From Motown to the British Invasion: The History of Rock 'n' Roll Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Rock 'n' roll history is steeped in stories, lore and fantastic music. Take a trip down memory lane, and rock around the clock by taking this quiz!

When did rock 'n' roll music first start to appear in the United States?

Rock 'n' roll emerged in the United States in the late '40s and early '50s.


True or false: DJ Alan Freed is said to have coined the phrase rock 'n' roll.

Cleveland DJ Alan Freed is credited with first using the words "rock 'n' roll" to describe the rhythm and blues music he played on the radio.


Who founded Memphis record label Sun Records?

Sam Phillips launched Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, in February 1952.


What famed rock 'n' roll performers cut their teeth at Sun Records?

Phillips discovered Elvis Presley in 1954, which paved the way for him to record other incredible rock stars, including Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty and Carl Perkins.


What four performers made up the Million Dollar Quartet?

In December 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were at Sun Studios at the same time. The recording became known as the Million Dollar Quartet jam session because it was the only time the four were ever together in studio.


Who recorded "Rock Around the Clock" in 1954?

Bill Haley and His Comets recorded the song, which hit No. 1 and stayed there for eight weeks. It sold 25 million copies worldwide and is credited with bringing rock 'n' roll out from the underground.


What year did Columbia Records introduce the 12-inch LP vinyl record?

Columbia introduced the 12-inch, 33 1/3 revolutions per minute LP vinyl record, essentially creating the "album."


True or false: In the early '60s, Detroit became an important center for black singers.

Berry Gordy launched famed Motown in a two-story house on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit in the early 1960s.


What was the debut Motown single?

"Bad Girl" was initially — and briefly — issued as the first-ever 45 RPM single on Motown. But Berry Gordy wanted national distribution for the record, so he placed the master with Chess Records of Chicago.


On what TV show did the Rolling Stones make their American debut?

The Rolling Stones first appeared on American television in June 1964 on Dean Martin's "The Hollywood Palace."


Which rock 'n' roll artist has the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Charts?

The Beatles currently hold the record for the most No. 1 songs in the 57-year history of the Billboard charts, with 20 hits.


Who plays the guitar solo in the Beatles song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"?

The song, which was written by George Harrison and was the last single for the Beatles, features Eric Clapton on lead guitar.


Which members of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young were former members of Buffalo Springfield?

Neil Young and Stephen Stills were members of Buffalo Springfield, along with Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer and Richie Furay.


True or false: The 1960s gave rise to many bands and singers of folk rock and protest songs.

The music of the 1960s shined light on the tensions of the Vietnam War era and played an important role in American culture. Singers like Bob Dylan rose to prominence with songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin’."


True or false: The Beatles debut U.S. single was "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964.

The Fab Four's debut single in the U.S. was actually "Please Please Me" in 1963.


What British Invasion rock band was the first to be known for its guitar playing ability?

The Yardbirds, whose guitarists at one time included Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, were a leader in experimental rock.


What was the name of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's two-LP collection released in October 1968?

"Electric Ladyland" is widely considered the Jimi Hendrix Experience's crowning achievement that focuses attention on Hendrix's abilities as singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer.


True or false: After Jimmy Page left the Yardbirds, he formed new band with vocalist Robert Plant called Led Zeppelin.

The band was initially called the New Yardbirds, until they renamed the band Led Zeppelin.


What Brit rock band evolved in 1964 from a group called the Detours?

The Detours, which included members Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, became the Who when Keith Moon replaced drummer Doug Sandom.


True or false: "Morrison Hotel" was the last Doors' album to feature lead singer Jim Morrison.

"L.A. Woman" was the last with Morrison, who died unexpectedly at the age of 27, just three months after the album's release.


What Pink Floyd album was the first to hit No. 1 on any chart?

"Atom Heart Mother" was the first Pink Floyd album to hit No. 1 on the U.K. chart in 1970.


Which of the following was NOT a member of Black Sabbath between 1969-78?

Black Sabbath was a quartet during those years that included Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi.


In the late '70s, punk rock began to surface in the U.K. and the U.S. Which band was NOT part of the punk scene?

Ziggy Stardust was, of course, the alter ego of late superstar David Bowie.


Which member of the Clash appears on the cover of the album "London Calling"?

The album's front cover features a photo of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass against the stage at the Palladium in New York City on Sept. 20, 1979.


What Grateful Dead signature song served as a foundation for the band's live jams?

The groundbreaking band, known for its live performances, played "Dark Star" more than 200 times — never the same way twice — with Jerry Garcia's guitar leading the way.


True or false: John Lennon appeared simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek on Oct. 27, 1975.

It was actually Bruce Springsteen. The pieces were written in response to the success of his album "Born to Run."


True or false: The vinyl record inside Alice Cooper's "School's Out" album sleeve was wrapped in a pair of panties.

The original album cover image is of a wooden student desk, but the vinyl record inside was wrapped in a pair of panties.


True or false: AC/DC is often credited as the founding band of heavy metal.

Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne — the founders of Black Sabbath — are often cited as the pioneers of heavy metal music.


What song was the Police's biggest hit?

"Every Breath You Take" hit No. 1 in 1983 and spent eight weeks there. It also took the Grammy for song of the year and best pop performance by a duo.


In 2011, Rolling Stone readers ranked the best lead singers of all time. Where did Freddie Mercury of Queen land?

Rolling Stone readers voted Freddie Mercury No. 2, just behind Robert Plant.


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