Quick menu
  • Elvis Presley
  • John Coltrane
  • Johnny Cash
  • Miles Davis

The 1950's

The 1950's were a time of changes and the music of the decade both reflected the cultural changes that were happening while still holding on to the societal norms of the past. Following the detrimental effects of World War II, the United States was about to embark on a musical journey that would change the face of music for decades to come.

Popular music dominated the charts for the first half of the decade. Vocal driven classic pop replaced big band/swing at the end of World War II, although it often used orchestras to back the vocalists. 1940s style Crooners vied with a new generation of big voiced singers, many drawing on Italian Canto Bella traditions.

Rock and roll dominated popular music in the later half of the 1950s. The musical style originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, and quickly spread to much of the rest of the world. Its immediate origins lay in a mixing together of various black musical genres of the time, including rhythm and blues and gospel music; with country and western and Pop.

The 1950s saw the growth in popularity of the electric guitar (developed and popularized by Les Paul). Paul's hit records like "How High the Moon", and "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise", helped lead to the development of a specifically rock and roll style of playing of such exponents as Chuck Berry, Link Wray, and Scotty Moore. Chuck Berry, who is considered to be one of the pioneers of Rock and roll music, refined and developed the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, focusing on teen life and introducing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century & the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music.

artist
John Coltrane

John Coltrane

John Coltrane is one of the most dominant influences on post-1960 jazz saxophonists and has inspired an entire generation of jazz musicians.

artist
Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black"

artist
Miles Davis

Miles Davis

American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis is regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and respected figures in the history of music.

artist

Featured Prints

Fall, The (FALL001KC)

The Fall

Early shot of The Fall at Central Station Car Park, Manchester in the summer of 1978

Prices from £291.67
print
Annie Lennox (EU001SR)

Annie Lennox

This photo session was for No.1 Magazine (long since extinct) on a Eurythmics press day, they’d been doing interviews all day.

Prices from £125.00
print
Bob Dylan (BD003ROSA)

Bob Dylan

In the studio in Santa Monica, California in 1980, Bob Dylan is captured whilst leaning on his guitar case.

Prices from £291.67
print
Beatles, The (TB009WHIT)

The Beatles

Shooting promotional films for the singles Rain & Paperback Writer at Chiswick Park Gardens in May 1966

Prices from £750.00
print
AC/DC (ACDC002JA)

AC/DC

Angus Young, from AC/DC, captured in a small street outside a press meeting in Copenhagen in 1977

Prices from £291.67
print
Sex Pistols (SP001VT)

Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols on the set for the 'Pretty Vacant' video shoot at the ITN Studios, London in June 1977

Prices from £291.67
print

Featured Artists

Squeeze

Squeeze

Squeeze are a British band formed in Depford, London in 1974 that came to prominence during the new wave period of the late 1970s.

artist
Prince

Prince

Prince was a musical innovator known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress sense and unique vocal range.

artist
Ian Dury

Ian Dury

Ian Dury was an English rock and roll singer-songwriter, bandleader, artist, and actor who first rose to fame during the late 1970s.

artist
B.B. King

B.B. King

B.B. King is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues"

artist
David Gilmour

David Gilmour

David Gilmour is a guitarist, vocalist and writer with the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, but is also renowned for his solo work.

artist
PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey

British musician PJ Harvey was a distinctive voice in the early-'90s alternative rock explosion.

artist

Featured Collections

Contact Sheets Collection

Contact Sheets Collection

Our contact sheet collection is a rare opportunity to look back at the hidden moments surrounding some of rocks most iconic images.

collection
The Duffy Archive Collection

The Duffy Archive Collection

For eight years photographer Brian Duffy worked with David Bowie and shot his most iconic and enduring images. View his fantastic collection

collection
Great Prints for £250 or less

Great Prints for £250 or less

Check out our great range of authentic fine art photographic prints available for £250 or less.

collection
Born In The USA

Born In The USA

The USA has given us many of the world's greatest music artists - we celebrate the best of the best

collection
Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky Collection

Jill Furmanovsky is one of the greatest ever rock & roll photographers with a huge archive of iconic shots of the world's best music artists

collection
David Bowie Remembered

David Bowie Remembered

We are all still reeling from the tragic loss of David Bowie. Here is a wonderful tribute from one of our photographers, Mark Mawston.

News