NEW MUSIC EAR’S HISTORY OF ROCK – 1956
This series will give a brief insight to the history of Rock music, including all its genres. Bill Haley and The Comets’ song “Rock Around The Clock” was not the first Rock N’ Roll record released, but was the first to reach number 1 and it started the ball rolling (no pun intended). New Music Ear will look at the artists, the styles, the top songs, music births and deaths of each year and some major news snippets. Hope you enjoy the series!
1956 News backdrop –
World news snippets – Morocco gains independence from France and Spain. The Arab-Israeli war is in full effect, Egypt took control of the Suez Canal, Israel advanced on the Suez Canal via the Sinai Peninsula, the British and French invade Egypt at Port Said before U.S. pressure forces a ceasefire from all parties! In the U.S. meanwhile, the first black student of the University of Alabama is suspended following riots. The first aerial H-Bomb is tested over Namu islet, (Bikini Atoll) which is equal to ten million tones of TNT! Imre Nagy announces Hungary’s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact on November 1st following Hungarian rebels forcing USSR troops from Budapest. 3 days later the Soviet troops reclaim the capital. In film the epic The Ten Commandments along with classics such as War And Peace, Around The World in 80 Days, The King & I, Bus Stop and High Society were all released. In celebrity news Marilyn Monroe married American playwright Arthur Miller in White Plains, New York.
This year Rock N’ Roll continued to rise in popularity with Rockabilly and Country, while R & B and Soul were becoming Global genres not just in the U.S.A.
A SELECTION OF TOP SONGS IN THE UK/US –
“Blueberry Hill” – Fats Domino
“Love Me Tender” – Elvis Presley
“Singin’ The Blues – Guy Mitchell
“Long Tall Sally” – Little Richard
“I Walk The Line” – Johnny Cash
“Blue Suede Shoes” – Carl Perkins
“Be Bop A Lula” – Gene Vincent
“Roll Over Beethoven” – Chuck Berry
“Please, Please, Please” – James Brown
“Just Walking In The Rain” – Johnnie Ray
TOP ARTISTS –
Elvis Presley – It was a breakout year for Elvis Aaron Presley with his first TV performance, his first film and his first single with RCA records. That single “Heartbreak Hotel” became his first number one in the U.S. chart and also reached number 2 in the U.K. Presley caused controversy with his “demonic swivelling hips” which caused teenage girls to go crazy, he had arrived and with his other hit songs of this year “Hound Dog”, “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Love Me Tender”. The latter from the film of the same name where he wasn’t originally top billing but changed its promotion to capitalise on the singer’s phenomenal rise. 1956 was officially named “the year of Elvis” with 3 number one singles, two number one albums and at the time, a record nine singles in the Hot 100 chart in the U.S.A.
Pat Boone – Charles Eugene “Pat” Boone singing genres of Pop, Gospel and Country ran Elvis close to being the star of 1956. His version of “Tutti Frutti” reached number 1 in the U.K. charts and with other hits such as “Friendly Persuasion”, “Long Tall Sally”, “I Almost Lost My Mind” and “Just As Long As I’m With You” he had a prominent effect on the charts. Two albums “Pat Boone” and “Howdy” also appeared this year.
The Platters – The U.S. vocal group took 1956 by storm with their brand of Rock N’ Roll, R & B, Doo Wop Soul sound. For quite a while they were the undisputed most successful vocal group in the world and were the first African American group to be recognised as a major “chart” act. “My Prayer” and “You’ll Never Never Know” were their biggst hits this year alongside “One In A Million” , “(You’ve Got) That Magic Touch” and “It Isn’t Right”. “The Great Pretender” hit number one in January and became the second Rock N’ Roll record to hit top spot.
James Brown and The Famous Flames charted with their debut “Please, Please, Please” and Johnny Cash has a Country number 1 with “Walk The Line”. Gene Vincent, Roy Orbison and Tommy Steele stirred the charts with Steel claiming a Number 1 in teh U.K. with “Singing The Blues”.
MUSIC BIRTHS THIS YEAR –
Paul Young/Tom Bailey (The Thompson Twins)/John Lydon/Paul Cook/Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols)/Kenny G/Ian Curtis (Joy Divison)/Joe Satriani/Peter Hook (New Order)/Johnny Fingers (Boomtown Rats)/Nigel Kennedy/ Amii Stewart/Teena Marie/Peter Buck (R.E.M).
MUSIC DEATHS IN THIS YEAR –
Tommy Johnson/Tommy Dorsey
Look out for the next year in this series – 1956!
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