Music and Sounds of The 50's Progression

Endless of songs are based on the I - vi - IV - V - I progression. If we use The Beatles as a starting point, it is said that the main influence as far as this progression is concerned, was Please Mister Postman, originally recorded by The Marvelettes.
Look at the I-vi-IV-V progression for more examples.
We start a closer look at the progression in the key of C. In C the chords areC - Am - F - G7 - C.
In the key of G, the chords are G-Em-C-D7
Another common way of extending the I - IV - V sequence is by adding the chord of the sixth scale degree, giving the sequence I - vi - IV - V or I - vi - ii - V, sometimes called the 50s progression.
 In fact this sequence had been in use from the earliest days of classical music (used often by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), but after generating popular hits such as Rogers and Hart's "Blue Moon" (1934), Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields' 1936 "The Way You Look Tonight" and Hoagy Carmichael's "Heart and Soul" (1938), it became associated with the black American vocal groups of the 1940s, The Ink Spots and The Mills Brothers ("Till Then"), and thus later became the entire basis of the 1950s doo-wop genre, a typical example being The Monotones' "The Book of Love".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_progression#50s_progression
 1. Bill Hailey and The Comets (Rock around the Clock)
Verse 1:
         A
Put your glad rags on, join me, hon'
We'll have some fun when the clock strikes 1

CHORUS:
            D
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight
            A
We're gonna rock, rock, rock till broad daylight
            E7                                  A
We're gonna rock, gonna rock around the clock tonight
2. The Monotones (Book of Love)
INTRO: 
F
I wonder, wonder, who, doo-doo-doo-doo..
Bb                          F
who? Who wrote the Book Of Love?

#1.
F                 Dm
Tell me, tell me, tell me,
    Gm7                   C7
Oh, who wrote the Book Of Love?
     F               Dm
I've got to know the answer,
       Gm7           C7
Was it someone from above?
F
I wonder, wonder, who, doo-doo-doo-doo..
Bb                         F
who? Who wrote the Book Of Love?

#2.
            Dm       Gm7              C7
I love you, Darlin', Baby, you know I do.
         F               Dm
But I've got to see this Book of Love,
Gm7               C7
Find out why it's true.
F
I wonder, wonder, who, doo-doo-doo-doo..
Bb                          F
who? Who wrote the Book Of Love?

CHORUS:
Bb                               F
Chapter One says to love her, to love her 

with all your heart.
Bb                               C7
Chapter Two you tell her, you're never, 

never, never, never, ever gonna part.
   F               Dm          Gm7        C7
In Chapter Three remember, the meaning of romance.
   F                Dm                Gm7
In Chapter Four you break up, but you give her 
              C7
just one more chance.
F
I wonder, wonder, who, doo-doo-doo-doo..
Bb                          F
who? Who wrote the Book Of Love?

#3.
            Dm      Gm7              C7
Baby, baby, baby, I love you, yes, I do.
         F               Dm
Well, it says so in this Book Of Love,
Gm7                    C7
ours is the one that's true.
F
I wonder, wonder, who, doo-doo-doo-doo..
Bb                          F
who? Who wrote the Book Of Love?

CHORUS:
ADD:
F
I wonder, wonder, who, doo-doo-doo-doo..
Bb                          F
who? Who wrote the Book Of Love?

REPEAT#3.

A fifties smash from Kraziekhat.

3. PLEASE MR. POSTMAN by The Marvelettes

from 'Please Mr. Postman' (1961)

Intro:

D
 (Wait!) Oh yeah, wait a minute Mr. Postman,
Bm
(Wait!) Wa...it Mr. Postman.

Chorus 1:

D
 Mr. Postman, look and see,
Bm
 Is there a letter in your bag for me?
(Please, please, Mr. Postman),
G
 I've been waiting such a long time,
A
 Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine.

Verse 1:

D
 There must be some word today,
Bm
 From my boyfriend so far away.
G
 Please Mr. Postman, look and see,
A
 If there's a letter, a letter for me.

Verse 2:

D
 I've been standing here waiting Mr. Postman,
Bm
 So... so patiently.
G
 For just a card, or just a letter,
A
 Saying he's returning home to me.

Chorus 2:

D
 Mr. Postman, look and see,
Bm
 Is there a letter in your bag for me?
(Please, please, Mr. Postman),
G
 I've been waiting such a long time,
A
 Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine.

Verse 3:

D
 So many days, you pass me by,
Bm
 You saw the tear standing in my eye.
G
 You wouldn't stop to make me feel better,
A
 By leaving me a card or a letter.

Chorus 3:

D
 Mr. Postman, look and see,
Bm
 Is there a letter in your bag for me?
(Please, please, Mr. Postman),
G
 I've been waiting such a long time,
A
 Since I heard from this boyfriend of mine.

Coda:

           D
You better wait a minute, wait a minute (oh yeah),
Bm
 Wait a minute, wait a minute.
           G
Please Mr. Postman. (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman),
       A (n.c)
Please check and see, one more time for me.
(You gotta):

           D
You better wait a minute, wait a minute (oh yeah),
Bm
 Wait a minute, wait a minute, (oh yeah).
           G
Please Mr. Postman. (Wait a minute, Mr. Postman),
   A (n.c)
De-liver de letter, the sooner de better.

           D
You better wait a minute, wait a minute (oh yeah),
Bm
 Wait a minute, wait a minute, (oh yeah).
Anyways dear readers, I wrote this little blurb thinking back to the good old days of the 50's progressions and what great times I had back then. I  just wanted to share it with you. Do hope you'll drop by and let me know what your favorite sounds of the 50s were.

Music, Cars and Drive-In Restaurants



In the mid 1950’s I was listening to music performers such as Chuck Berry, the Del Vikings and the Shirelles. I was glued to our black and white television watching American Bandstand with Dick Clark and memorizing every dance move that was popular on the East Coast.








Jerry Lee Lewis was huge back then and I remembered how much I enjoyed Great Balls of Fire and wanted to play that song. Eventually I learned it and showed others how to play that rocking song on the piano. You could show off your piano playing style standing up and adding those slippery, impressive glissandos. You know playing all those notes in a downhill or uphill spiral with a touch of your finger.
     In the 50’s my folks played Bing Crosby’s song called White Christmas over and over on vinyl records. To this day, I still have quite a huge selection of records from the swing era and rock and roll days. I enjoy playing disc jockey during our family gathering times. It’s loads of fun. 


One of my fondest memories as a child was my Dad taking me to the walk in theater to see Bill Hailey and His Comets play Rock Around The Clock. They became hugely successful when they started to combine R&B with country music. This was the beginning of rock and roll! I was so excited that evening that I felt as if I was walking on marshmallows and that rock and roll was here to stay.
The theater was alive with screaming teenagers. Funny thing is that my dad wasn't too crazy about it though. 

Elvis was definitely King back then and was probably the most successful rock and roll star of the 1950s with Blue Suede Shoes. Definitely a new style of music was exploding throughout the United States setting off a popular craze and I was definitely being caught up with it. 




Another popular item that intrigued me besides music was the Drive In Restaurants. In my small hometown we had a local drive in restaurant called Vaqueros on the main strip.
Gas was so inexpensive around 1955 that I remember we would get in my boyfriends turquoise Thunderbird and cruise the main street on a warm summer’s evening. We were styling back then.
You could see rows of all kinds of cars from hot rods, low riders to Corvettes, especially convertibles everywhere. 

We would roll our window down at the drive in restaurant and a carhop gal would come out with this metal tray that would connect to the window and car door.
She’d be bringing our order of food that was always a burger with some fries and a milkshake or soda!
There were no seat belts back then, just bench seats so we could cuddle away. And gas was around 25 cents a gallon so every Friday and Saturday night we enjoyed hot summer nights at our local drive in restaurant. 

Those were the good old days of music, cars and drive-in restaurants. Thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane with me.




All the best,
~ LadyD


Related Posts:


Bebop Scales http://ladydpiano.blogspot.com/2009/08/improvised-solos.html
Sounds of the '50s http://ladydpiano.blogspot.com/2009/10/sounds-of-50s.html


Charlie Parker once said "Learn the changes and then forget them."











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