Who's the most Influential 50s Rock & Roll artist?



Who's the most Influential 50s Rock & Roll artist?

Little Richard
3
5%
Bill Haley
4
6%
Elvis Presley
26
41%
Jerry Lee Lewis
18
29%
Buddy Holly
1
2%
Fats Domino
3
5%
Bo Diddley
0
No votes
Carl Perkins
0
No votes
Eddie Cochran
0
No votes
Chuck Berry
8
13%
 
Total votes : 63

Postby Tony Papard » Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:50 am

Reluctantly I had to vote for Buddy Holly for the very reason Peter said he didn't include the Everly Brothers - more pop that rock'n'roll.

Rock'n'Roll, I'm afraid, was always a minority taste, except perhaps for a brief period in the late 1950s among teenagers.

We are talking about who was the most 'influential' here, and Buddy Holly was years ahead of his time, which is precisely why he is my least favorite of the 1950s Rock'n'Roll artists. I don't like the strings or some of the poppy arrangements of some of his songs. My favorite of his is probably 'Rockin' Around With Ollie Vee'.

Bill Haley certainly started the whole Rock thing, among white folks worldwide anyway. But he is hardly a big influence, he basically took black rhythm'n'blues, cleaned it up and recorded it for a white audience, and it took off.

I don't see that any of the original rock'n'roll artists mentioned had a huge influence, but Buddy's recordings sound more like the music of the past 40 years or so than any of the others. Chuck Berry influenced a lot of 1960s guitarists, but Jimmy Hendrix probably had more influence on how they've played guitars since.

I think nearly all the original rock'n'roll stars mentioned had their own unique sound, and nobody has been able to copy their style, or at least nobody has been so successful at it they became super-stars.

I suppose that's a compliment in itself. Nobody sings like Elvis, nobody really famous today plays piano anything like Jerry Lee, nobody sings like Little Richard, or Fats Domino, or Gene Vincent, etc.

But the softer sound of Buddy Holly, and the Everly Brothers come to that, is mostly what I've heard in popular music since the hard sounds of 1950s rock'n'roll left the charts around 1959.
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Postby W_Skinner » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:07 pm

Influential to whom?
That's the crucial question.

To me: Certainly Chuck & Jerry. I learned rock n roll guitar from Chuck and rock n roll piano from Jerry. Jerry also influenced my style and attitude. 8)

To my band: Chuck without a doubt. His basic riff is the best invention since girls. :)

To artists of the 60's / 70's: I don't know all of them, so I cannot tell. There are too many to guess. Depends on the style. Stones certainly got inspired by Chuck. Beatles by Little Richard.

To my favourite band: Chuck again. They told it a lot in interviews. And any non-deaf person can year his riff in almost any song of them. Rock til you drop, Status Quo!

To today's MTV "artists": I don't care. I only know and enjoy a bunch of them. I like Rammstein for example, but their inspiration seems to jackhammers rather than 50s rockers.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:15 pm

W_Skinner wrote:Influential to whom?


All music & musicians of the past 50 or so years.

W_Skinner wrote:Stones certainly got inspired by Chuck. Beatles by Little Richard.


The Beatles recorded more songs by Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins & Larry Williams than they did Little Richard's, but I think Carl Perkins was the biggest influence on George Harrison's style.

Culturally I think Elvis Presley (& then The Beatles) was the most influential though.
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Postby martin bates » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:27 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:
W_Skinner wrote:Influential to whom?


All music & musicians of the past 50 or so years.



Culturally I think Elvis Presley (& then The Beatles) was the most influential though.


I've joined this a little late & a lot of good comments have already been aired.Peter's brief summary of each artist was pretty accurate,& I agree with the view that the history is not as 'black & white' as is sometimes suggested.My vote would go to Elvis. I think there's an interesting parallel in the modern world with Eminen;who's perhaps the only 'rapper' any of us could name (with the obvious exception of the beloved Kid Rock!).....while rap fans could have a similar debate about Eminem, 50 Cent, and .....er....well I don't know any others. I also tend not to like the retrospective commentators who like to say "this happended in such & such a time & it all changed after that"......because it usually didn't & you can find examples of when it happended before as well. Nothing's so cut & dried. I think Bill Haley always gets a raw deal out of this sort of thing as if he just copied others' songs & bingo ! In fact you can hear his style developing over many years of recordings and it's said he often experimented at live shows,just trying different sounds -or even just playing extremely loud - to see the result.He played schools particularly to test the reaction of kids.His 'covers' were very different to the originals & not in just 'cleaning up' the words - in the same way as Elvis' BSS. was different to Carl's .Where he fell down,it seems,is he didn't quite know what to do next. For most of us we weren't 'there' when it all happened -but even Tony (who was) seems almost defensive for mentioning Bill, as if to pacify any anticipated outrage.A lot of different artists did site Bill as an influence - for example Marc Bolan as well as the young Elvis Presley.One side point -you often read about the first white artist to do this or that on the R&B charts....usually Haley or Elvis. In fact Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra were among those who had earlier hits on the black charts (known at various times as Harlem Hit Parade,Race Records or R&B)....White Christmas being a No.1 in 1942.

Martin.
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Postby Blgmama » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:32 pm

What about Roy Orbison?.......
especially after he left Sun..........
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Postby bailbath » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:12 pm

Hi Blgmama that is a very good point!
Welcome to our forum glad you made it here!
IAN
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Postby peterchecksfield » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:10 pm

Blgmama wrote:What about Roy Orbison?.......
especially after he left Sun..........


I didn't hear him do much rock & roll after he left Sun. If we're going to include 60s artists (as that's what he really was) then we may as well include The Beatles & The Stones.
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Postby flip54 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:52 pm

my fav 50s rock n roll artist is David Oxtoby ;-)

Flip
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Postby Tommy » Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:19 pm

Perk wrote:There can´t be a rock guitar player who hasn´t played Chuck Berry!

Perk


And vice versa I don´t think there´s any rockpianist who hasn´t been inspired of Jerrys style.

Still my vote goes for the King!
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:22 pm

Tommy wrote:
Perk wrote:There can´t be a rock guitar player who hasn´t played Chuck Berry!

Perk


And vice versa I don´t think there´s any rockpianist who hasn´t been inspired of Jerrys style.

Still my vote goes for the King!


Perhaps, but I hear just as much Little Richard & Johnnie Johnson in most rock piano players (sadly very little Fats Domino though!).

Of course, the piano hasn't been such a prominent instrument in the development of music over the past 50 years compared to the guitar (how many heavy metal or punk piano players can you name?!).
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:09 am

After reading Rick Coleman's excellent Fats Domino biography I'm very tempted to change my vote to The Fat Man! He was an inspiration to at least some degree on just about all the other first-generation rock & rollers: Bill Haley, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Lloyd Price & others, and he even kicked off a whole musical genre in Jamaica (according to the book he was even kicking piano stools over before Jerry!). Having said that, I still think Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly & The Everly Brothers were more influential on later generations from The Beatles & Rolling Stones onwards (though both Lennon & Macca recorded his songs solo, & Mick Jagger cites him as an influence on his singing style).

Yet he hasn't got any votes in this poll... :oops:
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Postby Tony Papard » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:16 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:After reading Rick Coleman's excellent Fats Domino biography I'm very tempted to change my vote to The Fat Man! He was an inspiration to at least some degree on just about all the other first-generation rock & rollers: Bill Haley, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Lloyd Price & others, and he even kicked off a whole musical genre in Jamaica (according to the book he was even kicking piano stools over before Jerry!). Having said that, I still think Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly & The Everly Brothers were more influential on later generations from The Beatles & Rolling Stones onwards (though both Lennon & Macca recorded his songs solo, & Mick Jagger cites him as an influence on his singing style).

Yet he hasn't got any votes in this poll... :oops:

It is very difficult, in fact impossible, to decide who was most influential.

Most of the artists above influenced popular music in different ways. Jerry undoubtedly influenced the relatively few pop piano players, such Elton John and people like Freddie Fingers Lee, Terry Lee, Micke Muster, etc. A lot of these are only known on the rock'n'roll circuit, so his influence is in fact quite limited.

I'm sure Fats Domino, being one of the first to have a big hit with rock'n'roll or rhythm'n'blues (The Fat Man, 1949) was undoubtedly a big influence, as was Little Richard and Chuck Berry who both wrote a lot of songs and had hits long before Jerry Lee.

Carl Perkins was a big influence on the early Beatles, as was Larry Williams, as they recorded some of their songs.

Elvis was obviously a huge influence on singers from Eddie Cochran, thru Cliff Richard and thousands of others.

Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers, with their softer pop music moving away from wild rock'n'roll, were a great influence on the 60s British groups and later pop music. What were the Everly Brothers but a very early 'boy band' singing harmonies, or to be precise, 'boy duo'?

Bill Haley was a huge influence, and kick-started Rock music around the world with his multi-million seller 'Rock Around The Clock' and the movie of the same name which popularized it. But if it hadn't been Haley, it would have been one of the other rockers, probably Elvis as he was another white guy who brought black R&B to a worldwide audience early on.

Jerry was a Johnny-come-lately since he never had a big hit till 1957, and his influence was limited because of his relatively short time at the top in the 1950s, and because guitar playing singers seem to have influenced more Rock singers. This also limits the influence of people like Little Richard and Fats Domino. It is easier to learn a few chord on a guitar, and cheaper possibly to acquire one, than to buy a piano and learn to play it, and pianos (until fairly recent decades) couldn't be packed up and carried around to gigs. Also, of course, Jerry wrote very few songs.

I voted for Buddy Holly ages ago in the above poll because of his influence on post-rock'n'roll pop music, but I might just as well have voted for Bill Haley or one of the other pioneers who kick-started the whole rock'n'roll thing worldwide. Fats Domino is as good a name as any to pick out for this.
Long ago in Ferriday down in Louisiana, They all watched Jerry play and pump that old piana

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Postby bailbath » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:51 pm

Tony Papard wrote:It is very difficult, in fact impossible, to decide who was most influential.

Most of the artists above influenced popular music in different ways. Jerry undoubtedly influenced the relatively few pop piano players, such Elton John and people like Freddie Fingers Lee, Terry Lee, Micke Muster, etc. A lot of these are only known on the rock'n'roll circuit, so his influence is in fact quite limited.







I thnk you are limiting JLL's influence if you just look at his piano playing which has influenced more than just piano players i'm sure. His singing, his attitude and stage presence/showman all have had a impact. Plus his mistakes/choices in his personal life are all a factor as well.
At the end of the day you are right it is not possible to judge who is the most influential.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:55 pm

I cite Little Richard as one of the most influential mainly because of his vocal stylings: it's hard to imagine both soul (James Brown, Otis Redding) & heavy rock (Robert Plant, Ian Gillan) without his direct influence.

Also, I don't hear any JLL influence in Elton John's piano playing, & I think people are just making assumptions simply because they're white piano players that are also showmen. Elton himself cites Fats Domino, Little Richard - and Winifred Attwell(!) as influences, though I also hear alot of The Beatles' piano-led songs (again, Macca seems far more influenced by Fats & Richard than JLL).
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Postby Tony Papard » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:03 pm

bailbath wrote:
Tony Papard wrote:It is very difficult, in fact impossible, to decide who was most influential.

Most of the artists above influenced popular music in different ways. Jerry undoubtedly influenced the relatively few pop piano players, such Elton John and people like Freddie Fingers Lee, Terry Lee, Micke Muster, etc. A lot of these are only known on the rock'n'roll circuit, so his influence is in fact quite limited.







I thnk you are limiting JLL's influence if you just look at his piano playing which has influenced more than just piano players i'm sure. His singing, his attitude and stage presence/showman all have had a impact. Plus his mistakes/choices in his personal life are all a factor as well.
At the end of the day you are right it is not possible to judge who is the most influential.


Yes, if you're talking about the rock'n'roll lifestyle/attitude, etc., Jerry was certainly the original 'bad boy', along with Chuck Berry. Elvis failed miserably in this respect, giving up his rebellious image very early in his career when he joined the Army and had all his hair cropped, and on his relese from Army service made all those crappy movies.
Long ago in Ferriday down in Louisiana, They all watched Jerry play and pump that old piana

My blog: http://www.tonypapard.info/

My Jerry Lee Lewis page:
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