Rock don’t roll all at once. While we’ve been noticing some rhythm creeping into easy listening, by 1957 the doo wop and R&B and swing and jazz and honky tonk and blues has fused closer and closer into Alan Freed’s so-called “rock and roll.”
This is the year of “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms. In this iteration, it’s sooo country.
True street corner doo wop still sounds like La Fets & Kitty singing “Christmas Letter.” It’s da blooze with a harmony hard-beat chaser. Awww.
New Jersey white guys harmonizing lead us to the boy band early rock. The Cameos make a pretty merry-go-round of music with their “Merry Christmas.”
Detroit doo wop sounds like”Can This be Christmas?” asked by The Falcons. Killer sax. Familiar bass beat. Yeah, we’ve got this.
Melvin and Johnny take a page out of Fats Domino’s book with this tinkly, twinkly “It’s Christmas Time Again.”
If you were an R&B fan in N’Awlins in the ’50s you hadda be a Fats Domino man. But a few early rockers dug more the swirlin’ stylin’s of Jimmy Beasley who remains so unrecognized today he doesn’t have a Wikipedia page (except he does–in German). I suggest you check out his 1957 album Jimmy’s House Party. Until then, enjoy “Christmas is Here Again.”