|To assign the decade of the 1950’s as an “era” is totally arbitrary, based solely on calendar change. But to focus on the “Elvis Era” as the time period between 1956 and 1963 we have distinct historical events as the bookends for the era, bookends that provide a reasonable beginning and ending: It was in January of 1956 that Elvis Presley first stepped into the RCA recording studio and made the music that would make him an instant national celebrity. In January of 1964, the Beatles came to America and instantly changed the face of popular music. One of the biggest changes in 20th century America took place during those years – the advent of “rock and roll.” And while music may seem to be a minor factor in the study of history, during these years, the music was a clear reflection of changes occurring in American society and sometimes a vehicle for bringing about those changes.
This site is dedicated to telling the story of popular music from 1956 to 1963, the years Elvis Presley was the foremost recording artist. The site includes a year by year breakdown of the chart success of the music and a description of the cultural background of the time. The latest addition to the site is an analysis of the record labels from the time period, comparing the major labels to the independents. Also included is a search site where the user can find the Billboard top twenty for any week from 1956 to 1963. Click on the "Enter" button to the left to begin exploring "The Elvis Era."