It’s not only Rock Family Trees Around Here. Pete Frame is also the author of the brilliant The Restless Generation: How Rock Music Changed the Face of 1950s Britain
The book tells the story of the early development of British rock music, starting from an extraordinary mix of jazz, blues and skiffle, played with great gusto and varying degrees of talent by a bunch of rebellious enthusiasts. Britain lived in the shadow of the American scene – but a scene that was rarely heard in the UK owing to the conservatism of the BBC and the restrictive practices of the Musicians’ Union. We took a while to catch on, and it was a long time until the UK had much to offer back to the US, but the history of how this developed is quite fascinating.
The book ends with a list of Pete’s Top Twenty UK Singles of the 50s, in chronological order. Here, conveniently, are iTunes links to the songs. And, if you listen to them all, you’ll have to agree that Cliff was the only one who really got it. I wonder what ever became of him?