Long before Tina, Ike Turner and the Rhythm Kings went into Sun Studios in Memphis and recorded a jump blues song called Rocket 88. It rose to be a #1 song on the R&B charts in 1951.
Some say…this was the first rock and roll record. That’s debateable. Jump blues and swing combo music had been around for awhile, but Turner made the style even rawer. The song features one of the first examples of fuzz guitar ever recorded, as a result of dropping the guitar amplifier before the recording session.
Determining the first actual rock & roll record is impossible, there are simply too many candidates for that distinction. Rocket 88 with lyrics about cars, booze, and women with a big rocking beat, certainly gets the song up there as a prime candidate.
Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets would probably get the most votes for the first rock and roll song, but it’s not the first. Haley’s recording did became an anthem for rebellious 1950s youth and brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world.
I’ll leave it to old Ike Turner to put Rocket 88 in it’s historical place, “I don’t think that “Rocket 88” is rock’n’roll. I think that “Rocket 88” is R&B, but I think “Rocket 88″ is the cause of rock and roll existing …”
I love car songs from “She’s real fine my 409 to Little Red Corvette. What rhymes with Tesla? I’ll have to work on that one.