Back to table of Contents

The rock and roll revival represented an attempt, in the midst of psychedelia and progressive rock experimentation, to return to the spare musical values of mid-1950s rock 'n' roll. The movement received its initial impetus in 1969-1970 from the nostalgia tour packages organized by Richard Nader, Dick Clark, and other promoters which featured original rock 'n' roll artists (albeit often with drastically altered personnel) such as the Coasters, the Drifters, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Bill Haley and His Comets.

A contemporary retro group, the New York-based Sha Na Na, parlayed goofy stage antics with an uncanny ability to perform carbon copy renditions of classic rock 'n' roll and r & b hits to secure a weekly television program. Sha Na Na's popularity, while modest in terms of record sales, inspired the formation of many more revival acts. The more successful of these artists proved capable of augmenting oldies interpretations with first-rate original material in a retro mold.

The popularity of the movement peaked with the release of the George Lucas film, American Graffiti, in 1972. American Graffiti went on to become one of the top-grossing films of alltime, while one of its stars, Ron Howard, joined the cast of the popular TV spinoff, "Happy Days." By the mid-1970s, however, record sales of rock 'n' roll reissues and retro releases had greatly declined as the music industry turned its attention other fads.


Top Artists and Their Recordings

Mike Berry--Drift Away (1972); Rocks in My Head (1976)

Brownsville Station--Brownsville Station (1970); A Night on the Town (1972); Yeah! (1973); School Punks (1974); Motor City Connection (1976)

Dave Edmunds--Rockpile (1972); Subtle as a Flying Mallet (1975); Get It (1977); Tracks on Wax (1978); Repeat When Necessary (1979); Twangin' (1981); D.E. 7th (1982); Information (1983); Riff Raff (1984); I Hear You Rockin' (1987)

Flamin' Groovies--Sneakers (1969); Supersnazz (1970); Flamingo (1971); Teenage Head (1971); "Grease" (1975; EP); Shake Some Action (1976); "More Grease" (1976; EP); Still Shakin' (1976); Now (1978); Jumpin' in the Night (1979)

Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids--Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids (1973); No Face Like Chrome (1974); Sons of Beaches (1975); Rock 'n' Roll Forever (1976)

Frut--Keep on Truckin' (1971)

Fumble--Fumble (1973); Poetry in Lotion (1974)

Godfrey Daniel--Godfrey Daniel (1971)

Sha Na Na--Sha Na Na Is Here to Stay (1969); Sha Na Na (1971); The Night Is Still Young (1972); Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll (1973); From the Streets of New York (1974); Hot Sox (1974); Sha Na Na Now (1975)

Showaddywaddy--Showadywaddy (1974); Step Two (1975); Trocadero (1976); Showaddywaddy (1977); Red Star (1977); Crepes and Drapes (1979); Bright Lights (1980)

Shakin' Stevens--Legend (1970); I'm No D.J. (1971); Rockin' 'n' Skakin' (1972); Shakin' Stevens and the Sunsets (1974); Shakin' Stevens (1978); Marie Marie (1980); This Old House (1981)