1950's Music of
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ . Then do a search on the genre or one of the artists - - - better then wikipedia - they did a background check on wikipedia's info!
Important people to Check out:
Miles Davis - reactionary to the quick bebop jazz playing, a trumpeteer that stressed improvisation in jazz, but with a much smoother sound. More for listening and enjoying than dancing to.
John Coltrane - one of the leading players of smooth jazz of the era.
Check out these links:
RHYTHM AND BLUES (R&B)
Nat King Cole - one of the leading players that would lead jazz into the direction of MoTown in the next decade.
Ruth Brown - powerful singer and leader of women into the rock 'n' roll genre.
ROCK & ROLL Genre
those from the African-American tradition (because of a lot of segregation):
Ray Charles - His piano playing and singing of jazz moved toward the new genre and added many aspects to the new form of music
Little Richard - also a pianist that had many aspects of boogie woogie in his playing and made him one of the founding fathers of the genre.
Chuck Berry - guitarist and singer that helped form the guitar aspect of rock and roll
from the Caucasian tradition:
Jerry Lee Lewis - Wild pianist that played with a flair for drama and sometimes his feet with a new look at rock and roll, pulling his country and blues background.
Bill Haley (and the Comets) - one of the most widely known first singers of rock and roll throughout the world. He introduced the music to all of Europe.
Buddy Holly - noted singer and guitarist that helped to move some aspects of country to the rock and roll genre.
Elvis Presley - known as the "King" of rock and roll, and most widely accepted and known of the early pioneers of the genre.
Check out these resources:
Johnny Cash - brought notoriety to country music with his slightly rock n' roll undertones, married June Carter of the the Carter family.
Patsy Cline - one of Country's biggest and well known female stars began in the 50's and well into the 60's.
Hank Williams - continues to sing many Cowboy songs/country songs of the era.
here's a few more resources:
The Chordettes - One of the most popular female groups of the 50s, referred to as "Soda Pop", still popular into this time period, a hang-on from the swing-style acappella harmonies of the 40s.
Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly - Actors from musicals like the Singin' in the Rain. Big numbers and songs from the musicals would make crossovers to become big singles.