QUIZ: How Well Do You Know 1950s Music?

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Debrocke/ClassicStock/Getty Images
Debrocke/ClassicStock/Getty Images

After World War II, the United States and the United Kingdom experienced an economic boom, and therefore a higher quality of living. This allowed more time to focus on hobbies and recreation, which greatly impacted music, resulting in the introduction of numerous new styles and genres, changing the direction of music forever. The decade also brought about some of music’s most well-known names such as Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and more, paving the way for forthcoming groups such as the Beatles. So, you think you know your fair share of 1950s music? Take this quiz and find out!

Which doo-wop group had hits such as “Stardust” and “Have Mercy Baby”?

50s 1 -74289156
Retry Correct Incorrect The Dominoes, sometimes referred to as Billy Ward & his Dominoes, were one of the most successful R&B groups of the early 1950s. Their success led to Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson’s careers to take off.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Which doo-wop group had hits such as “Stardust” and “Have Mercy Baby”?

  • The Platters
  • The Cadillacs
  • The Dominoes
  • The Penguins
0%

What was Elvis Presley’s last No.1 hit of the 1950s?

50s 2 -85217471
Retry Correct Incorrect Elvis Presley released “A Big Hunk o’ Love” on June 23, 1959, which went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. The song was recorded in four takes, with the final product being a mix from all four.
GAB Archive/Redferns
GAB Archive/Redferns

What was Elvis Presley’s last No.1 hit of the 1950s?

  • Blue Christmas
  • Suspicious Minds
  • Hound Dog
  • A Big Hunk o’ Love
5%

The song “Only You (And You Alone)” was the debut song of which group?

50s 3 -74289159
Retry Correct Incorrect Composed by Buck Ram, “Only You (And You Alone)” was first recorded by The Platters in 1955. The group would later go on to have four No.1 hits on the Billboard hits chart.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The song “Only You (And You Alone)” was the debut song of which group?

  • The Teenagers
  • The Marcels
  • The Five Satins
  • The Platters
10%

Chuck Berry is best known for which instrument?

50s 4 -1027704940
Retry Correct Incorrect Regarded as one of the earliest influential musicians of the rock and roll genre, Chuck Berry was best known for his impressive guitar solos and upbeat music. He was even nicknamed by NBC The “Father of Rock and Roll.”
Terry Fincher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Terry Fincher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Chuck Berry is best known for which instrument?

  • Drums
  • Saxophone
  • Guitar
  • Paino
15%

How old was Sam Cooke when he was fatally shot?

50s 5 -73990850
Retry Correct Incorrect On December 11, 1964, Cooke was fatally shot by Bertha Franklin, the motel manager of the Hacienda Hotel in Los Angeles. Apparently, she had shot him in self-defense after he had become physically aggressive towards her.
Jess Rand/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Jess Rand/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

How old was Sam Cooke when he was fatally shot?

  • 33
  • 29
  • 41
  • 35
20%

Who sang “Love Letters in the Sand?”

50s 6 -526521412
Retry Correct Incorrect Pat Boone was a successful pop singer during the 1950s and 1960s. On top of selling more than 45 million albums, he was also featured in more than 12 Hollywood films.
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

Who sang “Love Letters in the Sand?”

  • Pat Boone
  • Dean Martin
  • Paul Anka
  • Tony Bennett
25%

Who sang “That’ll Be the Day”?

50s 7 -482274461
Retry Correct Incorrect The band was formed by Buddy Holly in the 1950s, and “That’ll Be the day” was released in 1957. It became their first hit single, peaking at No.3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The group is credited with defining what a rock and roll band should be like back then.
Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Who sang “That’ll Be the Day”?

  • Gordon Jenkins and The Weavers
  • Buddy Holly and The Crickets
  • Tom Leary and The Cars
  • Danny and The Juniors
30%

Katherine Laverne Starks was the real name of which female singer?

50s 8 -3226014
Retry Correct Incorrect Best known for her No.1 hits, “Wheel of Fortune,” and “(The) Rock and Roll Waltz,) Starr was skilled at every genre she tried. Billie Holiday even once commented that she was “the only white woman who could sing the blues.”
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Katherine Laverne Starks was the real name of which female singer?

  • Alma Cogan
  • Kay Starr
  • Patsy Cline
  • Patti Page
35%

Carlos Wilson and Edward Bowers were members of which group?

50s 9 -74261338
Retry Correct Incorrect By the 1950s, the Clovers had become one of the best-selling doo-wop groups out there. They formed in Washington, D.C. in 1946, and began calling themselves The Four Clovers after adding a fourth member.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Carlos Wilson and Edward Bowers were members of which group?

  • The Crests
  • The Clovers
  • The Orioles
  • The Platters
40%

Whose nickname was “Mr. Excitment?”

50s 10 -526621124
Retry Correct Incorrect Jackie Wilson was one of the first popular musicians to make the transition from R&B into soul. He was also regarded as one of the greatest showmen of his time.
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

Whose nickname was “Mr. Excitment?”

  • Hank Williams
  • Johnny Mathis
  • Dean Martin
  • Jackie Wilson
45%

Who sang “Whole Lotta Shaking Going On”?

50s 11 -73908985
Retry Correct Incorrect Also referred to as “The Killer,” Jerry Lee Lewis has been regarded as “rock & roll’s first great wild man.” His 1957 song, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” gained him international fame.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Who sang “Whole Lotta Shaking Going On”?

  • Ike Turner
  • Dick Dale
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Jimmy Burnette
50%

Which musician is the most closely associated with the creation of the electric guitar?

50s 12 -3242204
Retry Correct Incorrect Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter, and inventor. He was one of the creators of the single-body electric guitar, and his work inspired the inspiration for the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.
Metronome/Getty Images
Metronome/Getty Images

Which musician is the most closely associated with the creation of the electric guitar?

  • Les Paul
  • Jimmy Page
  • Chuck Berry
  • Dick Dale
55%

What year did Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” reach the No.1 position?

50s 13 -517399066
Retry Correct Incorrect Although it was first written in 1952, the best-known version of the song was by Bill Haley & His Comets in 1954. The song became a No.1 single in both the US and the UK.
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

What year did Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” reach the No.1 position?

  • 1952
  • 1953
  • 1956
  • 1954
60%

What was Patti Page’s nickname?

50s 14 -73998649
Retry Correct Incorrect Clara Anne Fowler, better known by her stage name Patti Page, was one of the best-selling female artists of the 1950s. Over the course of her six-decade career, she managed to sell over 100 million records.
James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

What was Patti Page’s nickname?

  • The Fire Rage
  • The Shrieking Rage
  • The Singing Rage
  • The Shocking Rage
65%

“Who’s Sorry Now?” was sung by who in 1958?

50s 15 -3242223
Retry Correct Incorrect Although Connie Francis’ musical career achieved more success in the latter half of the 1960s, she was still well-liked in the previous decade. Her song “Who’s Sorry Now,” peaked at No.1 on the UK charts and No.4 in the US, making her an international star.
Metronome/Getty Images
Metronome/Getty Images

“Who’s Sorry Now?” was sung by who in 1958?

  • Connie Francis
  • Brenda Lee
  • Patsy Cline
  • Billie Holiday
70%

Although it was a big hit for Bill Haley and His Comets, who originally recorded and released “Shake, Rattle, and Roll?”

50s 16 -3332344
Retry Correct Incorrect Described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “the brawny voiced ‘Boss of the Blues,'” Big Joe Turner had a career that spanned from the 1920s all the way to the 1980s.
Three Lions/Getty Images
Three Lions/Getty Images

Although it was a big hit for Bill Haley and His Comets, who originally recorded and released “Shake, Rattle, and Roll?”

  • Big Joe Turner
  • The Penguins
  • T-Bone Walker
  • Fats Domino
75%

Who sang “Hard Headed Woman” in 1958?

50s 17 -73908994
Retry Correct Incorrect Written by Claude Demetrius, Elvis recorded and released “Hard Headed Woman” in 1958, and was added to the soundtrack of the film King Creole. The song went on to be No.1 on the Billboard charts, and was the first rock song to be designated gold.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Who sang “Hard Headed Woman” in 1958?

  • Elvis Presely
  • Johnny Cash
  • Chuck Berry
  • Nat King Cole
80%

Which artist was on the show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet?

50s 18
Retry Correct Incorrect Although he later became a rock and roll star and songwriter, at the age of eight he starred alongside his family in the television show The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet.
ABC
ABC

Which artist was on the show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet?

  • Ozzie Nelson
  • Dean Martin
  • Walter Brennan
  • Ricky Nelson
85%

Complete the title of this Eddie Cochran song “Summertime…”

50s 19 -85335027
Retry Correct Incorrect “Summertime Blues” was written by Eddie Cochran and his manager. Although it was originally released as a B-side, it was re-released in 1958, peaking at No.8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
GAB Archive/Redferns
GAB Archive/Redferns

Complete the title of this Eddie Cochran song “Summertime…”

  • Breeze
  • Fling
  • Blues
  • Happiness
90%

Finish this Everly Brothers’ Song Title: “All I Have To Do is…”

50s 20 -107155608
Retry Correct Incorrect Although written by Boudleaux Bryant, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” was made popular by the Everly Brothers after they released it in 1958. It features Chet Atkins on the guitar and only took two takes to record.
Rick Hardy/Redferns
Rick Hardy/Redferns

Finish this Everly Brothers’ Song Title: “All I Have To Do is…”

  • Dream
  • Walk
  • Love
  • Sleep
95%

Congrats, you finished! Here are your results:

Congrats, you finished! Here are your results:

Retry Ouch! You clearly didn’t grow up in the decade! Could have been better! Better luck next time! Very nice! You’re definitely a fan of the music from the era! Incredible! You’re a 1950s music master!
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