How the original 1950s Rock styles remained strong through each decade!
(#6 of 6 parts)
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Today the story of how '50s Rock thrived more than ever in 2010s music and film!!
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'50s Rock disciples: '10-Today
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▶ Revolution 1950s: The Big Damn Bang of Rock'n'Roll!
▶ 1950s Rock, A: The '60s Disciples
▶ 1950s Rock, B: The '70s Disciples
▶ 1950s Rock, C: The '80s disciples
▶ 1950s Rock, D: The '90s disciples
▶ 1950s Rock, E: The 2000s disciples
Rock'n'Roll continued in the new millennium, cultivated and shared by generations.
f) Burn, Burnette, burn!
g) Doo Wop
The original Rock styles of the 50s -Rockabilly, electric Blues, Honky Tonk, Mambo, Cajun, and Doo Wop- are as vibrant and vital as ever, the solid roots that feed myriad branches in the new century.
They were hothouse flowers in the 1950s, seeded the '60s, resprouted in the '70s, germinated in the '80s, went wild in the '90s, forested in the 2000s, and became perennials in the 2010s.
We live our lives, but then we live on in our works.
There's a point in culture when someone goes from being a presence to an influence. The spirit of their efforts informs those that follow. They may have gone on, but they are never gone.
Rock'n'Roll had come into the 21st century with new music in the first decade by original rockers like Dawson, Martin, LaBeef, and Cash. But by the second, Wanda Jackson was one of the last of the upstanding still standing. Whether making new albums (one produced by Jack White), fronting for bands like The Alligators, or being covered by decades of disciples, Wanda's party lasted for the long.
Determined to outrun everyone, of course, was that willful Jerry Lee Lewis, who recorded new albums backed by Keith Richards and Ron Wood, Ringo Starr, Robbie Robertson, Shelby Lynne, and Neil Young.
Second-wave rockers like Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Dave Edmunds, Jeff Beck, Jeff Lynne, and Roger Daltrey (with Wilko Johnson) continued to draw from the well.
Further-wave rockers like Nick Curran, Crazy Cavan, Robert Gordon, Tom Waits, The Fall, Lee Rocker, and Annie Lennox tilled the furrows.
New artists channeled the sounds of Patsy Cline (Linda Kay), Hasil Adkins (Bloodshot Bill), Eddie Cochran (PJ Harvey), and Wanda Jackson (Bonde Do Role).
The Bo Diddley beat, the primal pulse of the Rock'n'Roll heart, bumped-da-bump-bumped in rock tribal revival in songs by Hipbone Slim, Lykke Li, The Dustaphonics, Willy Moon, Summer Twins, Lee Bains III, Gruff Rhys, Daddy Long Legs, Delta Bombers, Puta Madre Brothers (Australia), The Bullets, and Thee Tsunamis.
Heralding the heroes were celabratory songs about Elvis (by Mystery Trio), Bettie Page (Dorados), Buddy Holly (John Mueller), Fats Domino (The Features, Guided By Voices), Gene Vincent (The Katman), Chuck Berry (Southern Culture On The Skids), Little Richard (The Computers, The Sonics), Bo Diddley (Big Boy Bloater), and Wanda Jackson (Bootleg Betty).
Love for Buddy Holly would not fade away with rave-ons in his sound by Dum Dum Girls, Louise Burns, Crushed Out, and Vampire Weekend. There were two all-star tribute albums to Buddy, with covers by the likes of The Black Keys, The Detroit Cobras, Paul McCartney (who owns his hero's songs), Imelda May, and Brian Wilson.
Rather than simply imitate the original sounds, traditionalists like Lynda Kay, The Secret Sisters, Chris Isaak, Vintage Trouble, Pieta Brown, Natalie Ross, J.D. McPherson, and The Blasters used their spirit as a sonic template for new expression.
Blues music first broke through because of a woman. The blues was an amorphous country form in the 1920s shunned by polite society, and it was the phenomenal success of Bessie Smith's 78rpm platters that enabled everyone else to come forward.
Women have held their own in the Blues for a century, despite getting swiped by the spotlight since. Today, firedrakes like Samantha Fish, Karen Lovely, Eden Brent, Carolyn Wonderland, Marcia Ball, Ana Popovic, Fiona Boyes, Shemekia Copeland, Heart Attack Alley, Teresa James And The Rhythm Tramps, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Becky Barksdale keep the home fires blazing.
Kindred souls like Little Victor, Gary Clark Jr., The Juke Joint Pimps, Dirty Deep, and Eli Paperboy Reed also stoked their share.
The Texas Tornados (founded by Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender, and Flaco Jimenez) rode one more for the rodeo, and Sorelle Monelle stayed in the saddle.
Jump Jive thrived and Boogie oogied with Laura B And The Moonlighters (UK), Deanna Bogart, The Clams, PatC And The Tailshakers (Sweden), and Billie And The Kids (Croatia).
Country boogied and Honky Tonk thomped with Patricia Vonne, Marti Brom, Root'n Toot'n, Miss Mary Ann And The Ragtime Wranglers (Norway), Rockin' Bonnie And The Mighty Ropers (Italy), and Tennessee Drifters.
Cajun and Zydeco two-stepped the floors with BeauSoleil, Steve Riley And The Mamou Playboys, C.J. Chenier, Pine Leaf Boys, and Cedric Watson.
The 1950s is full of great songs to cover, but after awhile, the range gets rode.
Now, modern rockabillies rockabilly up the modern with covers of unexpected songs in classic '50s styles.
On the music player, dig cover spins on Gloria Jones (by Imelda May, The Neutronz), Pointer Sisters (Jerry Lawson), The Beatles (The Virginia Gentlemen, Lee Rocker, Hot Sausage, Drugstore Cowboys), latter Roy Orbison (The Joy Formidible, John Stephan), Elvis Costello (Restless, Ulster Boys), Tom Waits (Gaby Jogeix, Charley Horse), T.Rex (Dan Sartain), The Police (The Rocker Covers), Duran Duran (The Quakes), Devo (The Rocketz), Billy Idol (Les Snails, Hellbilly Club), Judas Priest (The Pinstripes), and Eurythmics (The Silverettes)!
1950s Rock'n'Roll found its form assimulating everything, and it keeps its form assimulating everything. Like THE BLOB. If it could dance and had great hair.
"But don't you step on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes!"
Bound to bop away all their blues with no feet flat are where-it's-at cats like The Wildebeests, Bryant Trenier And The Dynasonics, Carlos And The Bandidos, Kitty Daisy And Lewis, Caroline And The Ramblers, Carmen Ghia And The Hotrods (UK), and Kim Lenz And Her Jaguars.
If those bands slow down, you can yell for more from globetrotters like Miqui Puig (Spain), The Mowretsu Attack 40s (Japan), B And The Bops (Croatia), Toini And The Tomcats (Norway), Yolintu (Finland), Double Six (Spain), Nico Duportal And His Rhythm Dudes (France), Miki Lamarr (Finland), The Mackshow (Japan), and Cherry Rat Y Os Gatunos (Brazil).
Burn, Burnette, burn!
The ferocious roar of Johnny Burnette And The Rock N Roll Trio continued to clack the tracks on a lonesome train now jam-packed in the new decade.
Covers of "Train Kept A'Rollin'", "Honey Hush", "Lonesome Train", and "Rock Billy Boogie" abounded unabated, clangin' a harangue like Burnettes boomeranged, from fan-addicts like The Top Cats (Sweden), Tom Stormy Trio, Jeff Beck, The Del Moroccos, Sex Museum, Christian D And The Hangovers, The Obscuritones, and Robert Gordon.
Sara and Dex Romweber
And kept a'buzzin' in sonic cousins like Alex Lipinski (mixed with Dylan), Screamin' Rebel Angels, Los Volidos (Spain), The Tremors, Pike Cavalera And The Gentle Bandoleros (Spain), Jack Rabbit Slim, Mystery Gang (Hungary), The Hillbilly Moon Explosion, Straight 8s, Sweet Jeena And Her Sweethearts, Lady Luck Combo (Sweden), Dex Romweber Duo, and Simon Crashly And The Roadmasters (Sweden).
Classic vocalese strolled out cool from the deep freeze in the tonsorial chorals of Jerry Lawson, The Virginia Gentlemen, Whirlwind, Under The Streetlamp, Lil' Mo And The Dynaflos, The Mighty Echoes, The Calvanes, The Velvet Candles (Spain), and J Freddy Velas And The Silvertones (Italy).
And kept the pace from unexpected places with Robert Plant, Helena Noguerra (Belgium), Joan As Police Woman, and Leon Bridges.
Down moonlit streets, slick with rain and sin, cruising some middle ground between light and shadow, were shady culprits that might have been Lanie Lane (Australia), Pipeline '61, Timber Timbre, Jack Ladder, Los Mambo Jambo (Spain), Boss Christ (New Zealand), MadMartin Trio, Dawn Shipley And The Sharp Shooters, and Delaney Davidson (New Zealand). Unless their alibis check.
Meanwhile, the midnight stoplight is swaying and the woods are not what they seem in Twin Peaks with David Lynch (and Karen O), Silencio, Bookhouse, and Jenny Gabrielson Mare.
Trashabillies. Brains corroded by, corrupted and erupting to, Link Wray Hasil Adkins The Cramps, smashed and talkin' trash, wrong done fast wrung through with oil and glass.
"Officers, be on the lookout for The A-Bones, The Wrongdoings, Haunted George, Doo Rag, Los Vigilantes, Bloodshot Bill, Girl In A Coma, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Ty Segall Band, Becky Lee And Drunkfoot, The Coathangers, The Dead Exs, and Daddy Long Legs, over."
But some'll just skip town on the lam, no kiss, blam, with cold-heart cohorts like Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons (UK), Horst With No Name (Germany), The Incredible Staggers (Vienna), Knucklebone Oscar (Sweden), Thee Gravemen (Sweden), and Komety (Poland).
Slap tarmac till it slaps you back with Wild Wax Combo (Denmark), perennial psychobillies The Magnetix (Russia), Furious, Devil's Brigade, Jane Rose And The Deadend Boys, and Peggy Sugarhill.
"I drink a quart of Saki, smoke dynamite
I chase it with tobackey and then shoot out the light!"
-Anisteen Anderson/ Wanda Jackson, "Fujiyama Mama"
The exponential tide of women in roots Rock became all-pervasive this decade.
We're gonna Rockafilly boogie to-ni-hite with Cherry Tess & Her Rhythm Sparks (Sweden), Irene, Lara Hope & The Champtones, Maibell And The Misfires (Finland), Sweet Jeena And The Roommates (Sweden/UK), Barbara Clifford, Eva Eastwood (Sweden), and Lily Moe & The Barnyard Stompers (Switzerland)!
Get led astray by the one who leads the strays with female-fronted bands like Empress Of Fur, The Twisteroos, Hi Way Ramblers, Screamin' Rebel Angels, Rocket To Memphis, The Montesas (Germany), Sixten And The Cupcakes (Sweden), and Dixie Leadfoot (former Zappa vocalist, Susannah Harris).
Or go psychojilly with that crazy feelin' along with The Wolfgangs, The Hatchet Wounds, Thee Merry Widows, Bonsai Kitten (Germany), and The Silver Shine (Hungary), until you rile up into a pile-up with Angie And The Car Wrecks.
Creativity is the survival mechanism of sharing.
Culture isn't a codeword for Them or Theirs. Culture is us plus us. There is no Either/Or... there is only And Also.
Culture isn't constant or owned by a 'pure' group. Culture is constantly renewing itself through each one, onward into everyone.
It is an intersection of ideas. We refract everything we've taken in. From each other, with each other, for each other. An open mind, an idea divined, another's ideas combined, still more intertwined, some streamlined while others realign, always parsing out paradigms on through time. We survive and thrive together through sharing.
Everyone was a contributing party to Rock'n'Roll, and that's why everyone's part of this party.>
¡Viva amigos Mike Sanchez (England), Truly Lover Trio (L.A.), and The Broken Toys (Argentina)!
All hail our comrades Vintage Trouble, Garland Jeffreys, Shakura S'Aida, Joyce Cobb, Aaron Neville, Colbert Hamilton And The Nitros, Curtis Harding, La La Brooks, Trudy Lynn, Sister Cookie, Jai Malano, and the ever-lastin' Barrence Whitfield!
Rock'n'Roll came from the world's root musics crosstalked, and became a common tongue of cousins everywhere.
Travel world-wise on the Music Player with Kathy X (Germany) or Imelda May (Ireland), Los Rizlaz and Swamp Ratz (both Japan), The Hillbilly Moon Explosion (Switzerland) or Cyclones (Sweden), The RockTigers (South Korea) or King Drapes (Finland)!
Repression only escalates expression.
Repressive conservative times, like the 1950s, are pressure cookers that inevitably distill dissent into rebellious cultural revolutions. The era has become a universal metaphor for the dangers of affluent indifference and violent intolerance, the point when greed and hate are suffocating society. As such a warning, it is more relevant to us than ever.
Two critically-acclaimed TV shows dealt with the crushing restrictions of post-WWII Britain: 'The Hour' (2011), about a political news broadcast that bucks homeland propaganda by championing real investigative journalism; and 'The Bletchley Circle' (2012), in which women who helped win the war as decoders reject being forced to be housewives, and instead become unofficial detectives.
starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan
The political is personal. Repression's goal is to control people by constricting their thoughts, their body, and their soul, diverting their energy into servitude. The 'Masters Of Sex' (2013) TV series uses the framework of the world-changing sex study by Masters and Johnson (and their complex personal relationship) to challenge all presumptions and constrictions that we mistake as fact. The sexual revolution they charted and started has become a catalyst for myriad forms of personal liberation.
Films also used the '50s as a general backdrop for defining oneself. In Malick's TREE OF LIFE (2011), a woman navigates the arbitrary line between love and abuse, within a wider Kubrik-esque allegory about Nature vs. Nurture; and in BROOKLYN (2015), a woman immigrating to the US hurdles challenges to figure out where she belongs.
Rock'n'Roll roiled parallel in the '50s with the Beat Generation, who defied all mores and mindsets, and films explored their surging tide. HOWL (2010) depicted the creation and reaction to Allen Ginsberg's seditious poem, ON THE ROAD (2012) brought Jack Kerouac's revelatory road trip to life, and KILL YOUR DARLINGS (2013) essayed the early years and bizarre circumstances when Ginsberg, Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs first met.
The Big Bang keeps ringing...
Soundwaves bypass all boundaries, whether on maps, in cultures, or in one's head. Human arts flow from heart to heart, and leave delusional limits in the dust.
Culture is an intersection of ongoing ideas, connecting everyone. And Rock'n'Roll is an emancipation exclamation, for now and ever.
"Hail, hail Rock'n'Roll!
Deliver me from the days of old
Long live Rock'n'Roll!
The Beat of the drum is loud and bold
Rock Rock Rock'n'Roll!
The feeling is there body and soul"
-Chuck Berry, "School Days" (1957)
© Tym Stevens
The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Manifesto, A Handy Checklist
Revolution 1950s: The Big Damn Bang of Rock'n'Roll!
1950s PUNK: Sex, Thugs, and Rock'n'Roll!
CHUCK BERRY: The Guitar God and His Disciples
BO DIDDLEY: The Rhythm King and His Disciples
BUDDY HOLLY: Rock's Everyman and His Disciples
LITTLE RICHARD: The Voice of Rock and His Disciples
JIMMY REED: The Groover of Rock, From Motown To Sesame Street
1950s Rock, A: The '60s Disciples
1950s Rock, B: The '70s Disciples
1950s Rock, C: The '80s disciples
1950s Rock, D: The '90s disciples
1950s Rock, E: The 2000s disciples