1950s Music – 1957 subtle changes had begun to occur. The music establishment, never comfortable with Black Rhythm and Blues – even if it was now called Rock and Roll – was making some headway at homogenizing popular music. Safer, more innocent looking artists had surfaced to capture the attention of the teen audience.
1957 introduced two of America’s Teen Idols, Paul Anka and Ricky Nelson to the Rock charts.
Go to the TEEN IDOLS PAGE
The tall, lanky Texan with glasses wouldn’t have been anybody’s first choice for teen idol. But, he was certainly the kinda fellow Mom might have picked for you. Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holley (renamed “Holly” because of a mispelling on a contract) wanted the song to be Cindy Lou, after his niece. Jerry Allison, a band member, won out with his girlfriend’s name, Peggy Sue. After only two years in the limelight, Buddy Holly’s life was cut short by a plane crash in February of 1959.
Learn more about The Day the Music Died.
The Everly Brothers had a good year in 1957 with two huge hits, Bye Bye Love and Wake Up Little Susie.
The carefully blended harmonies of Don and Phil Everly resonated with fans. The brothers,smiling at right in a picture from the 60s, broke up in 1973 after an onstage fight. They are now reunited to the delight of fans.
This is the guy Dad didn’t want to see at the front door – even before he knew to lock up your kid sister. Jerry Lee Lewis’ irrepressible vitality was amply demonstrated in Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.
“The Killer,” as he is still known, is big in cousins. Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggert are cousins. And when, in 1959, he married his 13 year old cousin (a couple times removed), it nearly destroyed his career. his career, Little Richard left the music business in 1957 to study at a Bible college in Alabama and to “make his peace with Jesus.” Fortunately for his fans, his ministry has never completely dominated Little Richard’s life. He has made several comebacks over the years, and in 1996 he performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic games in Atlanta.
John Lennon said, “If you ever tried to give Rock ‘n’ Roll another name, it might be called Chuck Berry.”
Although Chuck Berry had been the leader of a popular Blues band in St. Louis for many years, fame arrived when Berry was 29, older than his contemporaries. Berry’s music was a combination of Blues, Country and Rock. School Days and Rock and Roll Music were his big titles in 1957.
Pat Boone had a banner year with 4 big hits. They were:
Love Letters in the Sand
Don’t Forbid Me
Remember You’re Mine
Love Letters in the Sand was the Number One song of the year for 1957.
Antoine “Fats” Domino enjoyed another big year, topped by the classic Blueberry Hill. Domino, when asked where this new Rock and Roll began, responded, “Why, it’s the same Rhythm and Blues I’ve been playing in New Orleans for 15 years.”
1957 was the last year in the history of Rock in which all of the year end Top Ten artists were American.
Elvis Presley was still a one man phenomena with 6 titles on the charts.
At the height of his career, Little Richard left the music business in 1957 to study at a Bible college in Alabama and to “make his peace with Jesus.” Fortunately for his fans, his ministry has never completely dominated Little Richard’s life. He has made several comebacks over the years, and in 1996 he performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic games in Atlanta.
Bill Haley had yet to match the success of Rock Around The Clock, and so he went to England in search of new pastures. His reception was wildly enthusiastic. Haley had brought Rock and Roll to the British Isles.
But, enough of that history stuff.
Let’s go on to…The Songs of 1957
In other LATE BREAKING NEWS from 1957 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite. And speaking of “celestial bodies” Jimmy Hoffa was elected President of the International Teamsters. After only ten years on the job, Philip, husband of Elizabeth II, is promoted from Duke of Edinburgh to Prince of the United Kingdom. At a Miami radio station, new employee Lawrence Harvey Zeiger abruptly adopts a stage name – Larry King. Althea Gibson, American professional tennis player and golfer was named Woman Athlete of the Year.
Don’t forget! The Pop History Section has events, prices, sports and more for this year!