Top Ten "Fathers" of Rock & Roll

Rock and Roll had it's beginnings in the 50s. There were many who could be considered to be the "Fathers of Rock and Roll".

The Top Ten "Fathers" of Rock & Roll

1 Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. He died on 18 March 2017.

Chuck Berry is the father and then comes the king Jimmy Hendrix will be next. Even though whoever wrote this has all the album and publication facts but back in that time most mainstream radio stations and more less studio producers where not trying to support black people making music. Most of them stole the rhythm and flow by putting their own lyrics on music that was already playing in juke joints, street corners and church years before these men where trying to figure out if music was a good choice in life. Facts..

He inspired Elvis? His first recording was in July 1955. Elvis had been in the SUN studios since 1953. In 1954 he already had 3 singles out ( now mythic ) and in 1955 before July another single. His last single on the SUN studios came out on July,11 1955. In other words, Elvis Presley recorded all his Sun legacy before Chuck Berry's first single. Chuck Berry was a highly imaginative songwriter / performer and without a doubt one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll but saying that he's the one that inspired Elvis is saying wrong " history of Rock " facts. As for the Beatles, he was one of their inspirations but so was Bo Diddley and Elvis himself one of their inspirations. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones once said that the first time he wanted to pick up a guitar is when he heard Elvis's " Mystery train " ( played by Scotty Moore ) and that later on he got into Chuck Berry. Before you write something learn the true facts of Rock's history and don't write something that is not ...more

His first single and also first hit " Maybellene " on Chess Records in 1955 was an adaption of the country-fiddle song " Ida Red " wich was recorded in 1938 by Bill Wills and his Texas playboys. His guitar playing was influenced by T-Bone Walker. Not much originality so far. He is one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll without a doubt and don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of him but in my opinion too overrated to be number one. When Elvis Presley recorded on Sun Records in 1954 he really invented a new sound and style ( Rockabilly ) that didn't exist before him. It was not called Rockabilly yet in 1954 ( Some called it Catmusic, Hillbilly Bop etc... ) but this was the raw primitive form of Rock and Roll. The real mix between black Rhythm and Blues and white Hillbilly Boogie and Western Swing. I think that Elvis Presley should be number one for that matter.

Elvis sold about 600million records while Chuck Berry sold about 60million records. Those numbers alone tell us that Elvis Presley was cultural more important worldwide in history of Rock.

2 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley was an American musician and actor. Known as "The King" He was mostly known for his number 1 singles including "Heartbreak Hotel" "Hound Dog" "Jailhouse Rock" "Love me Tender" Elvis debuted in the movie "Love me Tender" and focused less on his music and continued that way. more.

The biggest star and greatest legend who ever lived. Chuck berry above him, he wouldn't agree himself! Had nowhere near the record sales, gold platinum and diamond discs or sell out concerts that Elvis had. Nobody but nobody has or ever will be as good as elvis. The brightest star that ever shone, the greatest icon and the coolest guy who ever walked on the planet. His wonderful voice is still selling records today, 42 years after he passed away. Rest in peace wonderful man, your millions of fans love you and will never forget you. God bless your lovely memory.

Elvis is number 1, indisputable. An innovator a leader in music, the most impersonated man on earth. When he died a little piece of each and every one of his fans died with him. Oh how we miss you darling man.

Number 1, the daddy, father of rock n roll, no competition. The great elvis, untouchable. We love you elvis, the King.

Everyone knows that Elvis was is and always will be the king of rock n roll, the greatest ever. No amount of adjectives will ever be adequate in describing his amazing talent and humanity. No one but no one despite any polls will ever be above him.

3 Buddy Holly Buddy Holly, born Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959) was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was a rising star when a tragic plane crash struck him down at age 22. more.

Buddy Holly was definitely the "Father of Rock and Roll". He was a huge influence on many musicians around the world, and had a lasting effect on music. Not to mention, he was a brilliant singer who didn't need any vocal enhancing and tricks that so many musicians these days use to make themselves sound better. Buddy wrote all of his own songs, sang his own music with no vocal enhancing tricks, and was an amazing talent by playing lead guitar, while the Crickets provided the background vocals and music. If anyone should be considered the Father of Rock and Roll, in my eyes at least, it definitely has to be Buddy Holly!

Buddy Holly must have been the most efficient, hands on, do it all kind of guy to have accomplished hat he did in the time he did it. He had already completed 15 tours (probably short ones considering it was the 50s) by the time of his death. Everything he did was innovative for that time from his instrument choice to the way he must have communicated his thoughts to get the sound he wanted from his side men & the talent he surrounded himself with. He was in the process of being in control of his marketing & Royalties at the time of his death, another first. During his road tours he was in charge & preferred not to drink etc. nor did he encourage it. Just a responsible, straight laced guy doing what he loved & doing it in a Legendary way.

Buddy did more for Rock N Roll than any artist. He created the echo chamber, the four piece rock band and overdubbing. He was also the first major artist to use a Fender Stratocaster. The fact that he wrote, produced and recorded his songs speaks volumes about his talent. In an 18 month time span, he wrote many songs that are still played and being re-recorded today. Somewhere in the world, one of his songs is being played on the radio right now. It's been over 50 years since his voice was silenced, but the music plays on. He will not fade away. Ever. Listen to songs like Everyday, where the drummer slaps his knees to give the rhythm. Not Fade away, where the drummer plays on a cardboard box. The Beatles named their band after the Crickets for a reason. Buddy Holly was inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame before them for a reason. He was simply the best.

Buddy wrote and performed songs that captured a generation. He was an innovator. Some of his best songs are ones you don't often hear played by radio or SIRIUS. And he did this in barely two years--just think what he would've accomplished had he lived longer. He didn't need glitz--he let his music speak for him!

4 Little Richard Richard Wayne Penniman, known by his stage name, Little Richard, is an American musician, singer and songwriter.

I was there to hear Little Richard and Chuck Barry. Chuck Barry got all the press. The true Father of Rock and Roll is Little Richard

Please look past his sexuality and enjoy the jam.

The "Architect of Rock and Roll".

Raw, unfiltered rock and roll...the way it should be! Little Richard is King!

5 Bill Haley

He is the father of rock n roll and rock itself. Even a CD booklet says so!

Bill Haley and the Comets were the best and first Rock and Roll band with their hit Rock Around the Clock in 1953 and it was the theme song used in the movie Blackboard Jungle. Crazy Man Crazy was another hit and Shake Rattle and Roll sold a million copies in 1954. I still remember his great performance at Festival Hall Brisbane, Queensland in 1957.

Although I like all of the "fathers" on this list, I just felt like going with Bill Haley and His Comets. After all, they came early in rock 'n roll history, didn't they? Made some catchy songs, that's for sure

Rock around the Clock just shook the World, it connected the rebellious youth to a sound. So for this song alone Bill Haley deserves at least the number two spot.

6 Roy Orbison Roy Kelton Orbison, professionally known as Roy Orbison, nicknamed Big O, was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and musician, mostly known for his complex voice and for hits such as, "Oh, Pretty Woman".

The originator of the rock ballad. Wrote most of his own material. Elvis said Roy had the greatest voice in the world, and Elvis was the king so... Listen to Roy on you tube and you'll see why.

He actually recorded many upbeat Rockabilly while at Sun-records. Later on he focused more on ballads and pop.

Best song writer of his vocals on his songs!

7 Jerry Lee Lewis Jerry Lee Lewis is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. He has been described as "rock & roll's first great wild man." A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis.

The Killer himself proclaimed he played the Devil's music. And hell was he good at pumping' that piano!

He is crazy and this ir a real rock'n'roll!

This guy goes crazy on the piano!

Hands down the BOSS!

8 Robert Johnson Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.

Maybe more of a grandfather of rock and roll. I just want to see him get the credit he deserves.

Everybody knows that Rock and Roll is a mixture of black music and white music born in the early fifties. If you put every black blues singer on this list, you also will be able to say that every black blues singer contributed to Rock and Roll. Robert Johnson? Unique and very talented but it's really the electric blues and Rhythm and Blues that was the inspiration for Rock and Roll and not the acoustic Blues. Real " black " fathers of Rock and Roll are, Arthur " big boy " Crudup, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Little Walter, Roy Brown, Arthur Gunter, Junior Parker, Big Joe Turner etc...Fathers of Rock and Roll that were white, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Hardrock Gunter, Rose Maddox, Tommy Scott etc... My point is that if you go back in time to see where Rock and Roll did get its influences, you have to put some limits because otherwise you can say that a Tam-Tam in Africa and a folk-fiddle in Europe are the roots of Rock and Roll. Like I said, Robert Johnson was ...more

I have no comment. He wins and all of you are wrong!

The man sells his soul for Rock and Roll and he gets number 9!

9 Bo Diddley Ellas McDaniel, known as Bo Diddley, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter and music producer who played a key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll.

Bo Diddley put the Rock in Rock & Roll!

Dr. Bo Diddley took Chicago blues and gave it a rock and roll beat. When the Beatles landed in NYC they asked, Is there a chance we can see Bo Diddley?

10 Johnny Cash John R. "Johnny" Cash (1932-2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author, who was widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century and one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. He died of more.

Johnny Cash is the Father of Country, not rock and roll - Draco

Johnny Cash was the first to have a song voted in Rock and roll hall of fame and country music hall of fame - Ring of fire won both seats in the mid 60's!

He was mainly country! I don't know he belongs here! - AliBab

Top out of all of them

The Contenders

11 Big Joe Turner

He had what is considered the first rock song with "Shake Rattle and Roll. "

Big Joe Turner in KC was the first with "Shake, Rattle and Roll". Then across the State of Missouri Chuck Barry came along as the second Rock and Roller. THen the rest of the nation followed in Missouri's footsteps.

Roll 'Em Pete, 1938. Rock the Joint, 1947. Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup belongs at the top of this list followed by Big Joe Turner.

To Belt 'Em Out, like the Stones, that began in the Nightclubs & Taverns of Kansas City When Big Joe (the Rock) and his pianist
'Pete Johnson' (the Roll) needed to compete with cross-town likes of a Count Basie or a Lester Young and all the others there at the time. Beginning about 1930, the two collaborated twenty years. Two of my favorite hits preformed by Big Joe are Boogie Woogie Country Girl --- Flip Flop and Fly.

12 Alan Freed

The founder, and the man who coined the term "Rock and Roll. " - NEM

Alan Freed coined the term "Rock"N"Roll and people who say it's chuck berry is not correct. Chuck berry started his career after the first rock"n"roll song was released in 1951 by Jackie Brendston named "Rocket 88" And Chuck Berrys first hit was first released in 1955 which was called "Maybellene" Bill Haley and his comets made rock n roll popular with rock around the clock, Elvis was the king, but not the first one that sang rock"n"roll. Buddy Holly was one of the world's most talented artist, but his career started in 1956. Buddy Holly was the father of "Rock Music" and not "Rock"N"Roll music" So if my opinion is right Jackie Brendston was the first to to sing Rock"N"Roll but he didn't get good hits. The first rock"N"Roll hit was "Rock Around the Clock" By Bill Haley and his comets. But I wrote for Alan Freed, because that he was the one that had the power to create a ...more

13 Eddie Cochran Edward Raymond "Eddie" Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960) was an American musician. Rock and roll pioneer, he was only 21 years old when he died in a car crash. more.

Eddie Cochran was a real rocker of the fifties, a rebellious type of James Dean figure, sexual arrogance, but most of all his music and lyrics are still being adopted by contemporary standards. It is that of the teenage rebel conveyed in its most direct form. He expresses frustration at the impositions of the older generation, parents and employers in particular, the excitement of adolescent sex, the arrogance of a new found confidence contrasted with the uncertain tenderness of " real love " experienced for the first time. He sang all this matters with " genuine " expression. And all these expressions of excitement, uncertain feelings, frustrations, anger, tenderness etc... can be heard in his music, in his way he played the guitar, the way he sang. He had a big following in the U.K. and while on tour over there during the year 1960, he died in a car crash. One of the greatest rockers of the fifties was gone. Luckely he left us his amazing music and always will be remembered.

The most talented rocker in his era and father of guitar based rock. Best guitarist of his time (hands down), guitar and musical pioneer, composer, producer, played guitar - bass - piano & drums, wrote his own songs, evolved guitar technique, could play literally any style, set the base for rock guitar, only white guy who could actually play the blues... and he died when he was 21. Nothing else to add.

Everyone on Earth has at least heard "come on everybody". If he hadn't had died at only 21, rock could've gone another level.

14 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated more.

He is the best rock&roller in the world and he is my idol. I don't think this world will ever forget the name "JIMI HENDRIX".

Yes Jimi was Great, but this is about rock n roll fathers. - Rolit

Greatest guitar player who ever lived, probably won't see anybody like him ever again

He is by far the greatest guitarist of all time. He literally invented rock.

15 Fats Domino Antoine "Fats" Domino, Jr. was a French Creole pianist and singer-songwriter. He released five gold records before 1955 and had 35 hit records in the U.S. Top 40. He died on October 25, 2017.

Can't believe he's not in the Top Ten list! His earliest recordings, going back to 1949, are very much rock and roll before it was a recognized genre. From the period 1955-1962, he was second only to Elvis Presley in record sales.

The Fat Man 1949...

16 Gene Vincent Vincent Eugene Craddock, known as Gene Vincent, was an American musician who pioneered the styles of rock and roll and rockabilly.

True great. Try Bebop a lula.

Had one of the greatest rock & roll songs of all itme. Be Pop a Lulu

17 Ritchie Valens Richard Steven Valenzuela (May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959), known as Ritchie Valens, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted eight months, as it abruptly ended when he died (aged 17) in more.

That's a hard and risky statement to do. Ritchie Valens was without a doubt talented but without Elvis Presley he wouldn't even have existed as a Rock and Roll singer. His first single came out in 1958 when he was seventeen. Elvis Presley had already made four movies and was getting drafted into the army in 1958. It's obvious that he was inspired by Elvis, so saying that he is the real King of Rock and that he would be have better than Elvis Presley is really making an overstatement.

I say ritchie valens is the king of rock n roll he probably would out due Elvis..

18 Lloyd Price

I can't stop pooping

19 Jim Morrison James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.

He's the soul of everything

He is one of the father of rock n roll music...

20 Muddy Waters McKinley Morganfield, known by his stage name Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician who is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues".

Its funny because all of the white people forget that Rock n' Roll was considered race music (Black, Urban) and was created by African-Americans ONLY. Just like Jazz and Blues before it. Not one of the white artist named above had anything to do with the creation of the artform. Yes, they helped popularize it because the music gatekeepers hand picked the faces of white artist that they thought would be marketable and provided TONS of resources not afforded to Black artist of that time. History will not be re-written to make these people bigger than they are. The artist listed above stole or barrowed their entire style from the "TRUE" forefathers. SMH, these forums disgust me.

Muddy Waters is a Chicago Blues legend and helped influence the first Rock n' Rollers.

21 Ray Charles Ray Charles Robinson, professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer.

He is awesome

22 Jared Leto Jared Joseph Leto is an American actor, singer-songwriter, and director. He is well known for being the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars.

There is no contest. He is the best

I agree

23 Wolfman Jack

A popular DJ in the fifties and after that. But he's not a singer or promoter and so he didn't really contributed as a " father ". Black singer " Rufus Thomas " and also DJ in the fifties on a black radiostation in Memphis was the first black DJ to play Elvis Presley's first SUN-Records single on his radioshow. He really contributed to Rock and Roll, making the race differences in music at that time acceptable for everyone. The mixture of white and black music was a new kind of music made for every race on earth.

24 The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented more.

What an insult! They were NOT the fathers of rock and roll. They weren't even a rock and roll band. Deluded, obsessional fans, they were a POP BAND and in case you don't know, rock music is NOT the same as POP music!

Sheesh! Beatle fans will try anything! The Beatles were A POP BAND and therefore should be removed from this list.

We're talking about the Fathers of Rock and Roll here on this list. Meaning the instigators of Rock and Roll. The Beatles were in their early years no more than a " cover " band of Rock and Roll ( and in my opinion a not that good coverband ). They really don't belong here!

One of the greatest bands of all time

25 Johnnie Johnson

No way Chuck Berry should be way up above the man who hired him... ROCK ON JOHNNIE JOHNSON, still kicking it up in Heaven

Johnnie Johnson is one of the most underrated artists of all

26 Carl Perkins Carl Lee Perkins was an American singer-songwriter who recorded most notably at the Sun Studio, in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning in 1954. His best-known song is "Blue Suede Shoes".

He was the King of Rockabilly which flourished in the south and made one of the best single called blue suede shoes that even Elvis did a cover of

27 Ike Turner Izear Luster "Ike" Turner, Jr. was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer.

A huge jerk, but he made the very first rock and roll record "Rocket 88", long before he met Tina.

So he created rock n roll, and 27 people are above him. - venomouskillingmachine

Rocket 88 is a SUN-Records single recorded by Jackie Brenston and his Delta cats. Ike Turner who was part of the Delta cats played piano on those sessions. So, saying that " he " made that record is false. Besides many concider this record still as Rhythm and Blues and not really Rock and Roll. The very first Rock and Roll record is in my opinion the SUN-records single " That's allright, Mama / Blue moon of Kentucky " by Elvis Presley from 1954. The perfect mix of a white sounding black music ( That's allright by Arthur Crudup ) together with a black sounding white music ( Blue moon of Kentucky by Bill Monroe ). This was a unique sound never heard before and wasn't called Rockabilly yet in 1954. First it was called " Catmusic ", " Hillbilly Bop ", " Folk Blues [ sic ] " etc... This is really the primitive form of Rock and Roll.

28 Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath more.


29 Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5th September 1946 - 24th November 1991) was a Zanzibari-born British singer of Indian descent, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the British rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave more.

Give it a rest, Freddie fans. Freddie was a rock singer but definitely NOT THE FATHER OF ROCK!

Excuse me? Why isn't this amazing man here?


30 Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan was definitely one of the very first musicians who recorded music in the Rock 'n' Roll style in the early 1940ies, though the term of 'Rock 'n' Roll' at that time was not coined yet! The term is said to be coined by Alan Freed later in the 1950ies. 'Big Joe Turner' as well as 'Caleb Ginyard' also were very early in recording this style, but they were not that famous like later artists such as Chuck Berry and Elvis!

31 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.
32 Hank Williams Hiram King "Hank" Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His band was called "The Driftin' Cowboys"

hank was only 29 when he died no hank no elvis , jerry lee, cash,beatles

Just listen to his 1947 single " Move it on over ". This is Rock and Roll before its time.

33 Link Wray

Over looked in every way. Rumble was written early 50's BUT not recorded until '57 or '58. can we agree he was the father of "indie rock"?

I guess this list is for the father, so this inclusion is a non-issue since link wray is the godfather and gods need not the acceptance of mere mortals.

no link hard rock kinks,who,zep

34 Elmore James Elmore James was an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader. He was known as "King of the Slide Guitar" and was noted for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice.

The FIRST FATHER of Rock n Roll

35 The Big Bopper
36 Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1987, he started the grunge band Nirvana, which became one of the most successful bands ever. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his more.

I know many people may call him overrated but I feel he contributed a lot to the music world. And he deserves some recognition

A father of Rock and Roll? Rock and Roll was already 15 years old when he was born. He maybe did a contribution in Rockmusic but he's certainly not a " father " of Rock and Roll.

37 James Brown James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul".

The father of Soul, The Godfather of Funk... but not really the father of Rock and Roll. Some of his early records has a Rock and Roll " touch " but it is in fact closer related to Rhythm and Blues. But he's a talented singer and showmen nevertheless.

The REAL father of rock and roll

38 Dion DiMucci
39 Lemmy Kilmister Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.

we are motorhead we play rock&roll

Lemmy sucks

go ahead crucify me

Lemmy is god

40 Billy Idol William Michael Albert Broad, known professionally by his stage name Billy Idol, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor.

Elvis Presley of the 80s, my humble opinion.
Elvis was rough voiced, jumpin and jivin, sexually induced. That's all Billy,too.
Elvis is the king, but I can agree that Billy played a good part.

41 Syd Barrett Roger Keith Barrett was an English musician, composer, singer, songwriter, and painter. Best known as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd, Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter in its early years and is credited with naming the band.
42 Jerry Garcia Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia was an American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the band the Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s.
43 Arthur Brown
44 Eric Clapton Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.
45 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). more.
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