Great balls of fire: Popular music in the 1950’s, Part 8 – 1957

This programme is part of the series Great Balls of Fire
Buddy Holly (© Flickr/Bradford Timeline)

In this nine-part radio essay, Pete Myers tells the stories behind the music and the people that created the sounds of the 1950’s. This was the decade in which rock ‘n roll burst upon the world, but it was also a time of memorable recordings by the likes of B.B. King and Nat King Cole, of Edith Piaf and Mario Lanza, Patti Page and Frank Sinatra. It was also a decade of easy listening, outstanding instrumental and popular orchestra music from such stars as Mantovani and Henry Mancini.

Part 8 – 1957: This was Buddy Holly’s breakthrough year with “Peggy Sue”, and there were many other wonderful men’s groups that made a mark that year: The Diamonds, The Crickets, The Everly Brothers, The Coasters and The Four Preps with “Twenty-Six Miles”. Among the new solo male vocalists to make a mark that year: Paul Anka and Sam Cooke. Meanwhile, recordings of Broadway musicals were enriching the music scene: “The King and I” and “My Fair Lady” in 1956, and in 1957 the eternal “West Side Story”.

Producer: Pete Myers

Broadcast: March 15, 1991

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