Daily Events - 1956

Jan 7 Columbia Pictures begins production on "Rock Around the Clock" featuring the song of the same name by Bill Haley and His Comets. Alan Freed is also featured and serves as a technical consultant. It was also announced that Freed had made a deal with Columbia Records and WINS to take packaged rock and roll shows cross country to appear in local movie theaters.

Jan 10  Elvis begins his first recording session for RCA Victor. One of the songs recorded is "Heartbreak Hotel".

Jan 26  Buddy Holly's first professional recording session in Nashville at Bradley's Barn, a studio owned and operated by Owen Bradley. First single to be released in April

Jan 28  Elvis Presley makes national television debut as a guest on "Stage Show" on the CBS-TV network. The show is produced by Jackie Gleason and stars The Dorsey Brothers.

Coasters sign with Atco, an Atlantic Records subsidiary


Feb11   The Platters appear on "The Perry Como Show" on NBC-TV singing "The Great Pretender"

Feb 18  Carl Perkins signs a long term contracted with "The Big D Jamboree" a nationwide radio show.

Feb 25  Alan Freed is chairman for Teenagers March for Childhood Nephrosis fund drive. I n New York 11,000 rock and roll fans turn out in a downpour to distribute 1/2 million pledge cards.  RCA Victor announces that Elvis Presley has six singles among the company's top selling twenty five records.

March 9   Slippin' and Slidin' the flip side of Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" is picked number on new record on NBC radio's "National Juke Box Fan Club"

March 10   Eddie Cochran is made a regular member of Hollywood Jubilee a weekly show at Los Angeles' American Legion Stadium

Mar 14  Rock Around the Clock is released.  The picture features Bill Haley and His Comets, Alan Freed, The Platters and Freddy Bell and The Bellboys.   Eighty percent of the movie is music featuring 17 songs.

March 17   Carl Perkins makes his first national appearance on Red Foley's "National Jubilee".

March 21   Carl Perkins headlines a show at Norfolk, VA Auditorium.  After the show in route to a March 24 appearance on the Perry Como Show on NBC-TV, Perkins injured seriously in an auto accident in Dover, Delaware, suffering a fractured skull and broken shoulder.  Jay his brother and rhythm guitarist neck is broken, Carl will be in the hospital until April 10.  Jay will never recover fully.

March 23  Alan Freed stages a three day "Rock 'n' Roll Stage Show" at the State Theater in Hartford. Although Freed denies that there was a riot, eleven teenagers were arrested over the weekend.

Dr. Francis J. Braceland of the Institute of Living in Hartford calls rock and roll a "communicable disease with music appealing to adolescent insecurity and driving teenagers to do outlandish things... It's cannibalistic and tribulistic.. Dr. Braceland's remarks prompt a published defense of rock and roll from Freed  and three well known bandleaders of another generation, Sammy Kaye, Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman.

Apr 1   Elvis has a screen test with producer Hal Wallis of Paramount Pictures. The result being he is signed to three year contract.

Apr 3   Elvis Presley guests on The Milton Berle Show" telecast by NBC-TV from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hancock which is docked at the San Diego Naval Station

April 7   The Platters make their first national appearance, on CBS-TV's "Stage Show"

Apr 15   Amid increasing reports of a darker side of rock and roll, Alan Freed guests on CBS-TV to state his views. Eric Sevareid, CBS commentator, hosts the discussion which includes interviews with teenagers and newsreel footage of a Freed sponsored show in Camden, NJ.

Apr 16   ABC Radio debuts "Rhythm Parade" a a nationally broadcasted rock and roll show from the Flame Show Bar in Detroit.

April 19   Clyde McPhater is discharged from the Army.

April 23   Elvis Presley opens for two weeks at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. His appearance is less then successful


Capitol records auditions for "the next Elvis Presley" Out of more then 200 auditions they sign 21 year old Gene Vincent from Norfolk, Virginia

May 5    After six weeks of recuperation Carl Perkins returns to the "Big D Jamboree" as a regular.

May 26  Carl Perkins makes a guest appearance on "The Perry Como Show on NBC-TV.   Perkins had been on his way to appear on the show in March 1955 when he was involved in an auto accident

Jun 4    Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps play first live show in Myrtle Beach, NC

Jun 5  Elvis Presley appears on ABC-TV's Milton Berle Show.  He performs a bump and grind version of "Hound Dog" which is estimated to been viewed by 25% of the American population and brings howls of protest from critics.

June 8  Clyde McPhatter appears at the Apollo Theater in New York.

Jun 30  The Platters appear on CBS-TV's Stage Show.  Alan Freed launches his nationwide radio show aimed directly at teenagers who only want to hear rhythm and blue and rock and roll music. The show is sponsored by Camel cigarettes and is aired on CBS radio 9-9:30.


July 1    Elvis appears on NBC-TVs "The Steve Allen Show".  Aware of the Berle controversy Elvis is dressed in a tuxedo and sings to a Basset hound.

July 28   Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps make their national television debut singing "Be-Bop-A-Lula" on the "Perry Como Show" on NBC-TV

Aug 6    Production begins on "Rock. Rock, Rock" a rock and roll movie starring Alan Freed, Bill Haley and
His Comets.  Also appearing are Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Chuck Berry, the Flamingos and LaVern Baker.

Aug 12   The Platters guest on "The Ed Sullivan Show"

Aug 22    Elvis Presley begins filming "The Reno Brothers for 20th Century Fox. The movie will be renamed Love Me Tender

Sep 2     Fats Domino guests on The Steve Allen Show. Gene Vincent starts first professional tour.

Sept 9    Elvis Presley makes first of three appearances on CBS-TV's The Ed Sullivan Show.

Sept 9     Frankie Lymon and the teenagers are on "Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party on CBS radio

Oct 28    Elvis Presley makes second appearance on "The Ed Sullivan show.

Nov 21    National release of Love Me Tender

Nov 18    Fats Domino sings Blueberry Hill on CBS-TV's Ed Sullivan Show

Gene Vincent cancels a month long engagement at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas after three weeks due to pains in his leg. The leg had been injured while he was in the Navy. He will remain in the hospital three months.


Dec 4    Carl Perkins is finishing a session at the Sun Studios with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison when Elvis Presley stops by. An impromptu jam session is held. and it is taped the Million Dollar Quartet.

Dec 5    Rock, Rock, Rock opens nationally.