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The American Rock n Roll Invasion of England in the 1950’s

 

Welcome to Alexander’s RBS page, for Rock, Blues & Soul. This RBS page will bring you progressive variety of on-going, interesting topics, based on the American and English music scenes starting in early 50’s & 60’s, such as the bands & groups and the different forms of great music such as Rock, Blues and Soul. Then we will work our way up to day’s music, passing through several musical style changes. For this first RBS we bring you the story and factual history of the early days of the 50’s and 60’s and several early American Bands going on tour to England where English Teenagers were dying to hear the new sounds of Rock & Roll

I was blessed to be living in England during the life changing introduction of Rock N Roll into England out of America during the mid-1950’s. Wow! What a change to our teenage musical ears. Previous to this, we teenagers had to content ourselves with listening to radio every Sunday to the Family Favorites program, which was a radio request program dedicated to the US military overseas and their home based families, but through that program, we were able to hear some of the best American music which was otherwise unavailable to us. So with this first RBS, I am pleased to bring to you the story and History of the first five American Rock & Roll bands to tour England during the 1950’s.

Bill Haley;

First up was “Crazy Man, Crazy” by Bill Haley and his Comets,

recorded in April 1953, was the first of his recordings to make the

Billboard pop chart. This was not a cover, but an original composition,

and has been described as “the first white rock hit“.

Shake, Rattle and Roll” was covered early in July by Bill Haley and his

Comets on February 15, 1954 and predated his much wider success with

Rock Around the Clock” which was recorded on April 12, 1954 was the

first number one rock and roll record on the US pop charts. It stayed in                 

the Top 100 for a then-record 38 weeks

 

 

Freddy Bell

Second tour band was Freddy Bell & The Bell Boy’s who toured during

May / June 1957.    The group were established in 1952. However, their

music did not really cut it with teenagers as they were more oriented

towards being a show band, featuring some brass and they did in fact

perform successfully for over fifty years, mostly in Las Vegas, as an

entertaining show-band. Freddy actually wrote the Presley song Hound

Dog. He gave it to Elvis and we all know what a successful hit that was

 

Lee Jerry Lewis;

After Buddy and the Crickets, came the extraverted Lee Jerry Lewis

who toured for the first time during May of 1958. Lewis was born on

September  29th , 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana, and surprisingly is still

going, although he’s lost his energy due to now being grossly overweight.

Lewis was always an egotistical extravert, playing ‘over the top’ to his

audience for affect, and was a good all round entertainer, while his

dynamic piano playing was his forte`.

He almost came unstuck when he caused a huge scandal by marrying his childhood cousin, when she was only thirteen, (13). That caused a whole lot of trouble for him at the time.

 

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