One of the very first forms of rock 'n' roll, a genre that made it possible for rebellious white kids to enter the world of rhythm and blues, rockabilly was the first sound of a rising and restless generation. While the nation as a whole would come to identify the propulsive music with the names of Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, Virginia had its own part to play in nurturing the sound throughout the 1950s, including 10-year-old Janis Martin, pictured. Examining many of the important people, places and events within the state's changing perception of popular music during the 1950s, the Virginia Historical Society presents “Virginia Rocks! The History of Rockabilly in the Commonwealth.” Featuring photographs, rare audio and video recordings, stage costumes, jukeboxes and musical instruments, this localized look at an influential musical genre — put together by the Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum College and co-researched by Style Weekly's own arts and culture editor, Don Harrison — is on display through Dec.
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