JAZZ Genre

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.

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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.

Other information:





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.

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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 ChordettesOne 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.