The 50’s From Austerity to Prosperity

| The 50s decade was a time when the world was politically cut in half, with the West being Capitalist and the Eastern bloc countries being dominated by the Soviet Union.

Another significant divide took place in the UK with regard to music at this time as well. It was during this time that American rock and roll started to spread within the UK and preponderantly appealed to the young population. To the horror of their elders!

The Teddy Boys craze started in London around 1953 – when their music, dancing and fashion style became a British phenomenon among the young working class, a phenomenon that later spread rapidly throughout the country.

Shortly to be followed by the North Sea flood that devastated England and the Netherlands on the night of January 31st to February 1st.

Rationing was finally ended on July 4th 1954 Fourteen years of food rationing in Britain ended at midnight when restrictions on the sale and purchase of meat and bacon were lifted.

In 1956 Civil rights leader, the Reverend Martin Luther King, was convicted of organising an illegal boycott by black passengers of buses in the US state of Alabama. Mr King, 27, was fined $500 (£178) and ordered to pay an equal amount in costs. This incident was the precursor to the US Civil Rights Movement.

With the cold War in full swing – Bill Haley and his Comets were thrilling the youngsters of London and the provinces! Up and down the country, kids were going wild to ‘Rock Around the Clock’ which took chart position No. 17 in the UK, in December 1954.

Since this decade is also known as Baby Boom Generation, it’s no wonder that most music during that time had a great impact on an increasingly affluent young population.

’56 saw the first debut record that went gold in Britain, a version of Leadbelly’s “Rock Island Line” interpreted by Lonnie Donegan and which was quickly categorised in the music industry as ‘Skiffle’, folk music with country, jazz and blues influences,. A style that later had an impact on 60’s British rock musicians such as The Beatles, Tommy Steele and The Shadows.

Other Great number 1’s of the period included

Butterfly – Andy Williams:
Round And Round – Perry Como :
April Love – Pat Boone
Tammy – Debbie Reynolds:
Yes, Tonight Josephine – Johnnie Ray:
Diana – Paul Anka
Honeycomb – Jimmie Rogers:
Young Love -Tab Hunter:
That’ll Be The Day – The Crickets
You Send Me – Sam Cooke:
Chances Are – Johnny Mathis:
Autumn Leaves – Roger Williams
Be My Love – Mario Lanza:
Cold Cold Heart – Tony Bennett:
I Believe – Frankie Laine
The Yellow Rose Of Texas – Molly O’Day & The Cumberland Mountain Boys
Give Me Your Word – Tennessee Ernie Ford:
C’mon A-My House – Rosemary Clooney
Ain’t That A Shame – Pat Boone:
Party Doll – Buddy Knox & The Rhythm Orchids
Rags To Riches – Tony Bennett

And many more….

Black Light – The Hull Wedding Disco Specialists – Have all your favourite music!

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