Rockabilly is an early type of rock and roll music. It developed in the 1950s in the United States. Rockabilly was very popular amongst teenagers. Many parents of teenagers did not like rockabilly music, because it had lyrics which talked about rebelling against rules, sex and drinking alcohol. Rockabilly musicians often wear slicked-back hair, jeans, and leather jackets.
Rockabilly music has musical styles from blues music and country music. It uses the acoustic guitar, the electric guitar, the double bass, drums, and singing. Some Rockabilly songs also use the piano or the harmonica. Rockabilly music usually has a strong rhythm from the double bass being played in a "slap" style. Rockabilly singers often use a wide range, with high notes and many shouts like “go man go” and "yeah!"
One of the earliest musicians who played rockabilly music was Elvis Presley. Another famous rockabilly musician was Carl Perkins, who wrote the popular song Blue Suede Shoes. Jerry Lee Lewis was a piano player who sang. Jerry Lee Lewis was known for his crazy behavior on stage, which audiences liked. Lewis would play the piano with his feet, elbows and butt.
Gene Vincent was a rockabilly musician who wore black leather and sang songs about sex and getting into trouble. Vincent's most popular song is “Be-Bop-A-Lula”. Eddie Cochran wrote songs about teen life, and had hit songs like “Summertime Blues” and “C’mon Everybody.”
Rockabilly became popular again in the 1980s, when bands such as the Stray Cats became popular. In the 1990s and 2000s, there are still many bands playing rockabilly music or music influenced by rockabilly, such as Tiger Army.
- ↑ Hear Rockabilly (music and interviews) on the Pop Chronicles (1969).