In 1958, Ed Pearl, a 21 year-old music enthusiast, opened a club in Los Angeles that became
a Mecca for the emerging folk and rock musicians of the 1960s, and a focal point for the progressive cultural and political forces that shaped the times. The original Ash Grove located at 8162 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, California, thrived for over 15
years, from 1958 to 1974.
A furniture factory and showroom was converted into the club, (now the site of The Improv). No place in the world offered better blues or a
wider variety of great blues performers.
In 1958 Jerry Lee Lewis began with a full date book. There was to be an Allan Freed tour, a Phillips Morris tour, and a tour
of Australia and even England later in the year. Before Jerry started on the promotional whirl, though, he was brought back into the studio to find a new hit. Each of the co-writers of ''Great Balls Of Fire'' had submitted songs for consideration: Jack Hammer
had sent down a Chuck Berry-esque celebration of teenage life called ''Milkshake Mademoiselle'' that substituted cliches for Berry's mordant wit, and Otis Blackwell had sent down another song based on an exclamation, ''Breathless''.
Billboard magazine begins the Hot 100, expanding the Pop Charts to allow more records to become certified hits.
songwriting connection to its audience becomes more apparent with the hits "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran, "Sweet Little Sixteen" by Chuck Berry and Leiber & Stoller's #1 hit for the Coasters "Yakety Yak", all focusing on teenagers struggles with
Chuck Willis's double-sided posthumous hit "What Am I Living For"/"Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes" is the first rock record released in stereo, engineered
by Tom Dowd of Atlantic Records.
The power chord first appears in records by guitarists Link Wray and Eddie Cochran.
Distortion for electric guitar is first used by Lowman Pauling of The "5" Royales and a primitive form of fuzz bass is found on some of their records of this time as well.
"Hard Headed Woman" by Elvis Presley becomes the first Rock Record to go "Gold", a new designation for singles established earlier in the year.
was probably in 1958 that former Sun recording artist Rudy Grayzell relocated to San Jose, California, and signed with Award Records, a tiny offshoot of the Arrow records manufacturing plant. Rudy's San Antonio buddy, Eddy Dugosh, already recorded there, and
his first recording was an unreleased cover of Wynoma Carr's 1956 Specialty recording of ''Should I Ever Love Again''.
Sun SLP 1225 ''Dance Album Of...'' by Carl Perkins issued. Reissued with different jacket as ''Teenbeat''.
Will ''Dub'' Jones joins The Coasters, with whom he goes on to sing ''Why's everybody always picking on me'' in their song ''Charlie Brown''.
A new species emerged this year, as exemplified by the finger-snappin' Bobby Darin and the highly emotive Connie Francis: fresh young singers who could appeal to a younger audience without
offending Mom and Dad. It was almost as if record execs had performed a lab experiment, merging old crooners with new kids on the block for maximum profit. But the real rockers would have none of it, and Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly kept pushing
the rollicking new sound.
Phillips launches a new label, Phillips International,
to be run in conjunction with Sun. He has already stopped using his Flip label.
Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash sign with Columbia Records. Perkins leaves Sun immediately
and Cash leaves in August when his contract is up, becoming the first big rockabilly artist on the Columbia label.
Golden age of instrumental rock.
Jerry Lee Lewis hits later this year number 1 with "Breathless''.
Elvis is drafted into the Army.
Eddie Cochran overdubs all instruments and vocals on "Summertime Blues" and "C'mon Everybody".
Pauling invents guitar distortion and feedback on the Five Royales' "The Slummer".
RCA introduces the first stereo long-playing records.
Don Kirshner opens offices at the Brill Building (See: May 1958).
David Seville's "The Witch Doctor" and the Tokens' "Tonite
I Fell In Love" are the first novelty hits.
Bobby Freeman's "Do You Wanna Dance" begins the "dance craze".
Little Richard quit rock and roll in 1958 to attend Bible college.
Dion and The Belmonts and Laurie Records both had their first hit when the band’s,
"I Wonder Why'', made the Top 40.
Jerry Lee Lewis had 34 of his 37 concert dates in the United Kingdom cancelled in 1958 when it was discovered that his new bride with
him was also his 13 year old cousin.
Buddy Holly makes his final studio recordings " It Doesn’t Matter Any More," "Moondreams'', ''Raining In My Heart" and "True
The Dick Clark Show TV Show began.