Saturday 6 February 2021

The Saturday list #295 - my top ten 1950's songs

 As we approach the 300th Saturday list, I thought I'd prepare a little treat for my readers. I'll be releasing a series of Spotify playlists with a selection of songs from my favourite era's and genres. 

We start at the beginning, with the 50's and rock and roll. I hope you enjoy this playlist

Here are a few notes about each song.

1. We start with Bill Haley and The Comets. Considered by many as the start of the rock and roll era. It seems amazing to think that this song inspired Teddy boys to smash up cinemas in England!

2. We don't really hear enough of Gene Vincent. Everything about this number is perfect rock and roll. I got into Gene Vincent when Ian Dury released Sweet Gene Vincent. If it's good enough for Ian Dury, it's certainly good enough for me. 

3. I always have a problem selecting an Elvis tune and usually choose Hound Dog from his 50's era. It is a song actually written to be sung by a woman about a good for nothing man. It says everything about Presley that he could completely own it. One of my new years resolutions was to listen to more Elvis.

4. As with many rock and roll songs, I was introduced to it by punk! Knox, from the Vibrators used to cover this when he was trying to launch a solo career. I thought it was such a good song that I bought the album it was originally on by Buddy Holly. I bought Knox a pint next time I saw him for opening my eyes.

5. I always took this as an invocation for radio stations to play Rock and Roll rather than classical music, which was just fine by me. We are lucky these days, there are enough stations to play all genre's. I was very tempted to pick Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry, as it set me on the road as a guitarist, but I think this is a better song!

6. Johnny Cash is such an important artist. It took me a while to really get him. Many years ago Boz Boorer of the Polecats informed me my Rock and Roll education was incomplete without a Johnny Cash record.  I bought Folsom Jail blues, but didn't really get it on first listen. It sat there for a few years until a friend saw it and asked me to play it. It was a revelation. I think this track is almost perfect in its simplicity.

7. Wanda Jackson is almost completely forgotten. She shouldn't be. I love this track. Picked up a copy in a bargain bin and probably played it 30 times in a row when I got it home. Just a little bonkers.

8. Link Wray is credited by many as inventing the sound we identify as a 50's echo guitar sound. This song was banned for inspiring violence, a rumble being slang for a gang fight. How times change. You will know this, even if you don't know it!

9. Tutti Frutti by Little Richard is a glorious piece of rock and roll silliness. Little Richard is one of the greats that I bitterly regret not seeing. I sort of felt he wasn't 'cool enough' when I was a teenager. What a fool I was. This is a great song to play at the end of the night when DJ'ing a 50's night. 

10. I had to pick a British track. People always think that The Shadows and Apache was the sound of British rock and roll in the 1950's, but it was actually released in June 1960. The British star was skiffle king Lonnie Donegan. Sadly, he's best remembered for 'My old man's a dustman' which is a comedy track. There was so much more to him. Gamblin man is probably my favourite of his hits, although if you ask me tomorrow I might say Rock Island line. I must say that the idea of listening to this, drinking whisky and playing three card brag with my Dad and my Brother is a dream that sadly I will never be able to do again in this life.

Have a great weekend. 


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