It used to be a very common progression in popular music, a "circle of fifths" starting from as far away from the tonic as you like, and working back to it. In F, the longest sequence would be F E A D G C F. Add 7th's, or change some of the chords to minor, as you like, but the first chord after the tonic is almost always major or a (dominant) 7th.
The chord after the F (whether E, A, or D) comes as a (slight) surprise, because of the major 3rd of the chord (and the 5th of the E chord) are not in the scale of F, but the sequence of dominant-tonic resolutions gets it back home safely.
You can find lots of examples "before rock" - George Formby used it in many songs, for example. And in classical music, it goes back at least as far as Mozart. In the baroque era, similar progressions using minor chords or minor 7ths, staying within the notes of the key, were very common.