Gee Whiz, Don’t Be a Square, Hang with the Hep Cats and Take This Fabulous Fifties Music Quiz, Then Check Your Score Below
d. all of the above
2. What is the name of the group of backup singers who accompanied Elvis Presley on his initial appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show?
a. The Dreamboats
b. The Animals
c. The Jordanaires
3. Which 1950s performer was born at 2520 Goode Avenue in St. Louis?
a. Little Richard
b. Howdy Doody
c. Hank Williams
d. Chuck Berry
4. Which mega ’50s hit started out as a song simply intended to fill the B side of someone else’s record?
a. Smoke on the Water
c. Do the Mashed Potato
d. Tell Laura I Love Her
5. Elvis Presley had a twin brother, True or False?
6. What is probably the only song in rock and roll history to suggest someone should scrub the kitchen floor?
a. Get a Job
b. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
c. Yakety Yak
d. Shake Rattle and Roll
7. Why did the purple people eater come to earth in the 1958 hit by Sheb Wooley?
a. To turn the earth purple
b. To dine on as many earthlings as possible
c. To rescue earth from Orson Welles
d. To get a job in a rock and roll band
8. Which of these groups produced a one-hit wonder in 1958?
b. Ricky Zahnd and the Blue Jeaners
c. Ram A Lam A Ding Dong Doodlers
d. Frisky Freakazoids
9. Who wrote the notorious song “Rockin’ Robin?”
a. Neil Sedaka
b. Barry Manilow
c. Leon René
d. Bobby Day
10. In the song “Wake up Little Susie,” which was popularized by the Everly Brothers, where has Susie fallen asleep?
a. her boyfriend’s house
b. a corner tavern
c. her best friend’s garage
d. drive-in movie
11. Which recording artist from the 1950s went on to have his own TV show where a bouncing ball highlighted which words to sing?
a. Glenn Miller
b. Mitch Miller
c. Ernie Kovacs
d. Lawrence Welk
12. “To Know Him Is To Love Him” was a 1958 one-hit wonder for the Teddy Bears, Phil Spector’s vocal group. The lyrics were inspired by words from:
a. a rest room wall
b. a prayer
c. a poem
d. a tombstone
13. The 1950s group The Elegants derived its name from:
a. a bottle of whiskey
b. Emily Post
c. finishing school
d. a “blue” movie
14. Which American doo wop group started out as The Thunderbirds?
a. Sha Na Na
b. Charlie Brown and the Daddy-o’s
c. The Silhouettes
d. The Platters
15. Chubby Checkers began his musical career as a songwriter for Elvis Presley – True or False?
16. Who made “Blue Suede Shoes” famous?
a. Thom McCann
b. Bill Haley and his Comets
c. Joe and the Hush Puppies
d. Carl Perkins
17. Buddy Holly’s given last name was spelled Holley. Why did he drop the “e” and use the spelling Holly instead?
a. It evoked visions of greenery and holidays
b. He often worked in Hollywood and got tired of people omitting the “e.”
c. His manager insisted it looked better in marquee lights without the “e”
d. His name was spelled wrong on his recording contract
18. Who wanted to change Fats Domino’s famous song title “Ain’t That A Shame” to “Isn’t That A Shame?”
a. Anita Bryant
b. Pat Boone
c. Ed Sullivan
d. Johnny Carson
19. Which star had a song banned from radio in 1951 because of the suggestive nature of the lyrics?
a. Jerry Lewis
b. Spike Jones
c. Bozo the Clown
d. Dean Martin
20. Gene Vincent and his Bluecaps propelled which 1956 musical masterpiece to “hit” status?
a. Sea Cruise
b. Blue Moon
d. A Boy Named Sue
1. b – his foot
2. c – The Jordanaires
3. d – Berry was born at 2520 Goode Avenue in St. Louis.
4. b – Tequila. This was a simple jam created to fill the B side of “Train to Nowhere” by Dave Burgess. “Train to Nowhere” lived up to its name and flopped, but the B side was sampled and ended up taking off like a locomotive.
5. a – True. Elvis actually had a twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley, but Elvis grew up an only child because his twin was, unfortunately, stillborn.
6. c – Yakety Yak by the Coasters “…If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor, you ain’t gonna rock and roll no more”
7. d – “I said Mr. Purple People Eater, what’s your line
He said it’s eatin’ purple people and it sure is fine
But that’s not the reason that I came to land
I wanna get a job in a rock and roll band”
8. a – “Born Too Late” by the Poni-Tails
9. c – Leon René under the pseudonym of Jimmie Thomas
10. d – drive in movie “…the movie wasn’t so hot, it didn’t have much of a plot, we fell asleep, our goose is cooked, our reputation is shot”
11. b – Sing Along With Mitch aired 1961 – 1966
12. d – the words were inspired by words on the tombstone of Spector’s father.
13. a – A bottle of whiskey. Schenley’s was referred to as “The Whiskey of Elegance”
14. c – The Silhouettes, which formed in Philadelphia in 1956 as The Thunderbirds. The Silhouettes were best known for their gold-record hit “Get a Job.”
15. b – false. The author totally made that up.
16. d – Carl Perkins in 1956
17. d – When Holly realized his name was spelled wrong on his contract, he signed it anyway because he didn’t want to go through the correction process of mailing new paperwork back and forth. Thus he dropped the “e” from his name because of this misspelling.
18. b – Pat Boone thought using proper English would enhance the song’s appeal among a broader audience.
19. d – Dean Martin’s “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am” was banned in 1951.
20. c – Be-Bop-a-Lula
17-20 correct Expert – Gee willickers, you really are keen on ’50s music. Your favorite TV show is probably reruns of “Leave it to Beaver,” and no doubt there’s a diamond needled hi-fi system somewhere in your picket-fenced in home.
12-16 Well Informed – You enjoy listening to all sorts of music from various decades. The result of your craving for musical variety is that you can correctly identify whatever tune is playing on the oldies station when nobody else in the room can.
5-11 Not too shabby – Okay, you’re not an expert at ’50s music, but you certainly know enough titles and tunes to be a contender. The more obscure melodies elude you, but you definitely have a grip on the famous songs from that rocking era.
4 or less At least you answered something correctly – You are most likely more informed about newfangled music, and may not have known that good songs existed before Y2K. Go on the internet, order a record player and some 45s, and sample what life was like on the other side of the musical tracks just a few short years ago.
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