Have You Heard About… Rock & Roll Generation

… flat tops, DAs and “a little dab will do ya”? Rock & Roll Generation: Teen Life in the 50s by Time Life Books is a look at the teen fads of the 1950s.The book starts out with a general look at the 1950s – the end of WWII, the political scene – and then goes on to describe all of the fabulous things that happened to teens in the 50s.

Rock and RollWe were the first teens to hold down great-paying jobs, and we had money to burn. We were no longer were content to “follow the rules” of the previous generations. Everything seemed to change – how we dressed, how we ate and what we listened to. Each generation since then has always thought they were the first to rebel or be different. If you remember the 50s, you were there when rock and roll started. You’re an original! Elvis, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley & the Comets, Frankie & Fabian. Remember rushing home from school to watch American Bandstand with Dick Clark? Ok, so just about every generation had Bandstand in their life, but we were the first.

Guys wore their hair either as a crew cut (flat tops) or ducktail (DAs), and Brylcreem was the dab that was just greasy enough to keep everything in place. Chinos and penny loafers for guys were in. Girls wore scuffed saddle shoes with white bobby socks and poodle skirts, charm bracelets and pullover sweaters with an initial pin. Flips and high ponytails were the hairstyles. In the 1950s, a vinyl record album cost $1.98. A good record player cost about $40.00. James Dean and Natalie Wood in Rebel without a Cause, and Gidget with Sandra Dee and James Darren were at the movies. Mad magazine was brand new, and no matter where you lived you “scooped the loop” on a Friday night.

This book will bring back a lot of memories if you were a teen in the fabulous 50s. If you aren’t quite that old, you will see how things have changed over the years.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)