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My Top Picks For The Best Groups Of The Early Rock and Roll Era

Updated on August 31, 2017

Early Rock and Roll

Rock and Roll has produced some of the most beautiful and loved music. This is the type of music that you could take that special someone in your arms and hold her close. It is also the type of music that adds to the romantic tone of an evening. It is simply about a boy and a girl falling in love with each other. Some sixty years later, it brings back the feelings and memories of that first date, that first kiss and yes that first romantic love.

The 5 Satins

The Five Satins were formed by Fred Paris in 1956 when he recruited Wes Forbes, Lewis Peeples, Rich Freeman and Sy Hopkins. He wrote In the Still of the Night while in the Army. This song was recorded in 1956 has been voted number one time and time again as the best song ever.

The Five Satins Music

To the Aisle - The Five Satins

To the Aisle was recorded in 1957 with lead singer Fred Paris. Just read the words of the song and you'll know why it is still one fantastic wedding song.

First a boy and a girl meet each other

Then they sit down to talk for a while

In your heart you'll want her for a lover

while each step draws you closer to the aisle

You may start with a simple conversation

My darling please put me on trial

She says yes and your heart starts beating

While each step draws you closer to the aisle

You ask her if she loves you

She answers "I do"

Your heart starts glowing inside

And then you will know

she is just for you

While each step draws you closer to the aisle

Then you put a ring on her finger

And the tears start flowing awhile

Then you'll know she's yours forever

While each step draws you closer to the aisle

Earth Angel - The Penguins

The Penguins were a group that had the chart topper, Earth Angel. The group was a rhythm and blues group. Earth Angel, first performed in 1955 went to number 8 on billboard. The group consisted of Curtis Williams, Cleveland Duncan, Dexter Tisby and Bruce Tate.

Angel Baby - Rosie and the Originals

This is one of the great girl groups. Rosalie (Rosie) Hammlin, wrote a poem called Angel Baby in 1962. The group consisted of Rosie, Noah Tafolla, David Ponci, Tony Gomez, Carl Von Goodat andAlfred Barrett. This song has passed the test of time.

The Platters

Only You was originally written for the Ink Spots but for reasons unknown to me it was never released. The Platters released it in 1955 with lead singer Tony Williams. It is one of many chart toppers songs that I have included on this list.

My Prayer was written in 1926 by Georges Boulanger. Jimmy Kennedy added the lyrics to the song in the late 1930's. It was recorded many times and was a success for Glenn Miller and the Ink Spots. In 1956, it was recorded by the Platters and was a huge success. It still remains the song that fills the dance floors by couples in love.

The Platters Music

Johnny Maestro and the Crest

The Crest was formed in the 1950's. The groups consisted of two blacks, one Puerto Rican and an Italian. They consisted of J. T. Carter and included Talmoudge Gough, Harold Torres, and Patricia Van Dross and Johnny Mastrangelo.. Carter selected vocalist Johnny Mastrangelo (later just Johnny Maestro) to be the lead singer. They were the first inter-racial group. 16 Candles was recorded in 1959 and quickly rose to the top of the charts, hitting number 2. This was originally the b-side, the a-side of the record was the beautiful Beside You. Sweetest One, was another great hit, along with a host of other great songs.

Music by The Crests

The three songs I have included in this lens are 16 Candles, Beside You and Sweetest One. To me they are the best of the many hits of the Crest. I hope you enjoy them as much as I.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll had such an imprint on music and style. From 1957 until his death, Presley was a sort after singer. In the early part of his career he was considered a rebel. When he was seen on the Ed Sullivan Show, they could only show him from the waist up, because of his movements. We lost Elvis and a large part of Rock and Roll on August 16, 1977. Are You Lonesome Tonight, recorded in 1960, and I Can’t Help Falling in Love recorded in 1961, was just two of the many Elvis hits.

Music by Elvis

Two great songs; Are You Lonesome Tonight and I Can't Help Falling In Love with You.

Bill Haley and His Comets

Bill Haley was truly a pioneer of Rock and Roll music. The group was founded in 1952 and had many hits that included Rock Around the Clock, Shake Rattle and Roll and See You Later Alligator. Bill Haley and his Comets were the first white group of Rock and Roll and made white America join in on this new style of music. The group consisted of Bill Haley, Johnny Grande, Billy Williamson, Rudy Pompilli, Al Rex, Franny Beecher, Ralph Jones, Nick Nastos and John "Bam-Bam" Lane.

Music by Bill Haley and His Comets

The two songs below are Rock Around The Clock and Shake Rattle and Roll.

The Drifters

The Drifters were formed in 1953. This group has had many changes over the years. The first group consisted of Clyde McPhatter , William "Chick" Anderson, David Baldwin , James "Wrinkle" Johnson , and David "Little Dave" BaughanGerhart Thrasher. The Drifters, as they were known, recorded four songs. Less then a year later the group's composition changed and became known as Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters. The new group consisted of Andrew Thrasher, Bill Pinkney, Willie Ferbee and Walter Adams. Money Honey was released in 1953 and was the groups first major hit. Changes to the group’s composition continued to change over the years. The Drifter's had so many hits over the year. Some of them were On Broadway, Under the Boardwalk, There Goes My Baby, White Christmas, Up On The Roof, Please Say, Save the Last Dance for Me, There Goes My Baby, Some Kind of Wonderful and so many more. The Drifter's also had changes with lead singers after McPhatter left the group. Ben E. King took the reigns of the group.

Music by the Drifters

The three songs I have included are; There Goes My Baby, Under the Boardwalk and Up On The Roof. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The Chimes

The Chimes was formed in the mid 1950's. The group consisted of Lenny Cocco, Pat DePrisco, Richard Mercado, Joseph Croce , and Pat McGuire. Once In A While was their first hit in 1961 originally recorded by Tommy Dorsey. I'm In the Mood For Love was their second hit in 1962. The group had a very short history. They broke up in 1964. Lenny Coco, the lead singer reformed the group and changed the name to Lenny Coco and the Chimes and continues to perform today at oldie shows.

Music by the Chimes

Two very beautiful songs are included in this lens; I'm In The Mood For Love and Once In A While.

The Cleftones

The Cleftones was formed in Queens in 1955. The group got together at Jamaica High School. The members of the group were Herbie Cox, James Tucker, Berman Patterson, William McClane, Charlie McGhee and Warren Corbin. Pat Spann was added to the group in the 1960's. Songs they recorded were Little Girl of Mine, Heart and Soul, Can't We Be Sweethearts and For Sentimental Reason. Heart and Soul reached Billboards top 100 songs.

Music by the Cleftones

The two songs included are Little Girl Of Mine and Heart and Soul.

The Dubs

The Dubs was formed in 1955. The members of the group were Richard Blandon, Cleveland Still, Billy Carlisle, James Miller and Thomas Gardner. They only lasted until 1958. The group broke up but not before having such beautiful hits like, Please Don't Ask Me to Be Lonely and Could This Be Magic. The group was reformed in 1959 and they recorded Chapel of Dreams. The Dubs have gone through many changes in composition over the years but they still perform today.

Music by the Dubs

Please Don't Ask Me To Be Lonely and Chapel of Dreams are two great songs by this short lived group.

Connie Frances

Connie Francis (Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero) is from Newark, New Jersey. She began performing in 1953 at various neighborhood festivals and shows. She appeared in Arthur Godfey's Talent Show in the 1950's. Connie had a rough start, being turned down by many studios to record her songs. Finally, MGM gave her a contract to sign. Her first recorded single was called Freddy which was a failure. Her first hit, the Majesty of Love was recorded in 1957. MGM decided to drop Connie's contract, even after her hit with the Majesty of Love. Finally, at the insistence of her father, she recorded an old song of the 1920's. "Who's Sorry Now". The song seemed to go no where until 1958 when she appeared on American Bandstand and sang it. It became an instant hit and sold over one million records and eventually reached the number 1 spot in the United States. MGM eventually renewed her contract and Connie had hit after hit. In 1959, Connie came out with another chart topper, Mama. The following years she hooked up with Neil Sedaka, who began writing some of her future hits. One such song was Stupid Cupid which went to Number 14 in American and number 1 in the England. This was followed up with hits like, Lipstick on Your Collar, Frankie, My Happiness and many more.

Connie continues to be a major box office draw.

Connie's Music

This is just two of the many hits of Commie Francis; Who's Sorry Now and Lipstick On Your Collar.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

The Four Seasons began as the Four Lovers from 1954 to 1956. The released a song called You're the Apple Of My Eye, which hit number 62 on billboard. The group consisted of Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Frank Cattone, Billy Thompson and Hank Hank Majewski. They had many different name and member changes during the years. Finally, the group was formed and the members were, Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Masi. In 1961, Sherry, a song written by Gaudio became a mega hit for the new group, the Four Seasons. They continued to crank out number 1 hits with Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like a Man, Candy Girl and Ain't That A Shame. They even recorded Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. In 1964, during the height of Beatlemania, the Four Seasons did it again with Dawn.

In 1965, the Four Seasons performed under a new name, The Wonder Who. They appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show with masks on and sang, Don't Think Twice. The Four Seasons continued to produce hits well into the 1970's with songs like, Let's hang On, Working My Way Back to You, and Opus 17, just to name a few.

Frankie Valli began a solo career with hits like Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You; I make a Fool of Myself, To Give, My Eyes Adore You and Swearin to God.

This group has been one of the most popular groups of the 1960's to the 1980's. They continue to pack the house every time they perform.

Music by the Four Season

This music begins with a medley featuring the hit Sherry. Then I added Big Girls don't Cry. then under the name of the Wonder Who I added Don't Think Twice and finally I had to throw in Frankie Valli singing solo, Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You.

Rock and Roll is here to stay?

Many say Rock and Roll will live forever, do you agree?

See results

Duel Debate Module

The Four Seasons and the Beatles had an Album entitles "the Four Seasons vs the Beatles. What group was better?

Let me know what you think of my picks.

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great picks except you left out a good one..Dion and the Belmonts...Good Italian Boys from the Bronx

    • lclchors profile image


      7 years ago

      Love you lens most of it was before my time I was born in 56 but I love that music

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Some very nice early Rock and Roll picks ... I actually saw the Platters in person. Really cool show!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome brings back the memories, this was real music sung from the heart, great job! Loved all these groups.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @nyclittleitaly: good job Brother.....

    • nyclittleitaly profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Reddawg2012: Thank you for visiting me lens and your comment. I will be adding more acts to additional lenses in the future.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hey, this is a very nice lens about the old time rock and roll acts. I hope you add more to it sometime. Peace.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice collection , I like it !.

    • profile image

      mediawizard lm 

      7 years ago

      Great and it's clear you are a real Rock and Roll fan.

      Great lens!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Excellent choices! =D

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Brings me down memory lane that I never existed during...

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      7 years ago

      It's all good!


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