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AARP Bulletin

Your 10 Favorite Rock ’n’ Roll Stars of All Time

Elvis, Little Richard, the Beatles and 7 more greats

Rock 'n' Roll Will Never Die

En español | The AARP Bulletin asked readers to submit a short essay on “What I Really Know About Rock ’n’ Roll.” More than 100 fans responded with memories of their favorite bands and singers. Which entertainers were mentioned the most? Here are the top 10.

1964: Bettmann/Corbis

1. The Beatles

“On Feb. 7, 1964, I watched the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show ... I felt a kindred spirit with the girls swooning on the show. Here were four boys singing the most beautiful harmonies amid the chaos. They showed themselves to be serious musicians.” — Bulletin reader Lisbeth M.

1964: AP Photo

2. Elvis Presley

“If you take Elvis out of the equation, rock ‘n’ roll might be a footnote in the history of music.” — Bulletin reader John W.

1957: Archive Photos/Getty Images

3. The Rolling Stones

“When the Rolling Stones hit the charts with ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,’ we knew it was about our inability to obtain contentment through the commercial avenues being foisted upon us as the answer to our needs.” — Bulletin reader John M.

1964: Bettmann/Corbis

4. Bill Haley and His Comets

“I was 15 years old in 1955. Some friends and I went to a teenager angst movie called Blackboard Jungle. The hit song from that picture was ‘Rock Around the Clock.’ It was the first rock ’n’ roll song we ever heard. We were hooked. Oh, we were hooked.” — Bulletin reader Chuck H.

1957: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

5. Little Richard

“We saw it. We felt it. And ‘Good Golly Miss Molly,’ we loved our rock ’n’ roll.” — Bulletin reader Gail D.

1971: CBS via Getty Images

6. Chuck Berry

“He honed and developed rhythm and blues into today’s rock ’n’ roll using his guitar and voice. John Lennon once said, ‘If you tried to give rock ’n’ roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.’” — Bulletin reader Sanford W.

1950s: Gilles Petard/Redferns/Getty Images

7. Jerry Lee Lewis

“It was 1955. I was five years old. My parents took my brother and me to visit family friends. They had older children who were playing ‘Great Balls of Fire’ on their record player. I can still hear Jerry Lee Lewis and his piano antics. It caught my ear. I was hooked on rock ’n’ roll.” — Bulletin reader Peter M.

1957: Gilles Petard/Redferns/Getty Images

8. The Beach Boys

“Any of us who attended high school in the 1950s and 1960s have songs that provide great memories. Who can forget cruising in a convertible listening to the sounds of the Beach Boys?” — Bulletin reader Pat R.

1964: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

9. Buddy Holly and the Crickets

“’That’ll Be the Day’ was hitting the top of the charts when I was in high school. We had a juke box in the gym and were allowed to dance on our lunch hour. We were all wearing out our dirty white bucks and saddle shoes jiving, jitterbugging and doing the twist.” — Bulletin reader Elaine P.

c. 1958: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

10. The Everly Brothers

“A younger coworker asked me, ‘Who are the Everly Brothers?’ How do I explain to a man who was barely born then how the Everly Brothers touched the hearts of young girls everywhere, and the feelings of longing evoked by Don and Phil singing ‘Dream’?” — Bulletin reader Linda C.

c. 1970: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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