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A Very 'British' Introduction to Rock 'n' Roll: Tommy Steele and the Advent of Rock 'n' Roll Music in Britain, 1956-1960

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Abstract

This article examines the career of Tommy Steele, Britain's first ‘home-grown’ rock ’n’ roll star. Steele has seldom been accorded much attention by popular music scholars, but his significance as a pioneering rock ’n’ roll musician in Britain should not be overlooked. This article examines the highly distinctive role which Steele played in adapting the brash ‘American’ sounds of rock ’n’ roll for a British audience, and in quelling fears regarding the linkage between the genre and juvenile delinquency. In many respects, Steele's remarkable career provides a very useful lens through which to view distinctive developments in British youth and popular culture during the late 1950s.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-225
JournalContemporary British History
Volume25
Issue number2
Early online date14 Apr 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

    Research areas

  • rock 'n' roll music; post-war Britain; Americanisation; Youth Culture; Popular Culture; National Identity

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