The first time I became aware of the phenomenon that was to become Elvis Presley was at the old Stadium Cinema on the Shankill Road in 1956, I was 10. I can’t remember what movie I was seeing, but when the trailer came on the girls started screaming, I jumped thinking someone was being attacked but when I looked at the big silver screen there he was in a picture called Love Me Tender.
I used to spend summer holidays at my aunt’s house in London where my cousin, who was a few years older than me, had a great collection of 45s. Here I was introduced to Buddy Holly; ‘Heartbeat’ to the twangy guitar of Duane Eddy, ‘Rebel Rouser’, and a great British rock ‘n’ roll record called ‘Move It’ by someone called Cliff Richard. The first record I ever bought was at the old Smithfield Square market, it was Lonnie Donnegan’s ‘Tom Dooley’. I much preferred this beat-up skiffle version to the more popular dreary version by The Kingston Trio.
This got me to thinking about the first rock ‘n’ roll records so I did some research.