Rocket 88

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“Rocket 88”, a Rhythm_and_blues song from 1951 claimed by Sun_Records owner and pioneer Rock_and_roll Record_producer Sam_Phillips as “First_rock_and_roll_record”.

The record was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, but the band did not actually exist. The song was written by Ike_Turner and recorded by him with his band, the Kings_of_Rhythm. Brenston (1930-1979) was a saxophonist with Turner and also sang the vocal on “Rocket 88”, a hymn of praise to the joys of the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 automobile (see: Oldsmobile_88), which had just been introduced in 1949. Brenston also was given author credit not Turner; it is now agreed that Brenston's contribution was overstated for obscure, non-musical reasons.

Working from the raw material of Jump_blues and swing music, Turner made it even rawer, starting with a strongly stated Back_beat and superimposing Brenston's enthusiastic vocals and tenor saxophone solos by “Raymond” and Brenston. The song also features one of the first examples of distorted, or Fuzz_(electric_guitar) ever recorded. Reportedly, a speaker was damaged on Highway_61 when the band was driving from Mississippi to Memphis,_Tennessee but Phillips liked the sound and used it.

Great song. Lots of covers over the years, but Ike Turner is/was a guitar virtuoso.

“Roots of Rock N Roll: 1946-1954” (Various Artists)

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 28, 2005 12:02 PM.

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