Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Monday, December 7, 2009

100 Records.... # 95

Rocket 88

Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats

This song holds two distinctions:

(a) it is regarded by many (Sam Phillips, owner of the legendary Sun Records included) as the "first true rock n' roll song".

(b) It is also widely regarded as the original 12-bar blues song.

It is also noteworthy in that it was written by Ike Turner. Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats did not actually exist and the recording was made by Turner's Kings Of Rhythm, using Brenston as lead vocalist. The song itself is a tribute to Oldsmobile's "Rocket 88". Another first on the record is the use of fuzz guitar, attributed to damage sustained by the band's amp, either from falling from the car roof onto the highway or rain damage, depending on whose story you read. Either way, Sam Phillips, the producer, liked the sound and used it. So there you have it. The first true rock & roll song, a paean to the joys of zooming around in an Olds. Later covered by Bill Haley (pre - Comets) and later by Billy Vera & The Beaters, used in the movie The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension.

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