Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Twin-Pick(Music Trivia Quiz) -- Name That First African-American Act of the Rock Era

I find it interesting to look back at the beginnings of modern music. I am old enough to have been on the fringe of the birth of rock n' roll -- I was in grade school and earlier but I remember the top songs as oldies.

In the trivia contest yesterday, I asked what was the first rock song to chart so high that it established rock n' roll as a viable force in the music business. The answer was Bill Haley and the Comets with Rock Around the Clock.

In perusing the early charts, it is noted that the artists who hit #1, in the weeks right after Bill Haley, were quite the assortment -- Guy Mitchell, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, Gogi Grant. In looking at those early charts, I realized that the first African-American act to hit big -- in the so-called rock era -- landed at the top of the charts 13 months after Haley's big splash. 

It is time to, once again, tickle your memory glands. Twin-pick is easy and self-scoring. You have choices below. If you get the question correct, you know right on the spot because you will be taken to an original performance by the original artist. If you are wrong, you will get, instead, the Bronx cheer. No losers here, just those who can try and try again.

Question: After the birth of the rock era, the first #1 song by an African-American act topped the charts in August 1956.  (Lacking a credible video of the original artist(s) singing that very hit song, we will use another classic video of one of the artists performances). Which, of the choices below, was the first top charting single, by an African-American act, in the rock era? 

A. Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers

B. Jackie Wilson

C. The Ink Spots 

D. The Platters

E. Ruth Brown


For more "Stories Behind the Music" click on the guitar

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections


Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 







Comment balloon 9 commentsSteven L. Smith • May 30 2009 10:30AM
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