Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Very First Rock 'n' Roll Song Ever!

How fitting that the first rock 'n' roll song is about a car?

I figure that for my 101st blog post, I'll start the count over again, with the very first rock 'n' roll song ever written and recorded.

Can you think of what the very first rock 'n' roll song ever is? If you can't, don't worry; you're not alone.

But now you can.

The very first song was called "Rocket 88," written and recorded by a man named Jackie Brenston


There's been a lot of debate as far as to which song can actually be called the first, and it's understandable (there's no real record). But I'm convinced that this is the first.
 
Rock music has been around literally for decades; and it has brought us some great musical artists that have truly transcended the normal status of "rock star" and have helped shape and mold the genre into what it is today, a multi-tentacled monster that cannot be stopped:
  • The Beatles
  • The Who
  • U2
  • Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne
  • Metallica
  • Slipknot
  • Slayer
  • You get it: the list can go on, so I'll stop here.
Based on the 1947 song "Cadillac Boogie" by Jimmy Liggins, t was also preceded and influenced by Pete Johnson's "Rocket 88 Boogie" Parts 1 and 2, which both parts are entirely instrumental.

It was the second-biggest rhythm and blues single of 1951, reaching the #1 spot on June 9th, 1951, and staying there for 5 weeks.

The song is also said to have the very first examples of distortion guitar. The story goes that the band was en route on Highway 61 from Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee when the guitar's amplifier was damaged. They tried to fix it up the best they could, trying to hold the speaker up with some wadded newspapers. This was the birth of the raw sound, and bandmate Sam Phillips liked the sound, so they kept it and recorded the song with it.

...and the rest, as they say, is history.


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