Between Elvis & The Fab Four

1958-1962 is still considered a flat period or a lull for rock and roll, that’s the time period between Elvis’ induction into the Army and the Beatles arrival in America, February 1963. I look at the lull the music business is in now and I wonder how rock survived then especially when it was considered a fad. Closer examination of the popular singles of that time reveal that there was a gradual sea change from traditional pop to rock and r&b that eventually became soul music in the 60’s. 1958 singles included Yakety Yak by the Coasters and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by The Platters. Johnny B. Goode, Summertime Blues and Maybe Baby also came out that year and Phil Spector’s To Know Him Is To Love Him. The biggest single that year however was Volare. 1959 featured What I’d Say by Ray Charles, There Goes My Baby by The Drifters and La Bamba by Ritchie Valens. Biggest single of 1959 was Mack The Knife by Bobby Darin. 1960-61 shows the crossover as the two biggest singles were It’s Now or Never by Elvis and Stand By Me by Ben E. King. There’s also an abundance of songs that play off of The Twist which was more than just a single but a true phenomenon. Other notables during that time include Roy Orbison’s Only The Lonely, The Drifter’s Save The Last Dance For Me and Shop Around by The Miracles.  1962 saw the release of The Beach Boys first singles, Green Onions and The Duke Of Earl. So this time period may not be as dramatic as the arrival of Elvis or the British Invasion but there were a lot of early efforts from musical acts (Phil Spector, Smokey Robinson, Brian WIlson) that would soon become major factors in the history of rock and roll. I may look into the gap between grunge and modern times but I’m not sure I have the energy to do that.             

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