rock music genres

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness.

late 1940s > rock and roll

rock and roll (rock & roll or rock ‘n’ roll):

stylistic origins: blues / rhythm and blues / gospel / boogie-woogie / country / electric blues / jump blues / chicago blues / swing / folk / western swing
cultural origins: late 1940s – early 1950s, United States

Listen to “An Earful Of Rock & Roll Show#162” on Spreaker.


rock and roll subgenres: garage rock / rockabilly / surf rock



rock and roll > early 1950s > rockabilly

stylistic origins: country / western swing / blues/ honky-tonk / rhythm and blues / boogie-woogie / Appalachian folk music / hillbilly / jump blues / electric blues
cultural origins: early-mid 1950s, United States

Defining features of the rockabilly sound included strong rhythms, vocal twangs, and common use of the tape echo but the progressive addition of different instruments and vocal harmonies led to its “dilution”. Initially popularized by artists such as Johnny Cash, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Bob Luman, and Jerry Lee Lewis, the influence and success of the style waned in the 1960s; nonetheless, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, rockabilly enjoyed a major revival through acts such as Stray Cats. An interest in the genre endures even in the 21st century, often within a subculture. Rockabilly has left a legacy, spawning a variety of sub-styles and influencing other genres such as punk rock.

Super Rare Rockabilly 1950s; Carl Perkins – Blue Suede Shoes; Elvis Presley… That’s Alright (Mama):


rockabilly fusion genres: psychobilly, thrashabilly, punkabilly, surfabilly, gothabilly

1950s > rock

stylistic origins: rock and roll / rockabilly / blues / electric blues / folk / country / rhythm and blues / soul
cultural origins: 1950s and 1960s, United Kingdom and United States



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mid 1950s > comedy rock

comedy rock:

stylistic origins: rock / comedy
cultural origins: mid-1950s to early 1960s, United Kingdom

The pop-rock and folk-rock band The Turtles released a comedy rock album, The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands, in 1968, though the band had previously incorporated humor into their songs. Two of its members, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman later performed more explicitly comedic songs as Flo & Eddie with their own band and with Frank Zappa.
Allmusic described Frank Zappa as the “godfather” of comedy rock.

Frank Zappa – Titties and beer; We’re Turning Again Live;  Cosmik Debris:



1950s > pinoy rock

pinoy rock (or Filipino rock):

stylistic origins: rock music / manila sound / philippine folk music
cultural origins: 1950s, Manila, Philippines

Pinoy rock is the brand of rock music produced in the Philippines or by Filipinos. It has become as diverse as the rock music genre itself, and bands adopting this style are now further classified under more specific genres or combinations of genres like alternative rock, post-grunge, ethnic, new wave, pop rock, punk rock, funk, reggae, heavy metal, ska, and recently, indie.

pinoy rock bands:

Parokya Ni Edgar – Lagi Mong Tatandaan; Juan De La Cruz – Balong Malalim; Wolfgang – Halik Ni Hudas:


pinoy rock subgenre: bisrock


late 1950s > tulsa sound

tulsa sound:

stylistic origins: rockabilly / country / rock ‘n’ roll / blues
cultural origins: late 1950s and early 1960s, Tulsa, Oklahoma, US

The Tulsa Sound is a musical style that originated in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is a mix of rockabilly, country, rock ‘n’ roll, and blues sounds of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Tulsa Sound artists include J. J. Cale, Jimmy “Junior ” Markham, Leon Russell, Elvin Bishop, Roger Tillison, Jack Dunham, Gene Crose, David Gates, The Tractors, Steve Ripley, David Teegarden, Dickey Sims, Dwight Twilley, The Gap Band, Jim Byfield, Clyde Stacy, John D. Levan, Bill Pair, Chuck Blackwell, The Zigs (previously The Notions), Gus Hardin, Rocky Frisco, Don White, and Steve Pryor.

The first appearance of note by a Tulsa Sound musician was Rocky Frisco’s Columbia Harmony vinyl album, “The Big Ten”, under the name “Rocky Curtiss and the Harmony Flames”.

tulsa sound:

The Harmony Flames – Big Teddy; J.J. Cale – Santa Cruz (rare); Leon Russell – A Song For You:


late 1950s > rock en español

Not to be confused with Latin rock.

Rock en español is a term used widely in the English-speaking world to refer any kind of rock music featuring Spanish vocals. Some specific rock-based styles influenced by folkloric rhythms have also developed in these regions. Some of the more prominent styles are Latin rock, a fusion of rock music with Latin American and Caribbean folkloric sounds developed in Latino communities; Latin alternative, an alternative rock scene which blended a Latin sound with other genres like Caribbean ska, reggae, and soca; or Andalusian rock, a flamenco-influenced style that emerged in Spain.


The song “El relojito” by Gloria Ríos released in 1956 is often considered the blueprint of rock en español. In 1958, Ritchie Valens covered the Mexican folk song “La Bamba”, popularizing Spanish-language rock music throughout Latin America. That year, Daniel Flores (also known by his stage name Chuck Rio) performed his hit song “Tequila”, which reached nº1 in Billboard charts.

Gloria Ríos – El relojito (rock arond the clock); Ritchie Valens – La Bamba /the real Valens´s voice/; Daniel Flores – Tequila:


Other variations: Argentine rock, Chilean rock, Colombian rock, Costa Rican rock, Cuban rock, Dominican rock, Ecuadorian rock, Guatemalan rock, Mexican rock, Peruvian rock, Puerto Rican rock, Spanish rock, Uruguayan rock, Venezuelan rock

late 1950s > instrumental rock

instrumental rock:

stylistic origins: rock, instrumental music
cultural origins: late 1950s to early 1960s, United States

Instrumental rock is rock music that emphasizes musical instruments and features very little or no singing. Examples of instrumental rock can be found in practically every subgenre of rock, often from musicians who specialize in the style. Instrumental rock was most popular from the mid-1950s to mid-1960s, with artists such as Bill Doggett Combo, Jimmy Reed, Earl Bostic, The Fireballs, The Shadows, and The Ventures. Surf music had many instrumental songs. Many instrumental hits came from the R&B world. Funk and disco produced several instrumental hit singles during the 1970s. The Allman Brothers Band have many instrumentals. Jeff Beck also recorded two instrumental albums in the 1970s. Progressive rock and art rock performers of the 1960s and 1970s did many virtuosic instrumental performances.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the instrumental rock genre was dominated by several guitar soloists, including Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. The 2000s gave way for a new style of instrumental performer. For example, John Lowery (a.k.a. John 5), released a solo instrumental album. The 2000s also saw the rise of instrumental music by bands that have been labeled post-rock.

Instrumental rock artist:

The Shadows – Apache; Joe Satriani – Always With Me, Always With You; Buckethead – Soothsayer:


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