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British Stars

Who stands out among all?

In 1958, Britain produced the first authentic British rock and roll song, when Cliff Richard and the Drifters debuted with the single Move It. It had a style influenced by Elvis Presley but lighter.

Part of this success was due to his appearance on the Oh Boy! (1958-59), property of the Independent Television (ITV), where artists such as Marty Wilde, Johnny Gentle, Adam Faith or Duffy Power were promoted.

Cliff Richard - Move It (1958)

A song written by Ian Samwell that opened the doors to a new genuinely British rock and roll. He mixed blues-ish rock and roll, good lyrics, and attitude.


Cliff Richard (born Harry Rodger Webb, in India) became the first major rock and roll star not to come from the United States. Both, he and his backup band, The Shadows, were the most successful British rock and roll artists of the time. In fact, The Shadows, and in particular its guitarist Hank Marvin, were a strong influence on the next generation of British musicians and bands. Later, Cliff Richard abandoned his image akin to Elvis and adopted a softer style, away from rock and roll.

How does British rock and roll end?

Beginning in 1962, British rock and roll gave way to new music, which they called beat. Except for some stars like Cliff Richard, the rest of the musicians were displaced from the lists by these new bands.

Many rockers continued their careers, but without much repercussion. Revivalist periods of British rock and roll also occurred in the seventies and eighties, as is the case of the musician Shakin´ Stevens.

Billy Fury - It´s You I Need (1960)

A self-created song by this excellent composer. His powerful live performances impressed producer Larry Parnes, who gave him his stage name, Billy Fury.

Billy Fury was born in Liverpool as Ronald William Wycherley. He wrote the songs he performed, some of them under the pseudonym Wilbur Wilberforce. Supported by guitarist Joe Brown, they were included in his album Sound of Fury (1960), considered one of the best works of this time. After his manager, Larry Parnes, discarded The Beatles (unknown at the time) as a backup band, he joined The Blue Flames, with whom he achieved success and recognition.

What was his legacy?

In general, early British rock and roll was considered a second-class product. It had little international impact and limited influence in Britain, where American artists were preferred.

However, it is undoubtedly an inspiration and influence for other young musicians, who turned it into something new and vital. This is how the beat emerged, which amazed beyond its borders in what was called the British Invasion.

Tony Sheridan - Why (1961)

A self-composed song where The Beat Brothers, later The Beatles, participated. It is a clear example of the style that prevailed before the advent of the beat.


Tony Sheridan was another one of the pioneers of British rock and roll. Experienced musician who played in Hamburg clubs, alongside other British bands like The Beatles, who called him The Teacher. During this period, he was invited by producer Bert Kaempfert, from the Polydor label, to record some songs, being accompanied by The Beat Brothers as a backup band. Over time, Sheridan transformed his music to finally dedicate himself to a style closer to jazz.