Rockabilly and Rock n Roll grew next to each other around the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, but it was Rock n Roll that became the commercial success of the day and for future generations, resulting in Rockabilly having more of a cult following. Rockabilly has never really gone away, it has always had a cult following enabling it to survive through to current day, with the odd moment of commercial notability along the way.
Rockabilly occurred when the poor white kids in the southern states of the USA began listening to "Hillbilly", "Gospel and "Blues, they then took these three musical styles and developed their own sound that later became known as Rockabilly.
A large number of the Rock n Roll celebrities of this period started their musical career in Rockabilly bands, such as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly, in actual fact, Elvis was spawned by "Sun Records", this being the first record label to promote Rockabilly on a national level.
Rockabilly's influence and popularity dropped away a little in the 1960s, but during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Rockabilly enjoyed a revival in popularity, in some ways it went along with the influence of Punk in this era that bought Rockabilly back to public attention. This new generation of followers became interested in the genre and bought Rockabilly as well as Psychobilly to the world map of Rock n Roll.
Rockabilly has never been heavily promoted by commercial record labels, and so the followers of the style started a whole network of independent recording studios and promoters for the artists, most Rockabilly gigs are organised by an every day individual who also holds down a fulltime job, and Rockabilly gigs can boast audiences numbering into their thousands.
Rockabilly gigs are like no other gig, the clothes and hair are wild, they're bright and they clash. the cars of the Rockabilly gig goer will often be hotrods or customised 1950s cars, and the fans are like an extended world wide family, wherever in the world the gig is, the gig goers will always meet old friends.
Please find below some examples of Rockabilly;-
Link Wray, performing Rumble from 1958;-
Elvis Presley from his Sun Records days;-
Later days with the Stray Cats;-