Teens influence 50’s music and Rock and Roll takes center stage.

The jukebox was a major part of classic diner culture.  Customers could easily browse the selection of the latest music and enjoy whatever songs they wanted, often without even having to leave their table.  There was a great deal of innovation happening 1950’s music, particularly with rock and roll.  The style evolved during the 1940’s and 50’s.  Artists such as Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard were all pioneers of the genre.  The electric guitar, which was developed and made popular by Les Paul, grew in popularity in the 1950’s.  Of course any discussion on rock and roll music would not be complete without Elvis Presley, who started his career in the mid 50’s and rocketed to stardom in both music and movies.Class

American Bandstand debuted in 1957.  The show helped to popularize rock and roll, particularly the variety with a squeaky-clean image.  Teen idols such as Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson and Frankie Avalon all topped the charts thanks to American Bandstand.

Teens were a major influence in the growth of popular music and rock and roll.  They loved hearing songs about young love, parties and fast cars.  Music helped to distinguish teens as different it gave them a new sense of style and image. And in many cases, it was the soundtrack to rebellion and their quest for freedom from rules and convention.

What songs were topping the charts in the 1950’s?  Here is a short list of some of Billboard’s top singles from the decade.


The Andrews Sisters       I Can Dream, Can’t I

Nat King Cole                     Mona Lisa


Rosemary Clooney          Come On-a My House

Tony Bennet                      Because of You


Jo Stafford                          You Belong to Me

Jimmy Boyd                        I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause


Perry Como                        Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes

Patti Page                            The Doggie in the Window


Eddie Fisher                       I Need You Now

The Chordettes                                Mr. Sandman


Bill Haley & His Comets  Rock Around the Clock

Tennessee Ernie              Sixteen Tons


Elvis Presley                       Heartbreak Hotel

Elvis Presley                       Don’t Be Cruel


Paula Anka                          Diana

The Crickets                       That’ll Be the Day

Elvis Presley                       All Shook Up


Sheb Wooley                     The Purple People Eater

The Platters                        Twilight Time