About the Artists of the 50’s

As an era which stands out in the annals of musical history, the 1950’s remain unique. Real music is one which comes from the soul. An artist makes a composition complete and renders it immortal with his voice. The strength of music shone through during this golden age and its power broke through walls of race and culture and united a dividing country. It was a music which knew no bounds and flew across the globe and into the hearts of the people. Never again was any music so capable of infusing vitality and energy into the masses, as the music of the fifties.

The beginning of the decade saw the continuation of the soft and soulful music which dominated in the forties. It was around the same time that a new generation found its voice and the rhythm and blues began to develop. These formed the foundation of the music which was eventually called rock and roll. The rock and roll music managed to combine this with mainstream music and what developed was an entirely new genre. Some of the greatest musicians rose to prominence during this time and the universality of their music caused a new era to develop. It was an era of vivacity and energy and the music composed still continues to charm its way into the hearts of millions.

The major artists whose talents emerged in the 1950’s were both rock and roll artists together with those who remained entrenched in their respective genres. In the field of rock and roll, the greatest artists were Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Bill Haley and his Comets, Carl Perkins and Ray Charles with hits like “Blue Suede Shoes”, “jailhouse Rock”, “Johnny B. Goode”, “Rock around the clock”, “What’d I say” and “Bo Diddley”. The other major artists who dominated in the fifties were Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Nat “King” Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Roy Orbison and BB King. These covered the most divergent genres from soft soulful music to western style and the blues.

While rock and roll was at its peak during the time, the other fields continued to develop with artists like Johnny Cash and Nat King Cole. Johnny Cash was a country artist who is considered to be one of the single most influential artists of century. In the hands of Nat “King” Cole, jazz flowed into the mainstream of music and still remains there. His songs like “Mona Lisa” and “Too Young” were composed in the fifties and created a mixture of pop music with the traditional jazz culture. In the Rhythm and Blues (R&B), Ray Charles was the singular master with hits like “the little girl of mine”, “Lonely Avenue” and “drown in my own tears”. Even in the later decades, he was successful in making a complete transition to pop music and still managed to score some major hits like “Georgia on my mind”.