Fifties Rock N Rollers POLL

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Early rockers rumble. I know a case could and hopefully will be made for others, but these seem like the biggest players after Elvis.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Chuck Berry 29
Little Richard 24
Bo Diddley 19
Buddy Holly 16
Gene Vincent 6
Fats Domino 6
Jerry Lee Lewis 5
Carl Perkins 4
Eddie Cochrane 0


brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:04 (two years ago) Permalink

Holly in a heartbeat.

how's life, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:05 (two years ago) Permalink

A very tough choice between the first four for me.

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:06 (two years ago) Permalink

Lots of these I like, but the only two I really love are Gene and Bo. Voting for Ellas Bates.

ricky don't lose that number nine shirt (NickB), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:12 (two years ago) Permalink

Bo's sense of humour just pushes him over the top for me.

ricky don't lose that number nine shirt (NickB), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:13 (two years ago) Permalink

It is definitely about the first four, but Bo's stacking his albums with goofy novelty songs is what ultimately gives it to Chuck Berry for me. Well, that and the insanity Berry was able to pull out of his guitar. I mean, you listen to punk players who built on his style - Steve Jones, Billy Zoom - and they're actually cleaner and less noisy than Berry was!

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:19 (two years ago) Permalink

For insanity pulled out of one's guitar, I'd have to give it to Bo:

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:24 (two years ago) Permalink

I love Chuck, but he sure had his share of throwaways too - and his biggest hit was maybe the worst goofy novelty song of all time. Somehow Bo's goofs are a lot less grating than Chuck's corny stuff like "Hey There Anthony Boy" etc. But when he was on, he was as amazing a lyricist as a guitar player. I especially love his story-telling in songs like Promised Land and Nadine and Tulane. Great turns of phrase too.

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:28 (two years ago) Permalink

No Roy Orbison?

nitro-burning funny car (Moodles), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:30 (two years ago) Permalink

He didn't really hit his stride until the 60s.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:33 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah, no hits for Roy in the 50's, though he recorded some sides for Sun back then. Ooby Dooby and Domino are amazing - but he's also just such a singular artist, I don't know if I'd even call some of his best stuff rock n roll - at least not much related to what it means in relation to the people in this poll.

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:38 (two years ago) Permalink

Should I have included Elvis in here? I left him off thinking he'd sweep it and it wouldn't be that interesting a poll but maybe I'm wrong. Would Elvis have won this on ILM?

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:42 (two years ago) Permalink

Buddy Holly, no question. The first record I asked my mom to buy me was "Peggy Sue." I was three.

Sandy, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:01 (two years ago) Permalink

Buddy Holly

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:02 (two years ago) Permalink

Gene Vincent

woof, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:10 (two years ago) Permalink

Berry was probably the best songwriter of the bunch, followed by Holly, but it's his guitar playing that puts it over the top for me.

voodoo chili, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Little Richard
Bo Diddley
Chuck Berry

this is like the holy trinity for me right here, honestly feel bad choosing any of them over the others

Holly's good but I don't really listen to him much, the hiccuping vocal style gets kinda tired for me after awhile

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:19 (two years ago) Permalink

Diddley probably my favorite all-around bandleader of the three - he had great taste in sidekicks: Jerome, Peggy, Willie fucking Dixon

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:21 (two years ago) Permalink

Had to go with Chuck although Bo is a close second. From a hits stand point none of these guys can touch Mr. Berry.

DavidLeeRoth, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:22 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah that's true about the hits

otoh Bo Diddley is Jesus

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:23 (two years ago) Permalink

Jerry Lee Lewis
Little Richard

Bo Diddley
Chuck Berry

Buddy Holly
Fats Domino

Gene Vincent
Eddie Cochran (without the "e")
Carl Perkins

g simmel, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:25 (two years ago) Permalink

those 18 songs compilations by Lewis and Richard are basically the greatest albums ever

g simmel, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:26 (two years ago) Permalink

Wonder if anyone will make the case for Fats Domino. I only ever listened to his greatest hits, but I've got to admit I enjoyed it more three CD set of Jerry Lee Lewis or my double disc of Carl Perkins.

DavidLeeRoth, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:36 (two years ago) Permalink

I was just gonna post, looks like I rate Fats higher than all y'all. Maybe not "the best" in this poll, but the one I have listened to the most.

A Perfect Ratio of Choogle to Jam (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:39 (two years ago) Permalink

everybody's seen this right

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:43 (two years ago) Permalink

and this

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:43 (two years ago) Permalink

This is really hard! I think I'll go with Carl Perkins just because I read his bio and I think I know the most about him as a person and also I love his music, esp the really bouncy stuff.
I love all these dudes though. I was really into the 50s when I was a kid. it's the best music for dancing if you like bouncing around.

cuz i was born and raised in a… a butcher shop

Mayor Manuel (La Lechera), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:44 (two years ago) Permalink

This is really tough. Not just because yesterday I had "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" stuck in my head. It's cool that even after all this time, if you go back and listen to the original rock n roll records, they are rawer and rock harder than 90% of everything that has come since.

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:49 (two years ago) Permalink

Torn between Bo Diddley & Little Richard. I love all these guys though.

smhphony orchestra (crüt), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:49 (two years ago) Permalink

goddamn Dixie Fried is great

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:50 (two years ago) Permalink

That '55 Diddley clip is so amazing.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:52 (two years ago) Permalink

i thought no one would vote perkins, so i did, but then i saw la lechera's post and i'm glad to know someone else did too!

marcos, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:56 (two years ago) Permalink

looks like a diddley/holly/berry battle so far

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 16:58 (two years ago) Permalink

1:17

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:02 (two years ago) Permalink

It doesn't appear to be on youtube, but the joint interview with Berry, Diddley and Richard on the DVD of Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll is completely fascinating.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:09 (two years ago) Permalink

Just curious, but why no Everly Brothers? Too country?

DavidLeeRoth, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:09 (two years ago) Permalink

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:10 (two years ago) Permalink

My own personal pantheon would include Berry, Diddley, and Holly. (Also the Everlys.) Most of the rest have at least one song I completely love (e.g., "The Girl Can't Help It," "Lewis Boogie"), but overall, not nearly as many as the first three.

clemenza, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:11 (two years ago) Permalink

It doesn't appear to be on youtube, but the joint interview with Berry, Diddley and Richard on the DVD of Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll is completely fascinating.

smhphony orchestra (crüt), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:12 (two years ago) Permalink

no real logic to leaving out the everlys, they just didn't spring to mind. all the rest are solo acts maybe?

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:13 (two years ago) Permalink

For just one, I'll vote for Chuck. I wouldn't have included Orbison either. He had some good songs in the '50s, but the work he's famous for comes later. I would have included Johnny Cash, though I realize the lines between rock & roll/country and rock & roll/R&B (you could say Clyde McPhatter was as important as almost anyone on that list) are blurry.

clemenza, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Woo! Thanks, crüt!

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:18 (two years ago) Permalink

saw both Chuck and Carl live in the '80s, goin w/ Chuck. Would loved to have seen Richard and JLL in their prime.

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:21 (two years ago) Permalink

Ah, now that I watch that clip, I was thinking of the unedited interview which runs about 15 minutes or so. It's apparently only on the 4-DVD set (which is out of print).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:26 (two years ago) Permalink

I don't know, I thought about Cash but it seems like Johnny was pretty identifiably country (and self-identified as such) pretty early on - there's something really different rhythm and guitar-wise between most of his stuff and even someone as similar as Carl Perkins, seems to me anyway.

then again...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBLgtKVwptA

brio, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:27 (two years ago) Permalink

love most of these guys (i've barely heard any gene vincent, need to rectify that), but it's gotta be little richard. even if his 'great' period only lasted a couple years, he made probably the most joyous, life-affirming music i've ever heard. every time one of his songs comes up on my ipod i inevitably end up having to listen to 5 or 6 more.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:31 (two years ago) Permalink

This documentary about Gene Vincent's 1969 British tour is heartbreaking and brilliant.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSDSand-6IY
(Though some of my love for it is as artefact of weird old shabby England)

woof, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:32 (two years ago) Permalink

Bill Haley!

DavidLeeRoth, Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:45 (two years ago) Permalink

Twenty years ago, I was listening to all these guys non-stop, and would have had a hard time choosing. But now Bo is clearly the visionary- I play his records and watch his clips the most. Just the totality of his sound, the way it blurs lyrics and chords and amplification and beats into a single rhythmic thing.

Yarl Kastremski (bendy), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:46 (two years ago) Permalink

Bill Haley's later years area really depressing story

PLATYPUS OF DOOM (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 17:46 (two years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 00:01 (two years ago) Permalink

Hard to call how ILX will go on this one - much solid championing of the first five and some of the underdogs here.

brio, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 16:23 (two years ago) Permalink

It's between Bo and Fats for me. Will probably vote Fats just because he seems way underrated in this thread.

o. nate, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 16:49 (two years ago) Permalink

Bo will probably take it by a nose.

brio, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:02 (two years ago) Permalink

Went Buddy over Chuck, but man , Chuck Berry ...

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:22 (two years ago) Permalink

the good thing is there really is no wrong answer here

brio, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 18:39 (two years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 15 May 2014 00:01 (two years ago) Permalink

Should have voted for Eddie instead of Carl.

Bo Diddley Is A Threadkiller (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 15 May 2014 00:04 (two years ago) Permalink

One of the earlier guys to do multitracking, always nice to the session men, at least according to Earl Palmer, wrote and performed some great, clever tunes, novelty or otherwise, mainly in that comedic 50s put-upon teenager vein.

Bo Diddley Is A Threadkiller (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 15 May 2014 00:26 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm quite comfortable with my winning vote. Really, ladies bathroom cameras be damned, he's truly the end-all-be-all of ROCK AND ROLL. I just changed from Celtic Frost 'To Mega Therion' to Great 28 with nary a blink. I've got a few buds that went through that whole 80s State Fair Circuit-Know-The-Hits-Watch-Chuck-Get-His-Wad-of-Cash-And-Goddamnit-Watch-Him-On-The-Changes-On-'My-Ding-A-Ling'-bullshit, dammit if those weren't great ROCK AND ROLL shows. Shit, every major label at the time screwed him, and yet he is paragon of USA ROCK. I had the most surreal day in St. Louis once when I caught a late night Tivoli showing of David Lynch's 'Lost Highway,' and then walked to his club to see him perform & chat & get an autograph, and then take a train to an unrequited love in a downtown hotel. Those memories of seeing him give smoking performances still certainly balance out the recent New Years show in Chicago where I'm pretty sure he had a minor stroke on stage. (Yes I know he hasn't been too hot live for many years, but let a rockist have his fun).

BlackIronPrison, Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:03 (two years ago) Permalink

No qualms with the win, place and show, just a wee bit disappointed about the shutout. Maybe it's because his name was misspelled? Anyway, time for a new screenname.

Twenty Flyte Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:10 (two years ago) Permalink

Twenty Flyte Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Surprised JLL is so low, and maybe that Gene Vincent is that high, otherwise everything more or less what I expected. Lot of votes, heartening--I've been saying for the past couple of years that '50s rock and roll is slowly vanishing from (excuse me here) the discourse, and that I'm guilty myself.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 May 2014 01:16 (two years ago) Permalink

Come to my house Clemenza, where it pretty much IS the discourse. Even tonight, when I'm listening to The Blasters and Ten Years After. They both owe a ton to all these dudes. We all do.

wild-eyed, high-volume bursts of pious indignation (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 15 May 2014 03:10 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm not sure the blasters owe a ton to '50s rock and rollers so much as they *are* '50s rock and rollers for all intents and purposes.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 15 May 2014 03:13 (two years ago) Permalink

and of course friend-of-the-blasters billy zoom played for a short time with our #5 vote-getter, gene vincent.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 15 May 2014 03:15 (two years ago) Permalink

The intro to this is sick. Noise/Punk/Krautrock

▴▲ ▴TH3CR()$BY$H()W▴▲ ▴ (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 15 May 2014 03:38 (two years ago) Permalink

I forgot to vote in this. May have gone with Bo, as out of all these guys he's the one I listen to most now. But I was mentally preparing a passionate defense of Fats Domino back when debate was raging. I would have touched on the length of his heyday; the virtual hit assembly line he had going with Dave Bartholomew; his great bands; and how strongly the rhythms of his later Imperial stuff forecast ska and rocksteady.

Damnit Janet Weiss & The Riot Grrriel (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 15 May 2014 03:54 (two years ago) Permalink

That most recent Beatles book, about their early history, has a couple of great epiphanies, the first where all the guys hear, separately, Elvis, and go bonkers for him, the second where Paul next hears Little Richard and then totally loses his shit, especially when he realizes he can shriek like that, too.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 15 May 2014 13:10 (two years ago) Permalink

Best boxed set over?

I can also listen to the entire Golden Age of Rock and Roll series all day.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 15 May 2014 13:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Wow, surprised Jerry Lee took such a beating.

Jazzbo, Thursday, 15 May 2014 13:51 (two years ago) Permalink

The "Hail Hail" clip above is revealing also in showing how easy it used to be to go though airport security.

Jazzbo, Thursday, 15 May 2014 13:55 (two years ago) Permalink

I can get behind those results, but Eddie Cochran deserves at least one vote. "20 Flight Rock" man!

DavidLeeRoth, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:35 (two years ago) Permalink

Great results, hard to argue with for the most part. Jerry Lee remains the all-time rock n roll underdog, I guess. Also a little surprised Bo didn't do better given all the praise in this thread - but Chuck definitely deserves the crown.

brio, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:43 (two years ago) Permalink

Of course, Jerry Lee is the guy who recorded both "Born To Lose" and "Born To Be A Loser" so results fit with his own mythology.

brio, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:47 (two years ago) Permalink

and "You Win Again"

brio, Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:49 (two years ago) Permalink

I feel like Cochran getting shut out is mostly due to the demographics of poll voters - he was big shit in England but nobody at home gave a fuck about him, was always my impression.

And yeah, that Loud, Fast & Out of Control box is great. So is the sequel, Rockin' Bones.

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:54 (two years ago) Permalink

JLL definitely underrepresented in these poll results -- Gene Vincent ain't that hot, y'all.

smhphony orchestra (crüt), Thursday, 15 May 2014 14:59 (two years ago) Permalink

i voted for chuck berry but i feel bad for jerry lee now

dollar rave club (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:05 (two years ago) Permalink

I think it's actually kind of great. Jerry Lee's whole schtick is about sneering contempt at the world for not recognizing him as the one true king. Nice to see it justified.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6BUHsHRRYk

brio, Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:13 (two years ago) Permalink

brio, Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:13 (two years ago) Permalink

Great thread, which I wish I'd seen sooner. Lots of great one-shots on various Sun collections; check Ike Turner in the 50s (incl. on Sun); ditto Cash, with all his Sun tracks released as a series of albums a few years back (on his MySpace and maybe Spotify too, come to think of it): he's already assimilating rock & roll into his own thang, as is Charlie Rich. Link Wray, on the other hand, is rock & roll.

dow, Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:57 (two years ago) Permalink

xpost Rockin Bones not really a sequel, just focuses on mostly obscure rockabilly cuts. Still great, though!

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 15 May 2014 15:59 (two years ago) Permalink

Wanda Jackson's Complete Capitol Singles has all the lemon-squeezers and weepers too (the latter label-mandated, albeit insincere-sounding apologies for the former, Ah suspect).

dow, Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:00 (two years ago) Permalink

the xpost Everys were and are p crucial. The harmonies linking great country brother tradition/innovation to Beatles, Byrds, etc., and also, their singles producer Chet Atkins bragged about slipping Diddlyesque guitar(in)to the Pat Boone fans, with who knows whut-all results.

dow, Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:05 (two years ago) Permalink

I wish C Grisso wouldve posted about Fats. I feel bad for how I kinda mounted a throwaway defense. Feels like without Fats and Lloyd Price, there's no Little Richard...

otterface (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 15 May 2014 19:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Correction: the xpost Wanda Jackson collection I was thinking of is actually The Best of The Capitol Classic Singles, on Omnivore/Universal, 2013. The ballads make it uneven, but they get better, and the rockabilly tracks are even more startling by contrast.

dow, Friday, 16 May 2014 15:28 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Holy smokes, how have I never heard Jimmy Wages until today? This is amazing:

wild-eyed, high-volume bursts of pious indignation (Dan Peterson), Monday, 16 June 2014 17:47 (two years ago) Permalink

woah - first time hearing this for me too, thanks!

Brio2, Monday, 16 June 2014 18:59 (two years ago) Permalink

He got talked up a bit and this song was posted in a different 1950s thread, but I hadn't seen it. I listened to this three times in a row today, along with everything else I could find by him. There isn't much, the few songs he recorded for Sun were never released.

wild-eyed, high-volume bursts of pious indignation (Dan Peterson), Monday, 16 June 2014 21:35 (two years ago) Permalink

We don't really have a better thread for the ridiculously obscure 50s rock I love, so I'm gonna just post this here. Gotta love both the name Chewing Ray and the title "Little Boogie Ding Dong." (This seems like a rewrite of "Giddy Up A Ding Dong" by someone who's maybe not a native English speaker?) I can't figure out most of the words, or the country of origin (and is that an accordion in the background?), but this just swings like nuts:

wild-eyed, high-volume bursts of pious indignation (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 18 June 2014 17:58 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I'm not going to poll this, since it would only get a handful of votes. I'm currently reading Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock and Roll and came across this:

In 1958 Alan Freed started his first "Big Beat" Tour headlined by Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Frankie Lymon, but it crashed head-on with Irvin Feld's Biggest Show of Stars for 1958, starring Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson... Another tour featuring The Midnighters, the 5 Royales, Bo Diddley, Etta James and Little Willie John, threw in the towel after a week.

Three amazing line-ups; given a time machine, which would you see? (fwiw Domino was tired of eighty day tours by that time and declined the Big Beat tour, although it bears the name of one of his songs.)

Dick Clownload (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 18:15 (two years ago) Permalink

ahem

Do Not POLL At Any Price (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 18:23 (two years ago) Permalink

haha so otm.

Dick Clownload (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 18:32 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, this went over about as well as I thought it would. I was mostly just marvelling at that third bill, which I don't imagine was planned for predominantly white venues, but man... Hank Ballard, prime period Bo and Etta, Lowman Pauling!

Dick Clownload (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 9 October 2014 17:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Oh, this is easier than you might think it would be. Seeing Sam Cooke sing live would be it for me. What else would be left to do? What could top that?

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 9 October 2014 17:23 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'd pick the Sam Cooke tour. Not only would Sam be gone in a few years, but also Clyde and Jackie.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 9 October 2014 17:27 (two years ago) Permalink

Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Frankie Lymon

never heard of frankie, but the rest of that line up would easily seal if for me.

of for the chance to see the killer in his prime years ..

mark e, Thursday, 9 October 2014 17:36 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Only one of these is a the godfather

samovars are trying to steep (wins), Sunday, 19 March 2017 12:03 (one week ago) Permalink

Surprised to find that Fats Domino is younger than Chuck Berry, always thought he was much older.

Dan Worsley, Monday, 20 March 2017 08:46 (six days ago) Permalink


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