Horace Wee, a professional guitarist, and saxophonist writes about 'rockabilly' and its true meaning in his capacity as a musician. I must thank him for the explanation he provides and the songs he uses to exemplify the genre.
I beg to differ on this subject. Rockabilly was the forerunner of rock and roll. And examples should be taken from the Sun Records era.
This particular type of music had its derivatives from country and country swing of that day. Characterized by swinging loping four beat bass line and a snappy back beat.
Examples would be That's Alright My Mama, Baby Let's Play House, and other early Elvis, Carl Perkins of course with Blue Suede Shoes and no one mentioned, Gene Vincent - Be Bop A Lula. Conway Twitty also contributed with more of his country background.
Brian Setzer is the one that keeps rockabilly alive these days. Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock was rockabilly starting to evolve. Further change came when Chuck Berry, Sweet Little Sixteen, and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, started to add a more driving rhythm of eight notes.
From there Little Richard used the same eighth note driving rhythm and added the line up of horns giving it a black RnB flavor. Roy Orbison's earlier background is rockabilly. His progress in pop music was more to utilize the glorious tenor voice of his for more lyrical songs.
The closest today of rockabilly is from Brian Setzer who is from England.
I would add that Elvis soaked up a lot of these musical influences and was fortunate to be the one to bring that amalgamation of country, hill billy and black gospel to the white American mainstream.
And that started the Rock Train.
Your 5 songs are not really rockabilly. They may have some roots but essentially it was rock/pop that evolved. Roy Orbison is already rock n roll. To see his rockabilly era you have to go to his Sun Records days where he sounded like a cross between early Elvis and Gene Vincent. Go Go Go, Rock House, Ooby Dooby for example.
1) Orbison was evolved, it's 80's rock and roll.
2) Joan Jett is 80's rocker;
3) Hollies were late 60's, a British rock pop group.
4) Chuck Berry already evolved. Earlier songs like Memphis Tennessee had more rockabilly links.
5) Elvis Presley - 70's Las Vegas type era. Sort of swamp rock. He had changed. And the closest to the old Elvis, the 60's return TV Special.
I always pick on the bass player when playing rockabilly. They play a sooth four note per bar when actually it should be a bouncy semi staccato execution. Like a thumping acoustics double bass beat. Correctly played, it should not be a bass guitar. However delivery of the bass line is important. There is a swing to the feel.
YouTube Video: Gene Vincent: Be Bop A Lula.