The Beatles vs Elvis: Rock and Roll Showdown

Elvis and the Beatles were two of the biggest acts of the 20th Century.

For the thirteen years between 1956 and 1969, the Man from Memphis and the Lads from Liverpool changed the very definition of popular music.

But when you look over the extensive body of their work it's easy to miss the fact that gentle ballads like Love Me Tender and Yesterday weren't the kinds of songs that first brought them to our attention.

And it wasn't Rock either that ensured their place in the Hall of Fame. No, what Elvis and the Beatles came from was not Rock Music.

It was Rock and Roll.

Raw, repetitive, raucous, raunchy rock and roll.

Music and movement forged in the still smoldering ashes of 12 Bar Blues-born Boogie Woogie of the 1940s and early 1950s.

Hound Dog
Heartbreak Hotel may have been Elvis' first hit but it was Hound Dog that really defined him as a Rock and Roller.

Rock and Roll Music
John Lennon's voice and energy were a natural fit for Chuck Berry's R&B sound.

Jailhouse Rock
Elvis belted out a rock and roll classic in this 1957 film. Arguably, the video clip shown here is one of the first music videos.

Long Tall Sally
As John seemed to cover Chuck Berry with ease, Paul did an excellent job in his version of this Little Richard hit.

Little Sister
Classic rock and roll from the King.

Roll Over Beethoven
George proved that John wasn't the only Beatle who could take on Chuck Berry.

All Shook Up
In 1957, with All Shook Up, Elvis ruled both the Pop and R&B charts for over a month.

Kansas City / Hey, Hey
The Beatles released a mashup of Lieber and Stoller's Kansas City and Little Richard's Hey Hey.