Elvis Presley in a promotion shot for Jailhouse Rock in "Rockabilly" usually but not exclusively refers to the type of rock and roll music which was played and recorded in the mids primarily by white singers such as Elvis Presley , Carl Perkins , Johnny Cash , and Jerry Lee Lewis , who drew mainly on the country roots of the music. Bill Flagg who is a Connecticut resident, began referring to his mix of hillbilly and rock 'n' roll music as rockabilly around Although only a minor hit when first released, when used in the opening sequence of the movie Blackboard Jungle a year later, it set the rock and roll boom in motion.
If everything that came before laid the groundwork, "Rock Around the Clock" introduced the music to a global audience. Later rockabilly acts, particularly performing songwriters like Buddy Holly , would be a major influence on British Invasion acts and particularly on the song writing of the Beatles and through them on the nature of later rock music.
Doo wop Doo wop was one of the most popular forms of s rhythm and blues, often compared with rock and roll, with an emphasis on multi-part vocal harmonies and meaningless backing lyrics from which the genre later gained its name , which were usually supported with light instrumentation.
Exceptions included the Platters , with songs including " The Great Pretender "  and the Coasters with humorous songs like " Yakety Yak " ,  both of which ranked among the most successful rock and roll acts of the era.
Cover version Many of the earliest white rock and roll hits were covers or partial re-writes of earlier black rhythm and blues or blues songs. Songwriting credits were often unreliable; many publishers, record executives, and even managers both white and black would insert their name as composer in order to collect royalty checks.
Rock and roller Little Richard performing in Covers were customary in the music industry at the time; it was made particularly easy by the compulsory license provision of United States copyright law still in effect. The more familiar sound of these covers may have been more palatable to white audiences, there may have been an element of prejudice, but labels aimed at the white market also had much better distribution networks and were generally much more profitable.
Later, as those songs became popular, the original artists' recordings received radio play as well. For example, Bill Haley's incompletely bowdlerized cover of " Shake, Rattle and Roll " transformed Big Joe Turner's humorous and racy tale of adult love into an energetic teen dance number,   while Georgia Gibbs replaced Etta James 's tough, sarcastic vocal in "Roll With Me, Henry" covered as "Dance With Me, Henry" with a perkier vocal more appropriate for an audience unfamiliar with the song to which James's song was an answer , Hank Ballard 's "Work With Me, Annie".
Buddy Holly and his band, the Crickets Some commentators have suggested a decline of rock and roll in the late s and early s. Marketing frequently emphasized the physical looks of the artist rather than the music, contributing to the successful careers of Rick Nelson , Tommy Sands , Bobby Vee and the Philadelphia trio of Bobby Rydell , Frankie Avalon and Fabian , who all became "teen idols.
British rock and roll In the s, Britain was well placed to receive American rock and roll music and culture. Social effects of rock music Rock and roll influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. The lyrics of rock and roll songs described events and conflicts that most listeners could relate to through personal experience. Topics such as sex that had generally been considered taboo began to appear in rock and roll lyrics.
This new music tried to break boundaries and express emotions that people were actually feeling but had not talked about. An awakening began to take place in American youth culture. Supreme Court ruling that abolished the policy of " separate but equal " in , but leaving a policy which would be extremely difficult to enforce in parts of the United States. Youth subculture "There's No Romance in Rock and Roll" made the cover of True Life Romance in Several rock historians have claimed that rock and roll was one of the first music genres to define an age group.
The youth culture exemplified by rock and roll was a recurring source of concern for older generations, who worried about juvenile delinquency and social rebellion, particularly because to a large extent rock and roll culture was shared by different racial and social groups. In "There's No Romance in Rock and Roll" from True Life Romance , a defiant teen dates a rock and roll-loving boy but drops him for one who likes traditional adult music—to her parents' relief. Teenagers found the syncopated backbeat rhythm especially suited to reviving Big Band-era jitterbug dancing.
Sock hops , school and church gym dances, and home basement dance parties became the rage, and American teens watched Dick Clark 's American Bandstand to keep up on the latest dance and fashion styles.