G5E2 – Origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Early Days

Includes: Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Welcome pop pickers.  This week is back to Rock ‘n’ Roll, the early days. This is the sort of music that makes you want to tap your feet, dance, and singalong.

Thank you to Wiki, Britannica, and Top of the Pops.

Courtesy Britannica

Rock ’n’ roll is a style of popular music that originated in the United States in the mid-1950s and that evolved by the mid-1960s into the more encompassing international style known as rock music, though the latter also continued to be known as rock and roll.

In Presley’s wake, the music of Black singers such as Fats DominoLittle RichardChuck Berry, and Bo Diddley, who might have been considered rhythm-and-blues artists only years before, fit alongside the rockabilly-flavoured tunes of white performers such as Buddy HollyEddie Cochran, and Jerry Lee Lewis, in part because they were all now addressing the same audience: teenagers.

The Tunes:

The featured song is by Buddy Holly, who to me and many others is the actual king of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  He died very young, but what a wonderful back catalogue of songs, that are still covered today by so many artists of all type.  Here he is, with The Crickets, on the Ed Sullivan show in 1957.   That’ll Be The Day

Another classic from That’ll be the day album is of course Peggy Sue

Another one I, and I suspect many other know the words to and singalong is Rave On.  Again, this is from The Ed Sullivan show in 1958, just one year before that fateful air crash.

I could do a whole article on Buddy Holly, but I already did, it was the first in the Legend series:  Legends No 1 – Buddy Holly.

Now on to Eddie Cochran.  Eddie was American and was over here in the UK touring with other artists such as Gene Vincent, when he was involved in a car crash in Somerset and sadly died from this at the age of just 20 years old.

Here he singing on an American TV show in 1959 – Eddie Cochran ”C’mon Everybody”, my guess is that a lot of you know the songs, but never seen him, so worth a look just for that.

Eddie Cochran – Somethin’ Else.  Looks so much like Elvis.

Obviously cannot do a short piece on Eddie without this:

Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues

Now, on to Jerry Lee Lewis, controversial I know, not only by the standards of today, but also at the time, even though not illegal and not particularly uncommon in those days.  However, I have never put him in the same box as the unmentionables and his music has always been brilliant and as refreshing today as it was 60 years ago.  For those that do not now, Jerry Lee dies last year on 28th October, aged 87.  A fascinating life he had; I have linked his name to the Wiki page.

Jerry Lee Lewis – Crazy arms. Live in London England 1983, one of those songs I play in car, as it is very difficult to sing, Jerry Lee had a good range.

Back to the early days now with Jerry Lee Lewis – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (Steve Allen Show – 1957).

Cannot do a bit of Jerry Lee without this last one though:

Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire (Jamboree, 1957)

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to Origins Series:

Genre 1 Episode 1 – Motown – The Beginning Genre 1 Episode 2 – Motown Genre 1 Episode 3 – Motown
Genre 1 Episode 4 – Motown Genre 1 Episode 5 – Motown Genre 1 Episode 6 – Motown
Genre 2 Episode 1 –

Glam Rock – The Beginning


Genre 2 Episode 2 –

Glam Rock – The early days

Genre 2 Episode 3 –

Glam Rock

Genre 2 Episode 4 –

Glam Rock – The beginning

Genre 2 Episode 5 –

Glam Rock

Genre 2 Episode 6 –

Glam Rock

Genre 3 Episode 1 – The Singers


Genre 3 Episode 2 – The Singers – The early Days  
G4E1 – Origins of Northern Soul & Disco – The Beginning  G4E2 – Northern Soul and Disco – Early days  
G5E1 – Origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Beginning    
G6E1 – Those different ones like what I like    

Featured image: “Memorial to Buddy Holly et.al.” by thetimchannel is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

© Phil the ex test manager 2023