Welcome to 50s Music in the UK!

Music of the United Kingdom began to develop in the 1950s from largely insular and derivative forms to become one of the leading centres of popular music in the modern world. By 1950 indigenous forms of British popular music, like folk music, brass and silver bands, music hall and dance bands, were already giving way to the influence of American forms of music including jazz, swing and traditional pop, mediated through film and records. For further information visit Fifties Oldies Music


The significant change of the mid-1950s was the impact of American rock and roll, which provided a new model for performance and recording, based on a youth market. Initially this was dominated by American acts, or re-creations of American forms of music, but soon distinctly British forms began to appear, first in the uniquely British take on American folk music in the skiffle craze of the 1950s, then in the beginnings of a folk revival that came to place an emphasis on national traditions and then in early attempts to produce British rock and roll. Information available from Music Of The 50's and Languages.

50s Music

  • Jazz Jazz reached Britain from America through recordings and performers who visited the country while it was a relatively new genre, soon after the end of World War One. Jazz began to be played by British musicians from the 1930s and on a widespread basis in the 1940s, often within Dance bands. More information from The Fifties Index.
  • Traditional Pop In the early 1950s sales of American records dominated British popular music. In the first full year of the charts in 1953 major artists were Perry Como, Guy Mitchell and Frankie Laine largely with orchestrated sentimental ballads, beside novelty records like "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?" re-recorded by British artist Lita Roza.
  • SKiffle Skiffle is a type of folk music with jazz, blues and country influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments which had originated as a term in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century.
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