Born in 1936, Buddy Holly was an American singer and songwriter who first came to light in the early 1950’s. Holly was one of the first artists to make the transition from rock ‘n’ roll to pop. Taking inspiration from other influential musicians particularly Elvis Presley. Originally, Holly’s music was considered as a country sound; this love of Presley pulled his music into a more rock ‘n’ roll genre. Gradually, as Holly rose in popularity so did the whole pop genre.
Connie Francis is an American singer, actress and composer based in New Jersey and born in 1938. She first began her performing career at the age of 11 when she appeared in a talent show. Throughout her career since she has toured all over the USA, Europe, South Africa and Australia. Francis was also host to her own television show for a short time. As one of the first female musicians of the pop genre, Francis was a great influence upon women in the music industry.
Born in 1939, Mary O’Brien, more commonly known as Dusty Springfield, was an English pop singer of the 60s who died in 1999. Springfield’s years of Success continued to fuel the rise of female music artists throughout the later half of the 20th Century. She also performed with The Lana Sisters and was also a part of a group known as The Springfields with her brother. Springfield became very iconic for her image and style of music with her songs being more and more easily recognised, particularly during her solo career.
Sir Tom Jones began his singing career performing in pubs to support his young family. By the time Jones was 25, he had landed himself a record deal and had a hit UK number one single, ‘It’s Not Unusual’. Throughout his career he won various awards, his songs became famous on the charts and he recorded one of the James Bond singles. Jones has since expanded his career, branching out to television appearance as a judge on The Voice UK.
Considered a music prodigy since early childhood, Stevie Wonder released his first recording at the age of 11. Wonder taught himself how to play several instruments including piano, drums and harmonica. This was particularly astounding as he was born completely blind. Wonder contributed massively to the evolution of pop music, introducing a jazz style to his songs.