Best Fantasy Rock Band Of The Fifties
It was the Golden Age of Rock n' Roll. It was a time before the music died (which was exactly 53 years ago today, as of this writing). It was a time when the foundations of rock were being laid and a new generation of music lovers was created. There were many bands during this time period and they created a genre.
If you could put together a fantasy rock n' roll band, who would be in it? The requirements would have to be people who played between 1950-1959. Let us know who would make your Fantasy Rock Band!
One of the leading pioneers of rock n roll was Chuck Berry. Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music. Both Eric Clapton and Kieth Richards cite Berry as the reason they picked up a guitar. When we think about rock n roll guitar music, the foundation of the guitar is Chuck Berry. His hits included, Roll Over Beethoven, Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene, and Rock n Roll Music.
This was a tough decision. Of all of the early rock pioneers, Elvis Presley is possibly the most well-known of the singers, but I am not so certain that wasn't because of Presley or because of his longevity and the promotion of Colonel Tom Parker. In the end, I picked Buddy Holly as the leader of this fantasy band. Buddy Holly is responsible for such hits as That'll Be The Day, Peggie Sue, True Love Ways, and Not Fade Away. Beyond the hits, Holly created the standard configuration for a rock band. He was also responsible for popularizing the Fender Stratocaster guitar. Buddy Holly wrote his own music and only had eighteen months of fame before he was killed in an airplane crash. In that time, he created 110 songs. John Lennon stated “There would not even have been a Beatles had it not been for the Crickets [Buddy Holly's band].”
This was another difficult choice between Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. While I really like "The Killer" (Lewis), I think the nod has to go to Little Richard. Born Richard Wayne Penniman, he is considered one of the key players in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the 1950s and may be the first to do so. Little Richard was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and contributed significantly to the development of soul music. His music included Tutti Frutti, Long Tall Sally, and Good Golly Miss Molly. He was often overlooked during the height of his writing career with his music being re-done by white performers. Whether this was a result of his race or his lavish and less-than-conventional personal life is up for debate. Little Richard quit music in the early 60s when he became a born-again Christian, only returning to music later in life. He was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in the inaugural year of 1986.
This man revolutionized how the Fender Bass would be played throughout the 1950’s. Technically, he was a jazz bassist, but his style of playing was able to make the crossover to rock n roll. Montgomery played electric bass as if it were an upright, playing lines he had mastered from his years of upright experience. His left-hand technique incorporated various upright fingerings. Monk "attacked" the notes with his right hand thumb, playing all downstrokes, an unorthodox approach considering his upright bass background.
You may never have heard of Earl Palmer, but his contributions to rock n' roll are long lasting. Earl Palmer basically invented modern rock drumming. When other drummers where playing shuffles and swing patterns he played straight eighth notes on the hi-hat and emphasied the back beat. His playing can found on classic rock 'n' roll tunes by Little Richard, Fats Domino and many more. One of the very best rock drummers from the 50's.
Guitar: Eddie Cochran, B.B. King, Bo Diddley
Singer: Elvis Presley, Paul Anka
Piano: Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino
Bass: Joe B. Mauldin, Bill Black
Saxophone: King Curtis
Trumpet: Louis Armstrong, Henry "Red" Allen
Drums: Jerry Allison