We bring you the story of Rock Music all the way from its roots. Keep up with the series.
So a DJ from Ohio called Alan Freed comes along in the early 1950s, a time when American Charts were dominated by people like Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, and Frankie Lane. He introduced a new genre to the charts, spinning up-tempo rhythm with blues hits.
In 1953, the song “Crazy man Crazy” by Bill Haley and His Comets was the first Rock and Roll song to hit the American Pop Charts at #12. Following that in the same year, several independent record labels started releasing Rock and Roll from newly signed artists.
Two major events took place later in 1955: Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” was the first nationwide Rock and Roll #1 hit, and Scouts from RCA records sign their own Rock and Roll artist Elvis Presley. Elvis tops the charts in 1956 with the single “Heartbreak Hotel”, and by the end of the year, he had nine rocking singles in the Hot 100.
By 1959, Rock and Roll accounted for 43% of the record sales. The decade ended in tragedy when Rock and Roll stars Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens died in a plane crash.
And now I bring you from the 50s — drum rolls — The top 10 best selling singles worldwide!
1. Bill Haley & His Comets – Rock Around the Clock (1955)
2. Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock (1957)
3. Jo Stafford – You Belong to Me (1952)
4. Doris Day – Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will be Will be) (1956)
5. Rocco Granata – Marina (1959)
6. The Kingston Trio – Tom Dooley (1958)
7. Anton Karas – Third Man Theme (1950)
8. Bobby Darin – Mack the Knife (1959)
9. Al Martino – Here in My Heart (1952)
10. Nat King Cole – Mona Lisa (1950)