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Episode #713 – 1954: Jukebox Rhythm Review, Pt. 1

Air Week: January 1-7, 2024

1954: Jukebox Rhythm Review, Pt. 1

This week, the “Juke In The Back” transports you back 70 years. 1954 was a pivotal year for American Music. The lines between Rhythm & Blues and Pop were getting blurred as more and more R&B records crossed over into the Pop Chart, causing a brand new “youth market” to open up. American teens of all colors were diggin’ that jump blues sound that had been a staple on Black Radio for years. This would lead to racial integration and eventually, the Civil Rights Movement. There is no doubt that music played an important role in the early days of Civil Rights and those roots can be traced back to the Black Music of 1954. In fact, this was the year that a young, white kid from Memphis named Elvis began recording at 706 Union Avenue. It was also a year of unlikely musical heroes as 43 year old Joe Turner, who had been making records since 1938, topped the R&B Chart twice, helping to propel Rock n’ Roll Music to the forefront. Vocal groups like The Crows, The Spiders, The Spaniels and The Drifters were forging a new sub-genre that would come to be called Doo Wop. This week in part 1, Matt The Cat focuses on the biggest jukebox hits of the first half of 1954 and next week, we’ll close out the year. So grab a handful of nickels, ’cause you’re gonna need ’em to keep the “Juke In The Back” jumping as we highlight the momentous year of 1954.


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