When you think of the biggest names in rock ‘n roll, you’re thinkin’: Mick and Keith; John, Paul, George and Ringo; Patti, Stevie, Janis and Joan; Billy, Bobby, Buddy and Bruce. Most of these names were fairly popular in the 50s, which is when many of the original rock stars were born. So it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that most of the names have been out of fashion for years. Some, though, seem to be in the process of making a comeback.
What caught my eye while reading “The Influence of Rock ‘n Roll on Baby Names” by Tessa Boyce in Arizona Daily Star’s Tuscon.com were the popularity charts that accompanied all 30 of the rocker’s names. (You may want to check out the charts after reading this post.)
Most of the rock-star names were very popular in the ’50s. Some, like Jim, Janis and Gene started losing popularity in the late ’60s. Others, like Bonnie and Tina started losing popularity in the ’80s.
The only names on Tessa Boyce’s list whose charts don’t look like a major stock market crash are Stevie and Axl. Stevie is trending level; Axl is trending up.
Twelve of the names are still trending down in popularity: Paul, Keith, Bobby, Billy, Elvis, Tom, Tina, Gene, Patti, Cherie, Bob and Pat.
Eight of the names have had a recent bump in popularity after being out of favor for years: Suzi, Ringo, Bruce, Janis, Chuck, Joan, Bonnie, and George. (William and Kate’s baby, prince George, seems to have given that name a nice bump.)
And seven of the names seem to be in the process of bottoming out after being out of favor for years: John, Robert, Kurt, Dave, Buddy, Mick and Chrissie.
So, be careful when considering names on this list for naming your children. Most of the names have long ago lost their “rock-star magic.” And many of the names are associated with rockers whose personal lives may not provide the kind role models you want for your children.
That said, here is Boyce’s top-30 list of rockers’ names, with a description of the current trend, as reflected in the popularity chart for each name:
- John Lennon (bottoming?)
- Robert Plant (bottoming?)
- George Harrison (recent bump)
- Paul McCartney (trending down)
- Bruce Springsteen (recent bump)
- Keith Richards (trending down)
- Bobby Darin (trending down)
- Billy Joel (trending down)
- Axl Rose (trending up)
- Bonnie Tyler (recent bump)
- Stevie Nix (trending level)
- Elvis Presley (trending down)
- Joan Jett (recent bump)
- Kurt Cobain (bottoming?)
- Tina Turner (trending down)
- Dave Crohl (bottoming?)
- Tom Petty (trending down)
- Jim Morrison (bottoming?)
- Gene Simmons (trending down)
- Buddy Holly (bottoming?)
- Mick Jagger (bottoming?)
- Janis Joplin (recent bump)
- Patti LaBelle (trending down)
- Chuck Berry (recent bump)
- Cherie Curie (trending down)
- Ringo Starr (recent bump)
- Bob Dylan (trending down)
- Pat Benatar (trending down)
- Suzi Quatro (recent bump)
- Chrissie Hynde (bottoming?)