After all, what the hell is Rockabilly?

Cannot stop moving your feet and rips? Definitely, you are listening to Rockabilly!

It is a proper noun, although it could lyrically be considered a verb. Such a captivating rhythm!

The name is a portmanteau or, in other words, the junction of the musical genres names Rock and Hillbilly – which are present in its musical composition too.

There is no doubt: such an intense and funny rhythm could not have other roots. Original from North America, the Rockabilly was influenced by musical genres in vogue in the ’40s and ’50s.

Rock`n`roll, Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Country Music, and Jazz are also present in its formation.

“A country man`s song, with a black man`s rhythm.”
PERKINS, Carl. talking about Rockabilly

Talking about those years, racism prevailed in the USA. The broadcast of what was consider black music – Blues, R&B and Gospel – touched the souls of the young workers from the countryside of EUA, and started to change Hillbilly.

Elvis Presley was the pioneer Rockabilly Star. In his first session on Sam Phillips`s Sun Label of Memphis, Tennesse, he recorded “That`s All Right”, from Arthur `Big Boy` Crudup and “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, by Bill Monroe.

Through African-American influences, Presley sang with huge emotional intensity, too eccentric for that time. Playing a strummed acoustic guitar, filled by another cheerful electric one, by Scotty Moore, and a slapping bass, by Bill Black, the record established part of the Rockabilly instrumentation.

Blues musical structure, strong rhythm, and wild vocal are the Rockabilly musical essence.

Therefore, the following records based on the new style adopt this blueprint. The pattern inspired plenty of the new musicians, among them Buddy Holly, other Rockabilly star.

Evidently, Elvis did a revolution in the musical world. His music and performance style still influencing musicians until nowadays.

Similar performers gained space in the musical scenario, like Gene Vincent with `Be-bop-A-Lula`, a top hit of the parades at that time.

Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Bill Halley, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Eddie Cochran, and Johnny Burnette are reputed musicians that adopted and made a success with this new genre style.

Despite the quick success, the definition of the Rockabilly genre did not appear before its demise, in the end of the ’60s. It was studied and cataloged only two decades later.

In the ’70s, Elvis Presley`s death propelled the Rockabilly`s revival, that started in Europe. Young people were dressing up again the 50`s style, dancing and listening to the old records. Even festivals were made with oldies rockabillies coming overseas.

New bands were formed during the revival. Stray Cats, from New York City, is a remarkable one. With a good acceptance in England, this band was influenced by the European culture and carried it back to the EUA. The caricatured look hit the beginning of the video clip in the MTV`s early years.

A contemporary marvelous artist, that carries the Rockabilly boogie, is the great Irish singer Imelda May.

She incorporated the Bodhran to this genre instrumentation, a frame drum originally from the traditional Irish culture, The Celtics.

The broadcast of this musical genre made it become popular even to distance countries, as Japan and Russia.

Unique, the Rockabilly can shake both young and old hearts, until nowadays. So, let`s rock around the clock?!