Music in the 1950s

1950s Music

The world audience for music in the 1950s was the largest in history and showed every sign of growing even larger. Musicians of reputation were in such demand that they could have been performing every day of the year. Traditional seasonal patterns had disappeared.

In the US, music was everywhere, from Muzak to an unaccompanied violin in the restaurant. There was an audience for everything.

From Elvis Presley and Pablo Casals, Andre Kostelanetz and Otto Klemperer, folk singer and the Saint Matthew Passion.

There was a noticeable broadening of the taste of concertgoers.

Rock and Roll was just in its infancy, but LOTS of it was created. I’m always amazed at how many great songs were made in the 50s that I’ve never heard before.

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Classical music was still very popular. Blues, swing and jazz were easily accessible. It was truly the convergence of the future and the past because the 60s changed everything for good.

Our 1950s Playlist

 
Please take a few minutes to listen to one of the best drum solos of all time from Danny Barcelona, performed in 1959.

More 1950s Music

Elvis Presley

Songs from the 1950s »

Do you know who ruled the charts in the 1950s? You probably haven't heard most of these songs. Check out our list of every #1 song from the 1950s.
1950s Musical Instruments

1950s Musical Instruments »

There was a musical revolution going on in the 1950s, much of it carried on the back of the electric guitar. Fender, Gibson & Gretsch led the way.
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3 thoughts on “Music in the 1950s

  1. deanna

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  3. Danny

    In the early and middle 1950’s, most of the music wasn’t Rock. Most radio stations carried either western (country) or the last stand of big band (a much peppier version of 40’s music). Some rock-a-billy tracks aired on western (country) stations. And, sometimes a radio station would do a special after-school hour of Rock; however, that was only in cities, never on community radio.
    Around the clock broadcasts of 50’s rock did actually happen, for the last two years of the 50’s (only in cities) and half of the 90’s as well (the 50’s&60’s “oldies” stations easily competed against sour sounding “alternative rock” stations during the 90’s). Most people growing up in the 50’s, had they grown up in a small town, had to wait until the 90’s before they heard 50’s rock. Rock was not mainstream in the 50’s. Rock was actually considered “deviant” during most of the 50’s.
    As far as real 50’s music goes, have you heard it yet?
    For example, http://www.1940sukradio.co.uk/1950sukradio/

    Reply

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Last modified: Sep 12, 2015 | Written by Paul Phipps