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41 50s Music Trivia Questions

50s, huh?

This decade wasn’t just about sock hops and soda fountains, it was a golden age for music that continues to influence artists today. 

From the birth of rock and roll to the sweet melodies of doo-wop, the 50s had something for everyone. 

So, are you ready to test your knowledge and prove you’re a true 50s music buff? 

Grab your blue suede shoes and let’s get started!

50s Music Trivia Questions

  1. What was the name of the first ever rock and roll song to hit number one on the Billboard charts, marking the mainstream acceptance of rock and roll?

  2. Which artist is credited with popularizing the distinct vocal technique known as “crooning” in the 1950s?

  3. In 1956, which legendary artist made his first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” a performance that was famously filmed only from the waist up?

  4. Name the song that won the very first Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1959.

  5. Which female artist released “I Walk the Line” in 1956, a song that became one of the biggest hits of the decade?

  6. What was the name of the iconic Gibson guitar model, first introduced in 1952, that became synonymous with rock and roll and is still popular today?

  7. Which song, released in 1954 by Bill Haley & His Comets, is often considered one of the first rock and roll records and is known for its opening twelve-bar blues chord progression and distinctive clapping pattern?

  8. Who was the first African American woman to win a Grammy Award, and for which album did she win it in 1958?

  9. In what year did Little Richard release “Tutti Frutti,” a song considered a seminal event in the development of rock and roll?

  10. Which groundbreaking album, released by Miles Davis in 1959, is considered one of the greatest jazz albums of all time?

  11. Which duo was responsible for creating the pioneering rock and roll hit “Bye Bye Love” in 1957?

  12. What was the name of Chuck Berry’s first single, released in 1955, which became a huge hit and is considered one of the most influential songs in the history of rock and roll?

  13. In 1959, which instrumental single by Link Wray was banned from several radio stations due to its perceived power to incite juvenile delinquency?

  14. Who is known as the “King of the Mambo,” a musical style that saw significant popularity in the 1950s?

  15. Which song by The Platters became the first rock and roll record to top the mainstream charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia?

  16. Name the movie that featured Bill Haley & His Comets performing “Rock Around the Clock,” helping to solidify the song’s status as a rock and roll anthem.

  17. Who wrote the song “Hound Dog,” which Elvis Presley famously covered in 1956?

  18. What was the name of the first commercially successful synthesizer, introduced in 1955, and who invented it?

  19. Which 1952 song by Hank Williams is often cited as one of the most influential songs in country music and rock and roll?

  20. Who was the first artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the category of “Early Influences” in 1986, for work done in the 1950s?

  21. In 1958, which song did Danny & the Juniors release that became an anthem for rock and roll music?

  22. Which artist’s untimely death in a plane crash in 1959 led to the day being referred to as “The Day the Music Died”?

  23. What was the name of the record label founded by Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee, which played a crucial role in the birth of rock and roll?

  24. Who recorded the original version of “All I Have to Do Is Dream” in 1958, making it a massive hit?

  25. Which groundbreaking television show, premiering in 1952, became the first to feature rock and roll music and teenage dancers?

  26. Which famous song by Fats Domino was later covered by Pat Boone, leading to a rare instance where both versions were in the charts at the same time?

  27. What was the title of the first LP record ever released, which occurred in 1951?

  28. Which artist is often credited with the invention of the “Wall of Sound” production technique, though it became more associated with the 1960s?

  29. In what year did “The Tennessee Waltz” by Patti Page become one of the best-selling singles of the 20th century?

  30. Who was the first female artist to achieve a UK number one with a self-written song in the 1950s?

  31. Which iconic jazz album by Dave Brubeck, released in 1959, is known for its unusual time signatures and became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time?

  32. What is the name of the famous club in Liverpool that opened in 1957 and became a significant venue for rock and roll music in the UK?

  33. Who composed the music for the 1955 film “Blackboard Jungle,” which featured “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets?

  34. Which 1958 hit by The Champs was originally a B-side but became a significant success and is often used in movies and commercials?

  35. What unique distinction does the 1957 song “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley hold in UK chart history?

  36. Which artist’s rendition of “La Bamba” in 1958 popularized the song outside of Mexico?

  37. What was the name of the first 24-track recording studio, opened in 1958, which revolutionized music production?

  38. Which song by Buddy Holly, released posthumously in 1959, became one of his most enduring hits?

  39. What was the original name of the song “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard before it was changed for its release?

  40. Which 1950s television show is credited with introducing Elvis Presley to a national audience?

  41. Who was the artist behind the 1959 hit “Mack the Knife,” which became one of the biggest selling singles of the 1950s?

Answers

  1. “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets.

  2. Frank Sinatra.

  3. Elvis Presley.

  4. “Volare” (originally titled “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu”) by Domenico Modugno.

  5. This is a trick question. “I Walk the Line” was released by Johnny Cash, not a female artist.

  6. The Gibson Les Paul.

  7. “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets.

  8. Ella Fitzgerald for the album “Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook.”

  9. 1955.

  10. Kind of Blue.”

  11. The Everly Brothers.

  12. “Maybellene.”

  13. “Rumble.”

  14. PĂ©rez Prado.

  15. “Only You” (though “The Great Pretender” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” also saw significant international success).

  16. “Blackboard Jungle.”

  17. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

  18. The RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer, invented by Harry Olson and Herbert Belar.

  19. “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).”

  20. Robert Johnson.

  21. “At the Hop.”

  22. Buddy Holly.

  23. Sun Records.

  24. The Everly Brothers.

  25. “American Bandstand.”

  26. “Ain’t That a Shame.”

  27. “Mendelssohn: Concerto in E minor, Op. 64” by Nathan Milstein with the New York Philharmonic.

  28. Phil Spector, although his major successes and association with the Wall of Sound technique came later.

  29. 1950.

  30. Alma Cogan with “Dreamboat” in 1955, though the specific criteria for “self-written” might not apply here as traditionally understood in pop music.

  31. “Time Out.”

  32. The Cavern Club.

  33. The film did not have a singular composer for its soundtrack; “Rock Around the Clock” was used as a theme song but was not composed specifically for the film.

  34. “Tequila.”

  35. It was the first song to debut at number one on the UK Singles Chart.

  36. Ritchie Valens.

  37. This detail might be a mix-up; while multi-track recording developed over time, a specific “first 24-track studio” in 1958 does not align with historical records.

  38. “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.”

  39. The original title was “Tutti Frutti, Good Booty,” which was changed for its release to be more radio-friendly.

  40. “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

  41. Bobby Darin.

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