Teds & Rock n Roll

Reference from: http://www.edwardianteddyboy.com/page2.htm

“Bill Haley’s ‘Shake Rattle and Roll’ is certainly the record that introduced Rock and Roll to an unprepared British Public. But most people will probably tell you that it was another record  that started it all.  That other record was ‘Rock Around The Clock’ which was recorded in 1954, but didn’t chart in the UK until October 1955.”

The British public around them years were also being introduced to American Rock n Roll through films such as ‘Blackboard Jungle’ and ‘Rock Around The Clock’ which both featured the popular song ‘Rock Around The Clock’ by Bill Hayley.

“In 1956, the film, Blackboard Jungle made its premier at the Trocadero Cinema at Elephant & Castle in South London. It was then shown thereafter at Cinemas throughout Britain.  At the end of the film, the song ‘Rock around the Clock’ was played and at the Trocodero, Teddy Boys danced with their girls in the aisles and when cinema staff attempted to stop them, they rioted and ripped up the cinema seats with flick knives.”

This was an interesting piece of information to read about online which is an event that is documented various other places. However already learning in class about the press getting involved in subcultures and creating moral panic it’s hard to know exactly what happened and how the Teds actually behaved. In one document it is said that the Teds were not allowed to dance to the new Rock n Roll songs at dance halls in the early stages, so this was one way of showing their rebellion.

“The government and media were outraged and the film was subsequently banned from many cinemas. The media jumped on this phenomenon, placing the new rock ‘n’ roll music and the Teddy Boys at the centre of all the rioting. This confirmed the pre-conception to many members of the establishment, that Teddy Boys were in fact Juvenile Delinquents and social outcasts.” – Linking back to the press and media creating moral panic.


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