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 wolfgangguhl » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:03 pm

peterchecksfield wrote: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).


Elton John himself cites Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard as his major influences.
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Postby wolfgangguhl » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:06 pm

Tony Papard wrote:
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.


I can't see where Chuck Berry was a "bad boy" or "rebellious". He was probably the most civilised of the old rockers, he did not scream, he did not smash instruments, he did not drink, he did not do drugs, he did not use words such as "Tutti Frutti" or "Bama Lama Bama Loo" in his songs. Instead he was the Poet Of Rock'n'Roll.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:05 pm

wolfgangguhl wrote:
peterchecksfield wrote: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).


Elton John himself cites Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard as his major influences.


Come to think of it you're probably right: they've both bleached their hair blonde. :damnfunny
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Postby wolfgangguhl » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:12 pm

Elton's wearing a wig.
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Postby Tony Papard » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:58 pm

wolfgangguhl wrote:
Tony Papard wrote:
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.


I can't see where Chuck Berry was a "bad boy" or "rebellious". He was probably the most civilised of the old rockers, he did not scream, he did not smash instruments, he did not drink, he did not do drugs, he did not use words such as "Tutti Frutti" or "Bama Lama Bama Loo" in his songs. Instead he was the Poet Of Rock'n'Roll.


I was thinking of his times in jail, one for an attempted armed robbery (before he was famous), and then for transporting a minor across the State line.

But you're right, he didn't have the rebellious image Jerry did that's true, and his stage act was much less wild than Jerry's was.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:28 pm

wolfgangguhl wrote:Elton's wearing a wig.


He didn't wear a wig when he first started. Obviously he's far more influenced by Little Richard these days. :oops:
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Postby wolfgangguhl » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:16 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:
wolfgangguhl wrote:Elton's wearing a wig.


He didn't wear a wig when he first started. Obviously he's far more influenced by Little Richard these days. :oops:


I think he was only influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard in the early stages of his career. He sounds nothing like them these days. Actually, like all greats, he has developed his own style.
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Postby ChrisdeB » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:26 pm

wolfgangguhl wrote:
peterchecksfield wrote:
wolfgangguhl wrote:Elton's wearing a wig.


He didn't wear a wig when he first started. Obviously he's far more influenced by Little Richard these days. :oops:


I think he was only influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard in the early stages of his career. He sounds nothing like them these days. Actually, like all greats, he has developed his own style.


and he is also an exceptional songwriter. I have recentlt being playing Elton John, Tumblewweed Connection and Captain Fantastic and I still find these great albums that have stood the test of time very well.

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Postby Key_Okuna » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:08 pm

I can't say one in particular, because I think Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard are, the three, the most influential artists from the 50's.
Visit my youtube channel and find some good JLL videos!
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:05 am

I really should take a look at the stickies once in a while...

I just got into a lengthy debate with some friends on this subject, and while I love Jerry Lee, Chuck and others, the entire foundation of rock n' roll is built on Elvis, Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Everything before it (in popular music) was horn driven variations of big band orchestras, while everything after was simply layers reapplied to the base of Elvis, Scotty and Bill. He was also a key figure in the developement of pop culture.

And virtually every frontman from Lennon to Page to Mercury to Springsteen to Sting wanted to be Elvis.

Case closed.
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Postby jllWAfan1982 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:25 am

How can Elvis be the basis for anything? Did he even write any music? I realize Jerry rarely wrote songs, but he had a way of taking any song and making it his own.

I think Elvis's music may have inspired a lot of people, but the songs were not his own, and his interpretation skills paled in comparison to Jerry Lee's.

I think that Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard's music were the most influential.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:57 am

jllWAfan1982 wrote:How can Elvis be the basis for anything? Did he even write any music? I realize Jerry rarely wrote songs, but he had a way of taking any song and making it his own.

I think Elvis's music may have inspired a lot of people, but the songs were not his own, and his interpretation skills paled in comparison to Jerry Lee's.

I think that Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard's music were the most influential.


I believe Elvis was almost as good as Jerry at making a song his own, and he influenced pretty much every other white rock & roller, including Jerry. Who did Jerry Lee Lewis influence apart from other boogie-woogie / rock & roll piano players? I can hear Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly & The Everly Brothers much more in the music of the 60s & beyond (read the excellent biography on Fats Domino, it certainly convinced me of Fats being an influence on all the other 50s rock & rollers).

Jerry Lee Lewis (along with Gene Vincent in this country) was more influential in attitude than in music.
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:07 pm

jllWAfan1982 wrote:How can Elvis be the basis for anything? Did he even write any music? I realize Jerry rarely wrote songs, but he had a way of taking any song and making it his own.

I think Elvis's music may have inspired a lot of people, but the songs were not his own, and his interpretation skills paled in comparison to Jerry Lee's.

I think that Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard's music were the most influential.


I agree about JLLs ability to make a song his own. It's why I love him. But the question was "most influential" and that has to be Elvis. He was the one they all aspired to be. I mean, when the Bealtes came to America the guy they wanted to meet was Elvis, not JLL, not Chuck, even thought they loved them too.

And my comment on Elvis, Scotty and Bill Black is based on my own personal feelings. Many of the pre-rock (Louis Jordan) and early rock groups (Bill Haley) still had the big band horn element to them. But the REAL rock revolution came about when they stripped the horns away to feature the guitar. And Elvis, Scotty and Bill were the first to hit it big as purveyors of that minimalist "rockabilly" approach. After that, it started evolving back the other way, with instruments being reintroduced to that base.

It's just my opinion..
Last edited by Tim in St. Louis on Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:24 pm

Tim in St. Louis wrote: But the question was "most influential" and that has to be Elvis. I mean, when the Bealtes came to America the guy they wanted to meet was Elvis, not JLL, not Chuck, even thought they loved them too.


I think you're confusing "favourite (or most popular) artist" with "most influential", two different things. Yes, Elvis was a hero to The Beatles, but there's no doubt that others (including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly & The Everly Brothers, as well as the early girl groups such as The Shirelles & The Marvelettes) were bigger influences on their actual music.

Likewise, Jerry Lee Lewis is my favourite artist, but I still don't consider him particularly influential.
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:52 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:
Tim in St. Louis wrote: But the question was "most influential" and that has to be Elvis. I mean, when the Bealtes came to America the guy they wanted to meet was Elvis, not JLL, not Chuck, even thought they loved them too.


I think you're confusing "favourite (or most popular) artist" with "most influential", two different things. Yes, Elvis was a hero to The Beatles, but there's no doubt that others (including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly & The Everly Brothers, as well as the early girl groups such as The Shirelles & The Marvelettes) were bigger influences on their actual music.

Likewise, Jerry Lee Lewis is my favourite artist, but I still don't consider him particularly influential.


I agree with you on which artists most directly influenced the Beatles. Maybe they didn't cover Elvis because they, a) didn't think they could improve on his versions, b) stand up to the comparison (at the time / early 60's), or c) held his music in too much reverance to cover him. I'm just speculating.

On a related note... I'd curious if any conclusions could be drawn regarding "influences" based on what model guitars the 2nd generation of RnR played? For instance, what guitars did Lennon, Harrison, Keith Richards, Pete Townsend, etc. play? The same as Chuck? Scotty? Carl Perkins? Eddie Cochran? That might be a key tip-off.

But as a frontman, isn't Elvis pretty much it? He was the first (white) to incorporate serious sexual movement into his act. Prior to that, it was crooners standing at a mic, right?
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