Rockabilly

Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music. It dates back to the early 1950s in the United States, especially the South. As a genre it blends the sound of Western musical styles such as country with that of rhythm and blues,[1][2] leading to what is considered "classic" rock and roll.[3] Some have also described it as a blend of bluegrass with rock and roll.[4] The term "rockabilly" itself is a portmanteau of "rock" (from "rock 'n' roll") and "hillbilly", the latter a reference to the country music (often called "hillbilly music" in the 1940s and 1950s) that contributed strongly to the style. Other important influences on rockabilly include western swing, boogie-woogie, jump blues, and electric blues.[5]

Defining features of the rockabilly sound included strong rhythms, boogie woogie piano riffs, vocal twangs, doo-wop acapella singing, and common use of the tape echo;[6] but progressive addition of different instruments and vocal harmonies led to its "dilution".[2] Initially popularized by artists such as Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Burnette, Jerry Lee Lewis and others, the rockabilly style waned in the late 1950s; nonetheless, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, rockabilly enjoyed a revival. An interest in the genre endures even in the 21st century, often within musical subcultures. Rockabilly has spawned a variety of sub-styles and has influenced the development of other genres such as punk rock.[6]


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