Best Guitarists Of The 50s

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Welcome to Beginnerguitar Pro! In this list, we’ve collected the best guitarists of the 1950s.

Check out their brief biographies, interesting facts from their life and more!

Who’s your favorite?

1. Chuck Berry

From: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Born: 1926
Age: Passed away in 2017 at the age of 90
Genre: Rock and Roll
Band: Solo artist
Favorite guitar brand: Gibson ES-350
Interesting Fact: Known for his duck-walk on stage, a signature move

Chuck Berry was a legendary American guitarist, singer, and songwriter who played a crucial role in the development of rock and roll music. His iconic guitar riffs and energetic stage performances made him a rock and roll icon. Hits like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Maybellene” are timeless classics that continue to influence generations of musicians.

2. Bo Diddley

From: McComb, Mississippi, USA
Born: 1928
Age: Passed away in 2008 at the age of 79
Genre: Rock and Roll
Band: Solo artist
Favorite guitar brand: Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird
Interesting Fact: Pioneer of rhythm and blues and rock and roll

Bo Diddley was a pioneer of rhythm and blues and rock and roll, known for his signature rectangular guitar and distinctive rhythm. His songs like “Bo Diddley” and “Who Do You Love?” left an indelible mark on rock music.

3. Scotty Moore

From: Gadsden, Tennessee, USA
Born: 1931
Age: Passed away in 2016 at the age of 84
Genre: Rock and Roll
Band: Elvis Presley’s guitarist
Favorite guitar brand: Gibson ES-295
Interesting Fact: Played alongside Elvis Presley in his early career

Scotty Moore was the guitarist who backed Elvis Presley during his early years, contributing to the birth of rock and roll. His innovative guitar work on classics like “That’s Alright Mama” helped shape the genre.

4. Link Wray

From: Dunn, North Carolina, USA
Born: 1929
Age: Passed away in 2005 at the age of 76
Genre: Rock and Roll
Band: Link Wray and the Wraymen
Favorite guitar brand: Various
Interesting Fact: Known for pioneering the power chord and distortion

Link Wray was a pioneering guitarist who introduced the power chord and distortion to rock music. His instrumental track “Rumble” is considered one of the earliest examples of heavy rock and inspired countless musicians.

5. Les Paul

From: Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA
Born: 1915
Age: Passed away in 2009 at the age of 94
Genre: Jazz, Country, Pop
Band: Les Paul and Mary Ford
Favorite guitar brand: Gibson Les Paul
Interesting Fact: Inventor of the solid-body electric guitar

Les Paul was not only a virtuoso guitarist and performer but also an inventor. He created the iconic Gibson Les Paul guitar and pioneered multi-track recording techniques, revolutionizing music production.

6. James Burton

From: Dubberly, Louisiana, USA
Born: 1939
Age: Still Alive
Genre: Rock, Country
Band: Various, Elvis Presley’s guitarist
Favorite guitar brand: Fender Telecaster
Interesting Fact: Known for his chicken pickin’ guitar style

James Burton is a highly influential guitarist known for his chicken pickin’ technique. He played with Elvis Presley and numerous other artists, leaving a lasting impact on rock and country music.

7. T-Bone Walker

From: Linden, Texas, USA
Born: 1910
Age: Passed away in 1975 at the age of 64
Genre: Blues
Band: Solo artist
Favorite guitar brand: Gibson ES-335
Interesting Fact: Considered one of the pioneers of electric blues guitar

T-Bone Walker was a trailblazing blues guitarist known for his electrifying performances and innovative guitar techniques. His song “Call It Stormy Monday” is a blues classic.

8. Wes Montgomery

From: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Born: 1923
Age: Passed away in 1968 at the age of 45
Genre: Jazz
Band: Wes Montgomery Trio
Favorite guitar brand: Gibson L-5 CES
Interesting Fact: Renowned for his thumb-picking technique

Wes Montgomery was a jazz guitar virtuoso known for his unique thumb-picking style. He made significant contributions to jazz guitar and recorded many influential albums.

9. Johnny Cash (with Luther Perkins)

From: Kingsland, Arkansas, USA
Born: 1932
Age: Passed away in 2003 at the age of 71
Genre: Country, Rock
Band: Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two
Favorite guitar brand: Gibson J-200
Interesting Fact: Luther Perkins played guitar for Johnny Cash’s early hits

Johnny Cash, with Luther Perkins on guitar, created the “boom-chicka-boom” sound, influencing the country and rock genres. Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” is a legendary song.

10. Eddie Cochran

From: Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA
Born: 1938
Age: Passed away in 1960 at the age of 21
Genre: Rock and Roll
Band: Solo artist
Favorite guitar brand: Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins
Interesting Fact: Known for his energetic rock and roll performances

Eddie Cochran was a rock and roll sensation known for his catchy songs and energetic stage presence. His hit “Summertime Blues” remains an iconic rock anthem.

Alan Jackman

Meet Alan, the guitar-slinging, blog-running, lesson-giving machine. By day, he shreds on the six-string like a rockstar, and by night, he shares his knowledge with the masses on his online blog. With Alan, you'll learn how to play the guitar like a pro!

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