G5E3 – Origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Early Days Middle Era

Includes: Little Richard, Bill Haley and His Comets.

Welcome pop pickers.  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

Little Richard, for me, epitomised what the 50’s was all about.  Fabulous music, great act.  Well worth a read of his Wiki entry.

When Bill Haley and His Comets kicked off the 1955 motion picture Blackboard Jungle with “Rock Around the Clock,” teens in movie houses throughout the United States stomped on their seats. Movie stars such as Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953) and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) oozed sullen, youthful defiance that was echoed by the music. This emerging rock-and-roll culture brought a wave of condemnations from religious leaders, government officials, and parents’ groups, who branded it the “devil’s music.”

The music industry’s response was to sanitize the product: it had clean-cut, nonthreatening artists such as Pat Boone record tame versions of Little Richard songs, and it manufactured a legion of pretty-boy crooners such as Frankie Avalon and Fabian who thrived on and who would essentially serve as the Perry Como’s and Bing Crosbys for a new generation of listeners. By the end of the 1950s, Presley had been inducted into the army, Holly had died in a plane crash, and Little Richard had converted to gospel. Rock and roll’s golden era had ended, and the music entered a transitional phase characterized by a more sophisticated approach: the orchestrated wall of sound erected by Phil Spector, the “hit factory” singles churned out by Motown records, and the harmony-rich surf fantasies of the Beach Boys. By the mid-1960s this sophistication allowed the music greater freedom than ever before, and it fragmented into numerous styles that became known simply as rock.

The Tunes:

The featured song is by Little Richard with Long Tall Sally.  Absolute classic.  Keep the video going and we have Tutti Fruity

I have always his song Lucille.  I found this version from 2002.  Little Richard – “Lucille” (2002) – MDA Telethon.  Voice and piano and all the tune is as brilliant as ever.  Just looks like a lot of plastic surgery has gone on though!

Little Richard – Good Golly Miss Molly (Muhammad Ali’s 50th Birthday).  Classic Friday night ghey tune.

A deeply religious man, but like so many had a drink and drugs problem.  Being a homosexualist in the 50’s could not have been easy and he was probably one of the first to “come out”.

On May 9, 2020, after a two-month illness, Richard died at the age of 87 at his home in Tullahoma, Tennessee from a cause related to bone cancer.

A total revelation in the music scene in 1955 was of course Bill Hayley and His Comets with Rock Around The Clock (1955).  At the time.  Haley died at his home in Harlingen on February 9, 1981, aged 55.  Another one taken early.

Some more Bill Haley though:

Bill Haley and Comets  – See you later alligator. Oh to be able to dance like the people in this video.

Bill Haley & his Comets – Shake, Rattle and Roll (Live on Austrian TV, 1976).  I do not think it possible to not singalong when a Bill Haley rack comes on.

We move on though to the 60’s and something special appeared.  The Beach Boys:

Here is a taster for next time:  Surfin’ USA Live on the T.A.M.I. Show (1964)

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to Origins Series:

Genre 1 Episode 1 – Motown – The Beginning Genre 1 Episode 2 – Motown – The early Days Genre 1 Episode 3 – Motown – The early Days Part 2
Genre 2 Episode 1 –Glam Rock – The Beginning


Genre 2 Episode 2 –Glam Rock – The early days Genre 2 Episode 3 –Glam Rock – The early days Part 2
Genre 2 Episode 4 – Glam Rock – The beginning
Genre 3 Episode 1 – The Singers


Genre 3 Episode 2 – The Singers – The early Days Genre 3 Episode 3 -Origins of the Singers  -Later time
G4E1 – Origins of Northern Soul & Disco – The Beginning  G4E2 – Northern Soul and Disco – Early days  G4E3 – Northern Soul & Disco – Middle Era
G5E1 – Origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Beginning G5E2 – Origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Early Days  G5E3 – Origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll – Early Days Middle Era
G6E1 – Those different ones like what I like G6E2 – Those different ones like what I like – Part 2  
G6E3 – Those different ones like what I like – Part 3    

Featured image: “Little Richard’s 16 Greatest Hits – Trip Records” by Nesster is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

© Phil the ex test manager 2023