Rockabilly , early form of rock music originated by white performers in the American South, popular from the mids to , with a revival in the late s. Record reviewers coined the term rockabilly —literally, rock and roll played by hillbillies—to describe the intense, rhythm-driven musical style introduced by Elvis Presley on his first recordings. In the late s radio was broadcasting blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel music , exciting listeners across North America and inspiring young, white, working-class musicians—especially those in locales with African-American populations—to mix black music styles with the country music styles with which they were already familiar western swing , hillbilly boogie , bluegrass , and honky tonk. The result was initially labeled country-and-western rhythm and blues , but it became known as rockabilly despite the mostly derogatory connotation of the word hillbilly. Presley sang with African-American inflections and more emotional intensity than country singers of the time. Following this blueprint, rockabilly records typically featured a wildly expressive vocalist tearing into a bluesy song while flailing away on an acoustic guitar. Presley, Moore, and Black, along with drummer D. Fontana, toured the South almost continually in and , igniting audiences. Moreover, they inspired numerous musicians to make the switch from country to rockabilly, among them Buddy Holly and Marty Robbins , the latter already an established star.
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, and emerged in the early s. Other important influences on rockabilly include western swing, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues. Although there are notable exceptions, its origins lie primarily in the southern United States. The influence and popularity of the style waned in the s, but during the late s and early s, rockabilly enjoyed a major revival of popularity that has endured to the present, often within a rockabilly subculture. There was a close relationship between the blues and country music from the very earliest country recordings in the s.
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music. It dates back to the early s in the United States, especially the South. As a genre it blends the sound of Western musical styles such as country with that of rhythm and blues ,   leading to what is considered "classic" rock and roll. Other important influences on rockabilly include western swing , boogie-woogie , jump blues , and electric blues. Defining features of the rockabilly sound included strong rhythms, vocal twangs , and common use of the tape echo ;  but progressive addition of different instruments and vocal harmonies led to its "dilution". An interest in the genre endures even in the 21st century, often within a subculture. Rockabilly has left a legacy, spawning a variety of sub-styles and influencing other genres such as punk rock. There was a close relationship between blues and country music from the very earliest country recordings in the s. The first nationwide country hit was " Wreck of the Old 97 ",   backed with "Lonesome Road Blues", which also became quite popular.
Top definition. A type of music that combines elements of old-school rock and country, or belonging to the genre of early blues-enfused rock of the 50's. Today, its fans are by and large part of a subculture that idealizes the 50s. I went to the dance hall and saw a bunch of greasers listening to rockabilly band.