Elvis Presley was only one of the big names of the 1950s, though probably one of the most recognizable. In the ‘50s television was gaining popularity and sitting down to watch T. V. was a family bonding experience. Celebrities were put on a very high pedestal, even more so than today’s celebrities. People like James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and John Wayne were treated like royalty. In the 1950s musicians, movie stars, and T. V. stars were some of the most important people in America. Musicians in the ‘50s were pretty bland, minus Elvis, they were all just stand there and sing their ballads or whatever they happened to be singing. Now, this is not to say that legendary artists weren’t born out of the ‘50s. Artists from the ‘50s include Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, and Louis Armstrong. Johnny Cash is one of, if not the, most famous Country musicians ever. His biggest hits include “I Walk the Line,” “Burning Ring of Fire,” and the “Folsom Prison Blues. ” He and Hank Williams were true “Outlaws” of Country music. Chuck Berry was one of the leaders in the rock and roll movement. He was the pioneer of rock music.
John Lennon was quoted as saying “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry’. Some of Chuck Berry’s more popular songs include “Johnny B. Good” and “No Particular Place to Go” Louis Armstrong was a very popular blues musician. He played in a lot of blues clubs in his home town of New Orleans, Louisiana until his mentor invited him to play in Chicago with him. After that Armstrong stayed in Chicago and kept playing there due to a large wealthy black community. Movies were a popular activity in the 1950s. James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Frankie Avalon, and John Wayne were royalty among Americans. Movies such as “Rebel Without a Cause”, and “Some Like It Hot” were running ramped over society. James Dean was an American icon starring in movies such as “Rebel Without a Cause” and “East of Eden” until his tragic death in 1955 due to a car accident, he lived wild and on the edge and unfortunately, that lead to his untimely death at only 24 years old. Marilyn Monroe was, and still is to a degree, one of the most iconic people in the movie industry.
Monroe is an icon for beauty, women dream to look like she and men dream to find a woman like her. Some women even get piercings called “the Monroe” to imitate the beauty mark she had above her lips. John Wayne was the man that every man wanted to be. He starred in just about every Western movie made in the ‘50s such as “The Searchers” and “Flying Leathernecks”. His voice and stature were two of his biggest qualities. Television in the 1950s was just starting to popularize. Shows like “I Love Lucy”, “Gunsmoke”, “The Ed Sullivan Show”, and “Dragnet” were some of the more popular shows throughout the ‘50s. Television was considered a “family bonding time” in the ‘50s as families would gather together to watch programs such as “The Ed Sullivan Show. ” Lucille Ball was a big T. V. star as the lead of “I Love Lucy. ” There weren’t a lot of individual stars from T. V., as most of the shows on T. V. in the ‘50s were talk shows. Celebrities in the 1950s have influenced stardom as we know it today. Musicians have shaped what we call music today by starting new genres and influencing new musicians with their work. Movie stars lead to the starlets that we know today by being basically considered royalty among Americans.
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