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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.

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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.

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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"

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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.

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Featured Prints

Phish (PHIS001ST)

Phish

'I thought of improvisation as a large ball of string (a melody as yet unravelled)'. Cover art for Phish's 1997 album Slip Stitch and Pass

Prices from £800.00
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Happy Mondays (HAPPY001KC)

Happy Mondays

Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays captured in Yellow 2 Studios, Stockport in 1986

Prices from £291.67
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Björk (BJ004JF)

Björk

Björk captured in 1995 by Jill Furmaovsky

Prices from £291.67
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Johnny Cash (CASH006DONH)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash at home on his ranch in San Antonio, Texas in 1960, he always wore black, because he identified with the poor & the down trodden

Prices from £375.00
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U2 (UT001LR)

U2

Bono from U2 performing live on their Joshua Tree Tour in Rotterdam, Holland in July 1987

Prices from £375.00
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Sex Pistols (SP001BG)

Sex Pistols

Punk icon Sid Vicious reading MAD magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the Sex Pistols one and only US tour in January 1978.

Prices from £291.67
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Featured Artists

Beatles, The

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960 and widely regarded as the most influential acts of the rock era.

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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"

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Elton John

Elton John

Sir Elton John is an English pianist, singer-songwriter, composer & pop icon who has sold millions of records and won countless awards.

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Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison is a Northern Irish singer, songwriter and musician who is usually known by the name "Van the Man" to his fans.

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Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne is a singer, songwriter & television personality who rose to prominence as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath.

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Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

As a self-taught composer and performer, Zappa's diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize.

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Featured Collections

*There is a Light That Never Goes Out*

*There is a Light That Never Goes Out*

A photographic celebration of Manchester's rock music history. Free exhibition at the University of Manchester

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Jazz & Blues Collection

Jazz & Blues Collection

Welcome to our Jazz & Blues Print Collection - over 50 years of iconic images of the world's greatest Jazz & Blues musicians

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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

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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

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Barry Schultz Collection

Barry Schultz Collection

A fantastic curated collection of museum quality fine art prints by leading music photographer Barry Schultz

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The Beatles Print Collection

The Beatles Print Collection

The Beatles were one of the most popular & influential bands of all time. Here we showcase our collection of their iconic fine art prints

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