The Earliest Style of Rock and Roll

Rockabilly music is a seminal, first-generation rock-and-roll style distinguished by extreme rhythmic drive and a full-tilt approach to both singing and instrumental soloing.  Rockabilly came about when poor white kids in the southern states of the US grew up listening to hillbilly, gospel and blues, and mixed these musical influences and developed this hard-driving fusion of country and rhythm and blues.  In Memphis, Tennessee, radio engineer turned record producer Sam Phillips began recording Black musicians in 1950.  Record reviewers coined the term rockabilly, which literally meant rock and roll played by hillbillies in order to describe the intense, rhythm-driven musical style introduced by Elvis Presley on his first recordings.  In July 1954, in his first session for Sam Phillips’s Sun label of Memphis, Tennessee, Presley recorded ‘That’s All Right’ which would lay the foundation for rockabilly.  This song was written by Mississippi bluesman Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup and recorded in 1946.  At the recording session, while Elvis was singing and strumming an acoustic guitar, with Scotty Moore on electric guitar, and Bill Black on upright bass, they reached a momentary musical impasse, so they took a break.  Their conservation got around to the blues, when Elvis asked if they knew this song and history was made.  Other musicians that recorded rockabilly music were Buddy Holly, Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, Wanda Jackson, Brenda Lee, Ricky Nelson, and Johnny Cash.

Last week we had Bayou Sound where the theme was to find Swamp rock songs.  This week the theme is to find Rockabilly music.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you can as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• Link to the YouTube video, or you can pull it into your post, so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

This week I will be writing about the Gene Vincent song ‘Blue Jean Bop’, and next week, I will be writing about the song ‘Shoot the Curl’ by The Honeys.  The upcoming prompts will be:
March 12, 2023 – Surf Rock
March 19, 2023 – Bluegrass
March 26, 2023 – Grunge music
April 2, 2023 – Alternative Rock outside the mainstream

40 thoughts on “The Earliest Style of Rock and Roll

  1. Seeing Marty Robbins on the list reminded me that my father gifted me with a record player around 7th grade and he included the Gunfighter Ballad album with it. Eight years later he upgraded me to a nicer stereo and bought me the exact same album to go with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to see that WordPress has fixed its pingbacks problem! Even at this early hour I’m the second to offer you my choice – but at least I’ve played a different version!

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      1. It’s not unorganised – just open to all to share what they like, which is what makes it so good. I just found it amusing that two of the first three to post this week had gone for the same song when there are so many to choose from!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely agree with your analysis of Rockabilly music. As you mentioned, Rockabilly music was a genre that emerged from the fusion of different musical styles such as country, blues, and gospel. This blend of sounds created a unique and intense rhythm that was full of energy and enthusiasm. The music was a representation of the lives of poor white kids in the southern United States who were influenced by their surroundings and the music they heard on the radio.

    The role that Sam Phillips played in the creation and development of Rockabilly cannot be overstated. Phillips saw the potential in this new style of music and provided a platform for its artists to shine. His decision to record black musicians was also significant as it challenged the racial segregation that was prevalent in the music industry at the time.

    Elvis Presley’s recording of “That’s All Right” marked a turning point in the history of Rockabilly music. His unique voice, combined with Scotty Moore’s electric guitar and Bill Black’s upright bass, created a sound that was new and exciting. The song went on to become a classic and set the stage for the emergence of other Rockabilly artists such as Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.

    Rockabilly music had a significant impact on the music industry, and its influence can still be heard in the music of today. The genre paved the way for the emergence of other styles of music such as rock and roll, country rock, and punk rock. The artists who created Rockabilly music will always be remembered for their contribution to the music world.

    In conclusion, Rockabilly music was a groundbreaking genre that emerged from the fusion of different musical styles. Its intense rhythm and energy continue to captivate audiences to this day, and its influence can still be heard in modern music. The artists who created Rockabilly music were pioneers, and their contributions to the music world will never be forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably. Looking at the artists listed for rockabilly, I don’t remember a lot of them or their early music, yet the Big O was a favourite. Pretty Woman and It’s Over didn’t seem to fit today. I thought about Shakin’ Stevens as well, but that didn’t seem to work.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, nobody has ever suggested that before, Christine. I wasn’t sure it would work but after looking into it I found 30 groups with food names, so I think this will be really fun. I was surprised to find so many bands like Bananarama, Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Hootie and the Blowfish, Bread, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Cake, The Cookies, Cream, The Cranberries, Country Joe and the Fish, Vanilla Fudge, Moby Grape, The Jam, Pearl Jam, Meat Puppets, Blind Melon, Blue Oyster Cult, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Humble Pie, The Electric Prunes, Smashing Pumpkins, Raspberries, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Spice Girls. Strawberry Alarm Clock, Sugarloaf, Sweet, and Hot Tuna.
      September 3, 2023 – Song by a band with a “Food” name suggested by Christine Bialczak of Stine Writing and Miniatures

      Liked by 1 person

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