The infant years of Rock and Roll are often illustrated with the same iconic images – a crowd going wild for Elvis, Chuck Berry and his guitar, Buddy Holly’s black-rimmed eyeglasses.
Now retro photographs of these rock legends have come to light in celebration of the first group of musicians who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was established in 1983 by Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, and its first class – inducted in 1986 – was packed with men who helped establish the music genre.
Along with Presley, Berry, and Holly were James Brown, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Retro photographs of rock legends like Elvis Presley have come to light in celebration of the first group of musicians who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Presley is pictured here promoting the Jailhouse Rock film in 1957
Presley (pictured at the Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds in 1956) was inducted in the first group along with Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis
Buddy Holly is pictured here with musician Waylon Jennings just a month before he was killed in a plane crash in 1959
One vintage photo shows Presley performing live at the Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds in 1956, the packed crowd desperately reaching for the Love Me Tender singer.
Another picture shows an older Presley posing next to Richard Nixon in the White House Oval Office, just four years before the Republican would resign as president following the Watergate scandal.
We can see Charles flashing his megawatt smile next to his piano in one photograph, while Holly and Berry passionately strum at their guitars in others.
One sweet image shows Sam Cook laughing in a recording studio in 1961, three years before the A Change Is Gonna Come singer was shot dead in a Los Angeles motel at the age of 33.
Another picture shows an older Presley posing next to Richard Nixon in the White House Oval Office, just four years before he would resign as president following the Watergate scandal
It wouldn’t be a collection of Rock and Roll icons without Chuck Berry (pictured in 1973) strumming on his guitar
The photographs immortalize legendary men like Cooke who were often taken far too soon.
In one image Buddy Holly poses with his bandmate Waylon Jennings in a photobooth in New York in January 1959.
It was taken just a month before he died in a plane crash, when Holly was just discovering himself as a solo artist after breaking away from The Crickets.
These legends now live on at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, where they are joined every year by a new group of inductees.
James Brown was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He is pictured here performing on the ABC television program Music Scene in 1969
These publicity photos show Buddy Holly in 1957 and 1958, when he broke away from The Crickets and began recording and performing under his own name
One sweet image shows Sam Cooke laughing in a recording studio in 1961, three years before the A Change Is Gonna Come singer was shot dead in a Los Angeles motel at the age of 33
Each year the inductees are nominated by a group of rock and roll historians and are then voted on by 500 experts around the world that include everyone from journalists and academics to music producers.
Artists can only become inducted into the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first record.
About five to seven artists are picked each year, and they are always presented the award by a fellow artist who has been influenced by their music.
This year’s inductees are Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, Nina Simone, The Moody Blues, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
They will be inducted on April 14 in Cleveland.
Another iconic image in the set shows Ray Charles giving the camera one of his classic poses at a piano in November 1969