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Stars of the age of change...

For much of the Fifties British singers did little more than imitate their American heroes.
It was the decade which saw Frankie Laine as a major star (Cool Water) and Rosemary Clooney,too, commanded a huge following.
In Britain it was people like Ruby Murray, Dickie Valentine and Jimmy Young (now of Radio 2 fame) who were among the chart regulars. Then there was Alma Cogan who had a hit with a British cover version of Frankie Lyomon's 1956 hit Why Do Fools Fall in Love?
Big stars of the decade over here included the Beverley Sisters. Babs, Joy and Teddy, were the daughters of variety performers who had fallen on hard times.
By 1956, however things started to change as American rock 'n' roll records began to enter the charts over here.

The Americans started it.
Then the Brits got in on the act.
The Fifties saw many British stars topping the pop charts and making regular appearances on such shows as Six Five Special and Oh Boy.
Here we take a look at some of them...

Joe rocks on

Joe Brown
Born Roger Joseph Brown in Swarby, Lincolnshire on May 13, 1941 but moved to London at an early age.
First group - the Spaceman, a skiffle group.
First professional gig - the Odeon, Southend with Terry Dene, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury.
Later became lead guitarist on Jack Good's Boy Meets Girls TV show which succeeded the hit Saturday teen programme Oh Boy.
Joe backed both Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent with whom he is pictured here. He is still seen on the club circuit - and as popular as ever.

Fee for a hit record - 3



Lonnie Donegan
Lonnie spearheaded the skiffle craze of the Fifties.
He was born Anthony James Donegan in Glasgow on April 29 1931. His father was a violist with the National Scottish Orchestra
Played banjo with Chris Barber's Jazz Band before becoming solo performer.
First major hit was Rock Island Line for which he was paid 3 10s session fee. It made him a star.
Skiffle was played with a guitar, wash board and tea chest bass.Lonnie formed groups all over the country and was probably the first pop star to encourage young people to play in groups.
Other hits included Have a Drink on me, Grand Coulee Dam, Bring a Little Water Sylvie, My Old Man's a Dustman, Lively and Tom Dooley.

Written by The Editor - 19/05/2001 18:19:08

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