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 peterchecksfield » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:05 pm

Tim in St. Louis wrote:
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.


I don't think you can draw too many conclusions from this, for the simple reason that most of the British acts from the 60s couldn't even find genuine American instruments, let alone afford them. I'm sure that (for instance) Paul McCartney would've preferred something better than a Hofner bass & John Lennon a better guitar than a Rickenbacker when first starting out, but they eventually got used to these "cheap" instruments & they became their trademarks. The only real exception I can think of is Hank Marvin with his Stratocaster; he wanted one after seeing & hearing Buddy Holly play the instrument, & Cliff Richard (then the U.K.'s biggest music star) imported one specially from the USA for him.

Tim in St. Louis wrote: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?


To a degree yes, though Johnny Ray is often cited as the missing link between Sinatra & Presley, & he certainly didn't just stand at the microphone crooning.
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Postby Piet » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:17 pm

Talking about Cliff, I think he was far more populair in Europe then Elvis.
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:19 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:
Tim in St. Louis wrote: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?


To a degree yes, though Johnny Ray is often cited as the missing link between Sinatra & Presley, & he certainly didn't just stand at the microphone crooning.


Oh, yeah! I forgot about Johnny Ray. I love him and the lead singer of the Four Aces (name escapes me), because you can hear the theatrics in their voices and only imagine that they were more than just standing at the mic.

Did Elvis ever acknowledge Ray in word or by covering him?
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:38 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:
Tim in St. Louis wrote:
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.


I don't think you can draw too many conclusions from this, for the simple reason that most of the British acts from the 60s couldn't even find genuine American instruments, let alone afford them. I'm sure that (for instance) Paul McCartney would've preferred something better than a Hofner bass & John Lennon a better guitar than a Rickenbacker when first starting out, but they eventually got used to these "cheap" instruments & they became their trademarks. The only real exception I can think of is Hank Marvin with his Stratocaster; he wanted one after seeing & hearing Buddy Holly play the instrument, & Cliff Richard (then the U.K.'s biggest music star) imported one specially from the USA for him.

Great point. Once again you educate me. :idea:
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Postby Andrew McRae » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:43 pm

Tim in St. Louis wrote:
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?


I'm not sure I can accept the inference behind that possible explanation as to why the Beatles didn't cover Elvis songs... if JPG&R thought they were improving on the originals of the Berry, Penniman and Perkins songs that they did cover, then they were sadly deluded!

Andrew :cry: :lol:
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Postby Piet » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:03 pm

Maybe they didn't like Elvis songs very much (just like me), should be the explanation why they did cover a lot of REAL rock 'n rollers.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:04 pm

Andrew McRae wrote:I'm not sure I can accept the inference behind that possible explanation as to why the Beatles didn't cover Elvis songs... if JPG&R thought they were improving on the originals of the Berry, Penniman and Perkins songs that they did cover, then they were sadly deluded!

Andrew :cry: :lol:


I'm not entirely convinced that Lewis / Richard / Presley "improved" on The Beatles' & The Rolling Stones' songs either... :oops:
Last edited by peterchecksfield on Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby peterchecksfield » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:13 pm

Piet wrote:Maybe they didn't like Elvis songs very much (just like me), should be the explanation why they did cover a lot of REAL rock 'n rollers.


I think perhaps one reason is that nearly all of the early British rock & rollers (Cliff, Marty, Billy, etc) were heavily influenced by Elvis, & all the early 60s groups were trying to do something a little different from this.

Also, by 1963-1964 Elvis was making daft movies & releasing mainly pop ballads, so he was considered very un-cool, whereas Berry, Richard, Diddley (& yes Lewis too) were still considered very "hip" & cool by most of the U.K.'s musicians. That's my theory anyway...
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Postby Andrew McRae » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:20 pm

peterchecksfield wrote:
Piet wrote:Maybe they didn't like Elvis songs very much (just like me), should be the explanation why they did cover a lot of REAL rock 'n rollers.


I think perhaps one reason is that nearly all of the early British rock & rollers (Cliff, Marty, Billy, etc) were heavily influenced by Elvis, & all the early 60s groups were trying to do something a little different from this.

Also, by 1963-1964 Elvis was making daft movies & releasing mainly pop ballads, so he was considered very un-cool, whereas Berry, Richard, Diddley (& yes Lewis too) were still considered very "hip" & cool by most of the U.K.'s musicians. That's my theory anyway...


I think that theory stacks up. Elvis only regained his reputation postmortem, albeit there were signs of his influence being acknowledged as a pioneer and influence on contemporaneous rock muisc a little earlier, maybe around the time all his Sun sides were first collected together and issued on a single LP. But 'in real time' Elvis would have been considered 'naff' by 'serious' musicians throughout most of the period 63-77, save for that brief window of creativity around the time of the 'Comeback Special' and the Memphis sessions. Either side of that he was in the Hollywood or 'jumpsuit-Vegas' modes that invited ridicule among the rock cognoscenti.

Andrew
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Postby jllWAfan1982 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:55 pm

I remember reading some scanned letters posted on this forum a while back from a member of Led Zeppelin corresponding with a Jerry Lee Lewis fan club representative in the early 60's or thereabouts. He was clearly enthralled by and influenced by Lewis' music, as I would imagine probably many others of his generation were. While Led Zeppelin's music may not show a lot of similarity to Lewis' since theirs is not piano-based at all, I think that it is in the musical attitude that it is present in. Some of Jerry Lee Lewis' rock songs also had a "harder" edge to them, had more "soul," and I think may have inspired other musicians that came after. Since a lot of very well known later bands aside from Elton John, billy joel, Ben Folds, et al. weren't really piano-based, I think it is harder for the influence of Lewis' music to be shown as it is not as clear.

I don't consider Lewis to be more influential than Little Richard or Chuck Berry, but I definitely feel he is more so than Elvis. In my mind I think of Elvis more as a singer than a full blown musician. I realize I will probably be in the minority in this view, but that's ok. I can agree that Elvis' stage persona and personal charisma probably influenced many others (both in and out of music), but I am not so sure I would consider that the same thing as his musical attitude. What did he bring musically to his music outside of just his voice, and if you discount the other performing aspects of his act (stage persona, charisma, dance movements, etc.)?
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Postby Tim in St. Louis » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:08 am

peterchecksfield wrote:
Piet wrote:Maybe they didn't like Elvis songs very much (just like me), should be the explanation why they did cover a lot of REAL rock 'n rollers.


I think perhaps one reason is that nearly all of the early British rock & rollers (Cliff, Marty, Billy, etc) were heavily influenced by Elvis, & all the early 60s groups were trying to do something a little different from this.

Also, by 1963-1964 Elvis was making daft movies & releasing mainly pop ballads, so he was considered very un-cool, whereas Berry, Richard, Diddley (& yes Lewis too) were still considered very "hip" & cool by most of the U.K.'s musicians. That's my theory anyway...


You may be right. I guess I've always assumed the first wave of British music in the USA the direct result of being turned onto music by the Elvis', Chuck Berry's, Little Richard's and Jerry Lee Lewis'. So I imagined that they learned and played their songs as 13+ year olds as they were cutting their teeth. Hence, the Beatles covering Chuck, Carl Perkins, etc.

So, why no Elvis? Maybe the ones saying they didn't greatly like him are right. Although I do know I heard Paul say on the BBC box set CDs that they loved Elvis (only to play a song by somebody else!). But I'm in total agreement with Peter and others, that Elvis was totally emasculated by 1964. In fact, I would say as an owner of the first Elvis box set (everything up to joining the Army) that Elvis was essentially "domesticated" after his first session for RCA.

That first session for RCA was on par with his Sun stuff for sheer energy and passion. Then Col. Tom took his pills home in a jar and the Hillbilly Cat Elvis was dead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAc4b2pKWRY
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Postby Andrew McRae » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:46 am

Tim in St. Louis wrote:
peterchecksfield wrote:
Piet wrote:Maybe they didn't like Elvis songs very much (just like me), should be the explanation why they did cover a lot of REAL rock 'n rollers.


I think perhaps one reason is that nearly all of the early British rock & rollers (Cliff, Marty, Billy, etc) were heavily influenced by Elvis, & all the early 60s groups were trying to do something a little different from this.

Also, by 1963-1964 Elvis was making daft movies & releasing mainly pop ballads, so he was considered very un-cool, whereas Berry, Richard, Diddley (& yes Lewis too) were still considered very "hip" & cool by most of the U.K.'s musicians. That's my theory anyway...


You may be right. I guess I've always assumed the first wave of British music in the USA the direct result of being turned onto music by the Elvis', Chuck Berry's, Little Richard's and Jerry Lee Lewis'. So I imagined that they learned and played their songs as 13+ year olds as they were cutting their teeth. Hence, the Beatles covering Chuck, Carl Perkins, etc.

So, why no Elvis? Maybe the ones saying they didn't greatly like him are right. Although I do know I heard Paul say on the BBC box set CDs that they loved Elvis (only to play a song by somebody else!). But I'm in total agreement with Peter and others, that Elvis was totally emasculated by 1964. In fact, I would say as an owner of the first Elvis box set (everything up to joining the Army) that Elvis was essentially "domesticated" after his first session for RCA.

That first session for RCA was on par with his Sun stuff for sheer energy and passion. Then Col. Tom took his pills home in a jar and the Hillbilly Cat Elvis was dead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAc4b2pKWRY


The final word....?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr7DHo1p ... re=related :shock:

Andrew :lol:
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Postby Andrew McRae » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:19 am

Tim in St. Louis wrote:
peterchecksfield wrote:
Piet wrote:Maybe they didn't like Elvis songs very much (just like me), should be the explanation why they did cover a lot of REAL rock 'n rollers.


I think perhaps one reason is that nearly all of the early British rock & rollers (Cliff, Marty, Billy, etc) were heavily influenced by Elvis, & all the early 60s groups were trying to do something a little different from this.

Also, by 1963-1964 Elvis was making daft movies & releasing mainly pop ballads, so he was considered very un-cool, whereas Berry, Richard, Diddley (& yes Lewis too) were still considered very "hip" & cool by most of the U.K.'s musicians. That's my theory anyway...


You may be right. I guess I've always assumed the first wave of British music in the USA the direct result of being turned onto music by the Elvis', Chuck Berry's, Little Richard's and Jerry Lee Lewis'. So I imagined that they learned and played their songs as 13+ year olds as they were cutting their teeth. Hence, the Beatles covering Chuck, Carl Perkins, etc.

So, why no Elvis? Maybe the ones saying they didn't greatly like him are right. Although I do know I heard Paul say on the BBC box set CDs that they loved Elvis (only to play a song by somebody else!). But I'm in total agreement with Peter and others, that Elvis was totally emasculated by 1964. In fact, I would say as an owner of the first Elvis box set (everything up to joining the Army) that Elvis was essentially "domesticated" after his first session for RCA.

That first session for RCA was on par with his Sun stuff for sheer energy and passion. Then Col. Tom took his pills home in a jar and the Hillbilly Cat Elvis was dead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAc4b2pKWRY


The final word....?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr7DHo1p ... re=related :shock:

Andrew :lol:
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Postby wolfgangguhl » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:17 am

Does this have to be sticky?
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Postby peterchecksfield » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:31 am

wolfgangguhl wrote:Does this have to be sticky?


Yes, definitely.
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