Sometime after the single was released in September 1957, "Rock and Roll Music" reached #6 on Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart and #8 on the Billboard Top 100 chart before the year's end.
Over the years, "Rock and Roll Music" has been covered by many bands and musicians, including Jan & Dean, The Beatles, The Beach Boys,the latter of which had a top ten hit with the song on the Hot 100 in 1976.
The Beatles performed the song in many of their early Hamburg shows, and also played it on the BBC show Pop Go The Beatles. In late 1964, exhausted from non-stop touring and recording and short of original material, they decided to record several of their old rock and rhythm and blues favorites to fill out their LP release Beatles for Sale. Among these was a version of Berry's tune that eventually became as well known as the original. The lead vocal in The Beatles' version was performed by John Lennon. In contrast to Berry's even-toned rendition, Lennon sang it as loudly and dynamically as his voice would permit. In the United States, it was released on the LP, Beatles '65. The song was part of the set list for the group's final tour in 1966 - the performance from their June 30 show at the Nippon Budokan was included in 1996's Anthology 2 - and was also performed during the Get Back/Let It Be Sessions in January 1969.
Sources have varied when crediting the piano on the track. The original Beatles for Sale liner notes by Derek Taylor said that "George Martin joins John and Paul on one piano", implying an overdub by all three that was added after the basic take. In the 1988 book The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn described the recording as a single take with no overdubs, with "all The Beatles on their familiar instruments" and Martin on piano. The tape engineer for the session, Geoff Emerick, provided yet another account in his 2006 book; he recalled that McCartney played piano while Harrison covered on bass, and that the only overdub was for double-tracking Lennon's vocal.
The Beach Boys' version is notable for the use of backing vocals which repeat the phrase "Rock, roll, rockin' and roll." There is a difference between the LP version and the single version in that the LP version has more synthesizer. Their version reached #5 in the US chart in 1976.