Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating back to the early 1950s in the United States, especially the South. As a genre it blends the sound of Western musical styles such as country with that of rhythm and blues, leading to what is considered "classic" rock and roll. Some have also described it as a blend of bluegrass with rock and roll. The term "rockabilly" itself is a portmanteau of "rock" (from "rock 'n' roll") and "hillbilly", the latter a reference to the country music (often called "hillbilly music" in the 1940s and 1950s) that contributed strongly to the style. Other important influences on rockabilly include western swing, boogie-woogie, jump blues, and electric blues.
Their are many parts to this aesthetic's fashion. Certain patterns can be instantly recognized as Rockabilly.
- Leather jackets
- distressed jean jackets
- white shirts
- plain collared shirts
- straight jeans, sometimes cuffed
- Converse shoes
- Polka dot skirts
- skinny cropped jeans, cuffed
- checkered collared shirts
- Poodle skirts
- Retro dresses
- leather jacket, worn over shoulders
Big makeup looks are common, with heavy eye makeup and red lipstick topping the list. Some women also style their hair curly with bangs, with a red bandana to top it off.
While not true rockabilly, many contemporary indie pop, blues rock, and country rock groups from the US, like Kings of Leon, Black Keys, Blackfoot, and the White Stripes, were heavily influenced by rockabilly.
Morrissey adopted a rockabilly style during the early 1990s, being largely influenced by his guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte and working with former Fairground Attraction bass-guitarist and songwriter Mark E. Nevin.
Gothabilly (sometimes hell billy or Rockabilly goth) is an offshoot of psycho billy influenced by the goth subculture.
- Black silks
- Top hats
- Antique jewellery
Psychobilly is a rock music fusion genre that mixes elements of rockabilly and punk rock. Psychobilly is often characterized by lyrical references to science fiction, horror (leading to lyrical similarities to horror punk) and exploitation films, violence, lurid sexuality, and other topics generally considered taboo, though often presented in a comedic or tongue-in-cheek fashion. Psychobilly bands and lyrics usually take an apolitical stance, a reaction to the right- and left-wing political attitudes which divided other British youth cultures. It is often played with an upright double bass, instead of the electric bass which is more common in modern rock music, and the hollowbody electric guitar, rather than the solid-bodied electric guitars that predominate in rock. Many psychobilly bands are trios of electric guitar, upright bass and drums, with one of the instrumentalists doubling as vocalist.