There’s no doubt that listening to nostalgic music is a great way to de-stress and reminisce, but did you know that it can also be beneficial to your health? In addition to stimulating your memory, music can actually improve your well-being by doing the following:
- Slowing heart rates
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing stress, anxiety and depression
- Improving motor function
- Providing pain relief
At Riddle Village, we’re committed to helping our residents enhance their physical, mental and spiritual wellness through unique ways, including by listening to old music. Here are some of our favorite artists and bands from the 1950s.
Elvis Presley: The King of Rock & Roll
You can’t talk about 1950s music without mentioning Elvis Presley. Although he’s mostly known for his iconic electric guitar and rock and roll hits, Elvis Presley worked with many genres, including:
- Country music
- Rhythm & blues
- Dance & electronic
Elvis’s music also soared on the pop charts as he entered the world of mainstream popular music. While his songs might sound a little different from the traditional pop music we hear today, they still revolutionized the music scene — people across the globe bonded over his hits. Some favorites include “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog” and “Love Me Tender.” If you’re looking for good old rock and roll with a little twist, you’ll probably love Elvis songs.
Sir John’s Trio: Jazz & Blues Music
Many people are aware of rock icon Chuck Berry, but have you heard of his band? In the early 1950s, he joined forces with jazz and blues artist Johnnie Johnson — a pioneer of black music — and became a member of his musical group, Sir John’s Trio. Together, the artists recorded several songs, including:
- Wee Wee Hours
- Sunday Blues
By combining their unique musical abilities, Chuck Berry and Johnnie Johnson created a blend of sounds that quickly caught the attention of fans. In addition to playing regular gigs at Missouri clubs, they collaborated on each other’s solo albums. If you’re looking for some relaxing jazz with a rock vibe, the music of Sir John’s Trio is meant for you.
Jerry Lee Lewis: Rock Music & More
Rock icon Jerry Lee Lewis is probably best known for bringing piano music to the rock scene. After releasing his unique pop and rock single, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” he quickly became one of the most popular musicians in the United States. Other well-known Lewis songs include:
- Great Balls of Fire
- Middle Age Crazy
- High School Confidential
- You Win Again
- Crazy Arms
What really made Jerry Lee Lewis stand out during the 1950s was his showmanship — people drove out to his concerts just to watch his flamboyant piano playing and dance moves. In addition to being a popular rock artist, he dominated pop, country and R&B charts. If you’re a fan of multiple music genres, you might appreciate Lewis’s talent.
Bill Haley & His Comets: Fifties Rock
After experimenting with country music, artist Bill Haley entered the rock scene in the early 1950s with his hit band, Bill Haley & His Comets. Mostly known for their rock music, the band also played around with country and R&B sounds. Their songs are still well-known today and include hits like:
- Rock Around The Clock
- See You Later Alligator
- Rock The Joint
- Rock A Beatin’ Boogie
Many people consider the band to be revolutionary as their debut album introduced people around the world to rock music. In 1987, Bill Haley & His Comets were recognized for their contribution to the music world by getting inducted into the Hall of Fame. If you enjoy fast, upbeat songs, you might want to check this band out.
Ray Charles: Country Music, Blues & Much More
American singer, songwriter and pianist Ray Charles Robinson Sr., also known as “Brother Ray” and “the Genius,” is one of the most famous 1950s musicians. After suffering from glaucoma and blindness at a young age, Ray Charles quickly became an inspirational figure. He began to rise in popularity after World War II due to his soul music, which combines the following genres:
Even if you haven’t heard of Ray Charles, you’ve probably heard of his songs — some of his hits include “Hit The Road Jack,” I Got A Woman” and “Georgia On My Mind.” However, it took another three decades before he was honored by the Grammys with a lifetime achievement award. If you like genre-blending music and heartfelt soul, Ray Charles’ sound is for you.
The Penguins: Doo-Wop
If you’re an a capella fan, you’ve probably heard of The Penguins. After starting out as an American vocal group, their music quickly spread and captivated the attention of people across the globe. They’re known for their upbeat, fun doo-wop medleys and street music — some of their most popular songs include:
- Walkin’ Down Broadway
- I Knew I’d Fall In Love
- Be Mine Or Be A Fool
- Kiss A Fool Goodbye
- Ookey Ook
The band is most widely recognized for the song Earth Angel, which started out as an R&B song but quickly crossed over to the pop charts. If you like lighthearted music and strong vocals, The Penguins are the band for you.
The Crickets: Leading Rock & Roll Performers
Any fan of the Beatles would definitely appreciate The Crickets. This band, which was started by singer-songwriter Buddy Holly, is known for its exciting rock and roll songs, strong vocals and unique guitar and bass sounds. Not only did their music form the foundation for musical groups like the Beatles, but it also reached high on the Billboard Top 100 charts. Some of their leading songs include:
- Maybe Baby
- Teardrops Fall Like Rain
- I’m Not A Bad Guy
- Peggy Sue
- Baby My Heart
While bandleader Buddy Holly sadly passed away just a couple of years after forming the musical group, The Crickets continued to dominate the charts for years to come. If you like fun rock music, you’d definitely enjoy their music.
Johnny Otis: Rhythm & Blues
Most rhythm and blues fans have probably heard of Johnny Otis. In addition to being a huge influence in the R&B world, he also contributed his own unique sound to the field of rock music. However, what some fans might not realize is that he wasn’t just a solo artist — he was also a member of a band. In the 1950s, he formed a musical group with the following artists:
- Wynonie Harris
- Charles Brown
- Illinois Jacquet
Together, the band released popular songs like “Harlem Nocturne.” Johnny Otis also ventured into the “mambo” category and created the first-ever R&B mambo hit. If you enjoy smooth, original R&B songs, you would definitely like his songs.
The Coasters: Famous African American Musicians
The Coasters are one of those bands that don’t fit into a single category. Made up of some of the most revolutionary African American musicians of the decade, they’re known for R&B sounds, rock and roll music and their unique on-stage performances that combined music with comedy. Some of their most well-known hits include:
- Yakety Yak
- Charlie Brown
- Red Run Red
- Little Egypt
- Along Came Jones
Their music became popular for two main reasons: their fun, R&B beats and their impactful, emotional lyrics. Many people felt a strong connection to the band, which explains why their music escalated on the pop charts. You’ll definitely like The Coasters if personal, inspirational lyrics resonate with you.
The Upsetters: Revolutionary Rock
If you’ve ever wondered why some rock songs have a unique “funk” sound to them, you can thank Little Richard and The Upsetters. This rock and roll legend and house band duo is widely credited for bringing the rhythmic, soul-like sound of funk into the rock scene. Some of their hit songs include:
- Chase The Devil
- Return Of DJango
- Croaking Lizard
- One Step Forward
- Dread Lion
In addition to incorporating a unique, new sound into rock music, the band made waves in the soul and gospel genres — it even collaborated with famed reggae artist Bob Marley. If you like music that jumps between genres and blends sounds, you’ll probably appreciate The Upsetters.
Turn up the Radio at Riddle Village
American musician Billy Joel once said, “I think music in itself is healing.” Whether he meant physical or emotional healing, there’s no question that music can improve our health and wellness. From encouraging physical strength to relieving stress and anxiety, nostalgic old tunes can make our lives better.
At Riddle Village, we encourage residents to brighten up their days by listening to music that brings them joy, whether that’s classic 1950s rock and roll or relaxing rhythm and blues. Discover more about our PA retirement community and the wonderful amenities and services we have to offer by requesting a brochure today!