Class of ’55: The Godfathers of Rock & Roll

Posted By Kaptain Kush

As the years go by, it becomes more and more important to document the legendary names that came before. After all, except for a few iconic names like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Ludwig van Beethoven, few artists can ever claim a legacy that lasts long beyond their lifetime.

For that reason, here are a few short profiles of rock’n roll greats who deserve to be permanently recorded.

Elvis Presley

It seems strange to think that the legacy of Elvis Presley may be fading, but as we approach 50 years after the singer’s death, it seems fewer and fewer people know the true story of The King. Credited with bringing rock’n roll to a mass audience for the first time, Elvis’ iconic looks and demeanor will continue to outlive him just as long as his music – aside from his iconic white jumpsuit, he also helped inspire the iconic ‘greaser’ look that enchants people even today.

His image is most commonly associated with Las Vegas; the casino industry, in particular, has never forgotten him. He appears in all kinds of online casino games, too, and if you look at the libraries of the bigger sites like Paddy Power’s online slots, you’ll find games like Rock’n Lock, which drip Elvis all over the theme. This part of The King will never die between these and other slot appearances, plus countless movies, TV shows, and impersonators.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Part of the same Sun Records that boasted names like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash on the books, Huey Lewis has both the honor of the longest-lived of these rock’n roll legends and the dishonor of being the least recognized in the modern era. Most well-known for hits such as Great Balls of Fire and A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, his songs remain instantly recognizable while the name behind them has faded.

The ironic thing about this is that he has been most active in modern times of all his contemporaries. In 2009, he opened the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concert in style, and even today, he is held amongst musicians as one of the all-time greats.

Chuck Berry

Before Elvis Presley, before Jerry Lee Lewis, and before Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry was leading the way. Born long before any of the above, he had the slowest start to his career and eventually hit his peak around the same time. Like Lewis, he is another artist whose music is infinitely more recognizable than his name to today’s general public.

Berry has the distinction of having one of the more significant pop-culture legacies of singers from that era. ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ appeared in major movie features, while Johnny B. Goode was cemented as a target for many aspiring guitarists after it was notably featured as part of the Back To The Future soundtrack.

There will always be a hefty chunk of music lovers who know these names, and it’s unlikely they’ll ever entirely disappear, but preserving their names is critical for future generations of musicians.

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