Rockabilly is known as one of the earliest forms of rock and roll music that was experienced. The actual word rockabilly came about because it was looked at as a combination of rock and roll music with hillbilly music. Music is something that has always changed and evolved over time, but it’s also something that brings everyone together. There’s something about music in general that people connect over. While at first rockabilly music wasn’t extremely accepted among everyone, it quickly gained momentum and love throughout the country.
Rockabilly is known for starting in Memphis, Tennessee and really gained massive attraction in the early-mid 1950’s. While generally Rockabilly is known for being a combination of rock ’n’ roll and country (also referred to as hillbilly at the time), it also had influences from genres like blues and jazz. For many, rockabilly is really known as the ‘original’ rock and roll. One of the most popular artists of the rockabilly music phenomenon is Elvis Presley himself. In fact, many people give Presley credit to really bringing rockabilly music to the mainstream in popularity. Some major rockabilly experts and enthusiasts suggest that rockabilly music was really created to try to popularize country music with the younger generations again, as it was losing a lot of popularity. Too much success, it worked and country music was changed and gained momentum again. Many have said that rockabilly brought a more upbeat vibe to country music that it was lacking, which is why many country music listeners and singers resisted it heavily at first.
Rockabilly music really made waves and changed the music industry as a whole. It brought more attention in the music industry to Memphis, which prior to the rockabilly explosion was solely known for producing country music. After the rise in rockabilly, Memphis started to become known for other types of music and even held its own among recording studios and artists in Los Angeles. Of course, you know the impact Elvis Presley had on the music industry, and since he was one of the artists leading the pack in rockabilly music you know it was a phenomenon.
Some of the biggest rockabilly musical artists that came about were Elvis Presley (as previously mentioned), Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Wanda Jackson to name a few. They made waves in music and really brought this entirely new genre to the forefront of music. They changed the way people thought of the word hillbilly and country music, making it more mainstream and cool. It’s really no wonder we’re still fascinated with rockabilly music, trends, etc. It made such a massive impact on the world then, it was bound to maintain popularity and acceptance even years later. If we really think about it, anytime there’s been a massive shift in thinking or culture like rockabilly did in the 50’s it maintains fascination among people for many years following.
What do you think of rockabilly music? Do you have a favorite rockabilly artist?