson (c)1995. 100 Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs of the 50s 1950 1. Chunky Jiles Perry Richardson went down in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, but not before releasing this twisting paean to a cute girlfriend. Songs about specific dances comprise the majority of this list; songs on the subject of dancing are also included. A meld of baby rock’n’roll and doo-wop, The Cadillacs’ ‘Speedoo’ was so called after their lead singer Earl Carroll’s nickname. Banned from some extremely prudish radio stations on its release, due to its perceived suggestive content, this smooth pop ditty is two minutes flat of teenage high jinx and sweet harmonies that went on to garner the dubious accolade of being George Dubya’s favourite track. In the world of rock mythology, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was inspired by a real life suicide, the story of which propelled songwriting duo Axton and Durden to pen this track. Subsequently revived by all manner of crooners, from Michael Bolton (questionable) to Aretha (worth a listen). He undermines his destitution with zany voices and jaunty rolling blues, and the song found a place in cinema posterity, popping up in 80s Brat Pack movies Diner and The Lost Boys. One of the unimpeachable dawn-of-rock standards, ‘Lucille’ was a smash on both sides of the Atlantic and has been butchered by artists ranging from hair-metallers Van Halen to rock’n’roll pasticheurs par excellence Mud. Top songs of the 1950's is updated by the minute by Gigbuilder - The world's most popular … Song Title Song Artist Year Genre; Top songs of the 1950's is updated by the minute by … It later became a standard, providing teen idol David Cassidy with a bit of emotional heft and giving Crystal Gayle a country chart No.1. Chuck Berry’s cut remains the set text, though. As a neat summary of rock’n’roll it’s understandably been knocked out by big-hitters from The Beatles to The Beach Boys, Humble Pie to Australian cheese captains Mental As Anything. The Greatest of All-Time Billboard Hot 100 Songs and Artists rankings are based on weekly performance on the Hot 100 (from its inception on Aug. 4, 1958, through July 21, 2018). ‘In The Still Of The Night’ enjoys the perhaps tainted honour of being an integral part of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. The Waltz and the Mambo each have five, followed by the Tango with three. Various versions have surfaced in the movies and on TV, sh-booming through Johnny Depp’s Cry-Baby and Patrick Swayze’s Roadhouse as well as appearing in Dennis Potter’s 50s pastiche Lipstick On Your Collar for the BBC. The cad! ‘Rock And Roll Music’ is a quickfire tribute to the form, a skidding, popping workout written by Berry and produced by the Chess brothers for their own leading blues label. But his delivery belied the lyrics, which rather unsettlingly suggested the creeping sense of an inescapable obsession. Over a simple piano figure and a nursery rhyme like melody, these “good times” sound like they’re nothing more salacious than a game of Scrabble and some warm Ribena. Written as a pledge of marital devotion and penned as a ballad, it was producer Sam Phillips who suggested the breezy, arrangement. Top Hindi Songs of The 50s Music Playlist on Gaana.com. 20 Biggest Songs of the Summer: The 1950s From mambos to the birth of rock, the best songs for hitting the drive-thru in the warmer months A brilliantly constructed couple of minutes it weaves frenetic harmonies, time signature changes and varied dynamics to irresistible effect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twQNeIBGntg. Although Cash’s music and career would inhabit darker, more complicated and ornate territory, the simplicity of ‘I Walk The Line’ is one of his most memorable moments. ‘I Hear You Knocking’ was another Dave Bartholomew composition (with Pearl King), adorned by Lewis’s rich soulful croon and the kind of barrelling piano that Domino would make his own, sadly stealing all of Lewis’s thunder. Goodnight Irene - Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers - 1950 Michael - The Highwaymen - 1961 Tom Dooley - The Kingston Trio - 1958 The Sounds of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel - 1965 Walk Right In - The Rooftop Singers - 1963 Leaving on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary - 1969 On Top of Old Smoky - The Weavers and Terry Gilkyson - 1951 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvKDr8AgvK8. If you are looking for a complete list of the best wedding songs from the 1950s, please visit our Top 100 Songs of the 1950s. What'd I Say - Ray Charles 4. It took a couple of years to break into the UK charts, but is now woven into the very fabric of pop’s zoot suit and remains the signature tune for the still-going Quartet. 20 Best Hits of the '50s is kind of a bait and switch, since all the tunes here are new stereo … From its brassy train whistle to the evocative lyrics, few tunes encapsulate a sense of travel and wonder as this early ‘50s classic. TOP 100 FOLK HITS OF THE '50S AND '60S. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry 2. From big band tracks to jazz standards, until midway through the 20th century, music was a resolutely parent-friendly zone. Smiley Lewis was already in his 40s when he recorded the first version of ‘Blue Monday’, later a hit for fellow New Orleans musician Fats Domino. Words by Matthew Horton, Tim Chester, Priya Elan. Hugely influential in the way it shaped the sound of the nascent rock and roll sound, the rudimentary blues contained within would later be appropriated by The Velvet Underground (who covered the track early in their career). Top 100+ Easy Guitar Songs – BEST List For Beginners and Intermediate Players; Top 70+ Greatest Fingerpicking Songs What else could it be, really? Reed’s pure voice and persuasive playing had a deep impact on the approaching rock’n’roll boom, particularly The Rolling Stones who covered ‘Honest I Do’ on their 1964 debut album. The walking bass and skipping keys found favour with the late 80s jazz vampires who sent it top 5 in the UK. Inspired in part by a guy’s precious love for his suede shoes over the girl he was dancing with, Perkins’ big hit went on to sell a million records in the first three months (no mean feat in ’55) and climb the country, rhythm and blues, and pop charts simultaneously. © 2021 NME is a member of the media division of BandLab Technologies. Lloyd Price hit the jackpot with his very first recording, an impassioned rock’n’roll stormer that puts all its heart into telling a young lady how fine she is. Although it was wholesome crooner Pat Boone who took ‘Ain’t That A Shame’ to the top in the States, the song was Domino’s entry to the mainstream, paving the way for ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Blueberry Hill’. 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