The Year in Music: 1957

The Year in Music: 1957

With the Decades series we honor the legacy of music history 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and even 60 years back in time. Join us for a deep musical dive into the best songs, biggest hits, album favorites and forgotten gems from each year. In 2017 we look at the music of 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2007. Each playlist – a carefully curated mix of approximately 100 hits, singles and album cuts we’ve found worthy of inclusion – gives you a historical snapshot of a 12-month window in popular music. For the sake of historical coherence, these do not necessarily reflect the top charts of the year, but rather the official release dates. Bring on the nostalgia!

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The latter part of the 1950s will forever be tied to the birth of “teenagers,” the growth of a youth culture, optimism toward the future and the explosion of rock and roll music.

1957 was certainly no exception, and gave us timeless classics from Elvis Presley – who in addition to ruling the charts and releasing the film Jailhouse Rock, purchased his iconic Graceland home that year – Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, new Sun Records signee Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. This was also the year when rock music landed right into people’s living rooms, with Dick Clark taking the reigns of American Bandstand, which made its television debut on August 5, 1957.

Aside of the rock ’n’ roll craze, the other major development took place in jazz, where Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis were at exciting turning points in their careers that would shape all of jazz to come.

This playlist of songs from 1957 follows both this paths, and also includes exquisite singers such as Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Julie London. Join us for a wonderful trip back in time to the year of 1957.

Best-Selling Album: My Fair Lady Soundtrack, Original Broadway Cast
Longest No. 1 Single: “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley
Groups Formed: The Everly Brothers, The Kingston Trio, Simon & Garfunkel
Deaths: Humphrey Bogart, Senator Joseph McCarthy, Christian Dior, Diego Rivera
Top-Grossing Film: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Best-Selling Book: By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens
World Leaders: René Coty (France), Dwight D. Eisenhower (U.S.), Nikolai Bulganin (Soviet Union), Emperor Hirohito (Japan), Queen Elizabeth II (U.K.), Mao Zedong (China)

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