American Bands Pre Beatles

American Bands pre Beatles tended to be a hangover from the fifties. The Everly brothers were an exception, providing high quality harmonies and originality.American Bands pre Beatles featured The Everly brothers, Phil, left and Don. An original high quality duo.

American Bands Pre Beatles, and American music generally was very much a hangover from the 50's. The big artists were crooners like Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vee and Gene Pitney. The fledgling rock scene was not encouraged by the adults, or radio stations,  at the time.     I was lucky enough to have seen, live at the Sydney Stadium two of the biggest pre Beatle American stars. Johnnie Ray and Frankie Laine. Johnny Ray's big thing was crying. Two of his hits were "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud that Cried".

Frankie Laune had big hits with "Rawhide", "Cry of the Wild Goose"

Johnny Ray, the first American singer to mix crooning and a wilder stage act.

Johnnie Ray was my first real music idol. I actually joined the Johnnie Ray Fan Club.

He was a great performer, a mix between the old style crooner, and the wilder rock performer. I saw him twice, Sydneyb1954, and Adelaide, 1957. In Sydney, at the Sydney Stadium, he actually jumped from the stage on to a guest in the front row!                   

Read About Johnnie Here!

Frankie Laine, born Francesco Pablo Lo Veccio, came to the Sydney Stadium February 1955.

A real old style crooner, he also played to a packed crowd. I preferred Johnnie!

Frankie Laine, the neat 1950's American singer with many hits before the Beatles took over.


Elvis Presley, AKA "The King", or "Elvis The Pelvis". Sideburns, twisting hips and a great voice he biggest star of the 20th Century, and turned on a generation to Rock and Roll. 

One of the many Elvis look alkies was Ricky , (later Rick) Nelson. Featured in the long running family TV show "Ozzie and Harriet" Ricky Nelson had a successful career that continued beyond Beatlemania


  Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard threw some ray of hope on the U.S. scene. Johnnie Ray was a great and original singer, Frankie Laine a bit more lame, with Perry Como sending most to sleep.

By the late 60's even Elvis, out of the army, donned a cardigan and sang about "One Broken Heart" and "Return to Sender". He had swapped rock for a rocking chair.

However, all that was about to change, with new exciting American Bands about to break onto the scene.

American Bands Pre Beatles

Beach BoysThe early Beachboys days, promoting the beach, surfing and fun.

The Beach Boys

 The everlasting American Band The Beach Boys kicked off in 1961 their first disc "Surfin" reached number 75 in the U.S. charts. The Beach Boys are one of the few American Bands to survive the English Invasion. Their album  "Pet Sounds" was recorded in 1966, pre dating, and strongly influencing The Beatles "Sgt,.Peppers".

Roy Orbison.Roy Orbison, with his trademark dark glasses ant slick back hair.

Roy Orbison

Another artist to survive the invasion was Roy Orbison , surviving on great songwriting and spectacular vocals. Roy not only survived Beatlemania, he later joined one of the Beatles, George, in the Travelling Wilburys. He wrote "Claudette" for the Everly Brothers, a hit for them in 1957 

The Everly Brothers

Everly Brothers in their early days. Pushed back, well oiled hairstyles of the day.An early Everly Brothers promo shot. Very much the look of the day, neat collar and tie, nicely pushed back hairstyle.

Of course, The Everly Brothers, had their first hit in 1957 with "Bye Bye Love". I well remember listening to the "TAA Hit Parade " here in Adelaide, and the song "Bird Dog" was announced as debuting on the chart at No. 1! My father said, "This should be really something!" But he was not impressed. I was !And the Everly Brothers evntually adopted Beatle haircuts and continued well after Beatlemania.

The Everly Brothers continue to sell records today.

Chuck Berry, the man and his guitar.The very groovy Chuck Berry, early in his career with his Gibson ES 350-T, "Maybellene"

 ........and then of course, there was.....

Chuck Berry!

It took a while for Chuck Berry to get played down here in Adelaide. His hit "Johnnie B. Goode" was covered by a local band The Penny Rockets. Again, it was a school friend who introduced me to Chuck, but it was still a while before our radio stations played him.
I remember one DJ, I think it was Chas Lumsden, (Big "C "little "h a s" was how he introduced himself) stated that his next release would be himself!  Chuck, of course, was spending time locked up for "crimes against the Mann act".
Chuck Berry, is probably the biggest music influence of the pre -Beatles era.

Early publicity shot for The ventures,Displaying the typical Pre Beatle all American clean cut image! The Ventures in an early publicity shot!

The Ventures, one of the biggest influences on young musicians, they lasted long after The British Invasion and survives to this day!

Dionne Warwick, consistently producing good music.Consistently producing great music,before and after Beatlemania, Dionne Warwick

The great Dionne Warrick,  singer, actress, television host, and former Goodwill Ambassador for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. She ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers between 1955 and 1999, based on her chart history on Billboard's Hot 100 pop singles charts

The original rock n roll band, Bill Haley and the comets.Bill Haley and the Comets in their matching jackets, looking very smooth. Just after "Rock Around The Clock".

Bill Haley, the first Rock 'n' Roll idol, was the also the first rock record I heard. It was the drum fill at the end of "Rock around the Clock" that got me into drumming.

For all you folk interested in the 50's 60's American Music and the Doo-Wop era, hop over to Vinyl Record Memories, a great insight into this golden age of vinyl records.

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Everly's filmed during their 1960 U.K. Tour

The Beachboys, Ed Sullivan Show in the 64...

...and again in '68

Frankie Laine, hits medly

Johnny Ray Hits Medly