Rockabilly is an early style 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,[2][3] leading to what is considered "classic" rock and roll.[4] Some have also described it as a blend of bluegrass with rock and roll.[5] The term "rockabilly" itself is a portmanteau of "rock" (from "rock 'n' roll") and "hillbilly", the latter a reference to 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.[6]

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;[7] but progressive addition of different instruments and vocal harmonies led to its "dilution".[3] Initially popularized by artists such as Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Burnette, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash 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.[7]

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