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

1 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.

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.

Chuck's lyrics and music were the foundation. Ask Keith Richards. But Little Richard should probably be #2. That's not to take anything away from Holly!

The best guitarist of his time, by far!

Like the first comment says, he was influenced by T-Bone Walker for his guitar playing style and " he " didn't invented Rock and Roll, but he was really the inventor in Rock and Roll lyrics. He's the original poet of Rock.

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2 Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Elvis Presley was a 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.

When Elvis recorded his SUN sessions he really invented a new style. When you listen to this records it has the ability to make you forget all others, to banish the gentrified pop that came in its wake, as well the raggle-taggle Blues that came before it. This records are one of those things that just can't be argued with, a pop-cultural milestone of huge importance. Elvis was the major teen breaktrough, the universal hero, a symbol of teenage rebellion. In this way, without even trying, he became one of the people who have radically affected the way that people live and think. This was new, fresh, nervous cutting music, it exploded all over the place. But above all, it was the sexiest thing that anyone had ever heard or seen. Elvis is really the trigger of Rock and Roll and therefore rightfully proclaimed as the King of Rock and Roll.

He is the king.. Not only in a musical way, also with his charisma..

Elvis is the father of rock, chuck revolutionized it, but elvis is the king


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3 Buddy Holly 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.

Holly was the father, Elvis was the mother and Berry was the uncle/godfather

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

Please look past his sexuality and enjoy the jam.

Preceeded Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, & Elvis in breaking out into rock & roll. Big influence on John Lennon.

So different so cool so original. Heard his religious album shows how versitile the guy really is.

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5 Bill Haley

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.

As a former Comet I say Bill Haley is the one that brought R&R to mainstream of American Life. The others mentioned here mostly rode his coat tails into the mainstream of acceptance..

Made white kids notice rock and then the was an opening for them to the reality of music - no matter who was performing. Also you couldn't see the skin color.

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6 Jerry Lee Lewis

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

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7 Bo Diddley

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?

8 Roy Orbison 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.

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9 Robert Johnson Robert Johnson

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!

If it wasn't for Robert the other names on this list wouldn't even exist

Win it comes to acoustic blues, Sir Robert Johnson GOT IT ALL

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10 Johnny Cash Johnny Cash John R. "Johnny" Cash 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.

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!

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

The Contenders

11 Big Joe Turner

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

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

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13 Eddie Cochran 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.

14 Jimi Hendrix 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.

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.

I can't stop pooping, actually I gotta go. I gotta poop right now!

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

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15 Fats Domino Fats Domino Antoine "Fats" Domino, Jr. is 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.

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.

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16 Ritchie Valens 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..

17 Gene Vincent

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

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18 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.

19 Lloyd Price

I can't stop pooping

20 Jim Morrison Jim Morrison James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors. V 2 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 24 Feb 2017

500 votes
38 listings
8 years, 344 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Chuck Berry
2. Bill Haley
3. Elvis Presley
1. Roy Orbison
2. Buddy Holly
3. Elvis Presley
1. Chuck Berry
2. Johnny Cash
3. Elvis Presley

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