Rock and Roll Pioneers
Bill Haley and His Comets
This pioneer started out as a singing cowboy but soon found a way to merge Western Swing with jump blues, making him rock's first star and igniting a cultural revolution with "Rock Around The Clock."
One of the most underrated rock legends, the genial "Fats" helped take New Orleans rock from jump blues to soul, becoming a major influence on pop, rock, and even ska.
The Georgia Peach himself - the Macon madman who made your liver quiver and your little toe shoot straight up in your boot with rip-roaring hits like "Long Tall Sally," "Tutti Frutti," and "Rip It Up."
He's remembered chiefly as one of the "three stars" killed on The Day The Music Died, but the career of Ritchie Valens, tragically brief as it was, means more than that -- means more even than his status as a pioneer in Latin-American rock and roll.
The Big Bopper
Before he was unfortunately immortalized in the plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson had already been an influential songwriter, DJ, and performer, with hits like "Chantilly Lace" and "Big Bopper's Wedding."
The Top 10 R&B Hits of 1956
The ten biggest and best R&B hits of 1956, songs not quite mainstream enough to completely replicate their success on the pop charts. A tribute to the best rhythm and blues hits of 1956. From your Oldies Guide at About.com.