I took the trouble to create this short list of Rockabilly songs, just so you could get a gist of what is Rockabilly. Just as a reminder, Rockabilly is a combination of Rock N’ Roll and Country music (to learn more read my post on Rockabilly). Listen to each song, probably add it to your Rockabilly playlist (if you didn’t have one, go ahead an do it), and get your Elvis groove on!
1.Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley
Elvis is called the King for anything, his royalties are attributed especially for his groovy music, his dance moves, his looks and his awesome vocals. It is very hard to resist tapping a few times on the table while hearing one of Elvis’s top hit, Jailhouse Rock.
2. Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash is your Howdy kind of guy. Elvis is a bit more inclined on Rock N’ Roll in the Rockabilly scale, but Cash puts the hillbilly in Rockabilly. His music is more western than traditional Rockabilly artist. You almost get a sense of being in a horse, through the wild west, riding among the train-tracks. Yet it has those twangy guitar solos, and the accentuation of the second time measure, as seen in Rockabilly.
3. Rock Around the Clock, Bill Haley & His Comets
Bill Haley & His Comets in the film “Rock Around the Clock 1956” Music Video
This power-pack-of-a-band made a movie about their most successful hit “Rock Around the Clock. Before the Comets, Bill Haley used to be a Country music performer, added with a new style and the comets, we have what is “Rock Around the Clock”.
4. That’ll Be the Day, Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly oozes with Rockabilly down to his play with vocals, double bass and here-and-there intervention of Holly’s guitar solo. Holly has a more blues kind-of Rockabilly especially on his song That’ll Be the Day were he basically talks about that “I’d die for you” kind of love.
5. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
“‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or ten minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords. It’s a good discipline because I simply had to write within a small framework. I couldn’t work through too many chords and because of that restriction I wrote a good song, I think.” Those are the words of Freddie Mercury on “Melody Maker
” a music newspaper. This song is Queen’s attempt at a Rockabilly song. They even got the three-chord part down.