Did You Know? Amazing Rock 'N Roll Facts
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Amazing Rock and Roll Facts

Key Recordings: 1920sAlan's Rock & Roll FUN Trivia.  Trivia powered by ABE.

  • …that “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)" by Trixie Smith was issued in 1922, the first record to refer to "rocking" and "rolling" in a secular context.

  • …that Papa Charlie Jackson recorded "Shake That Thing" in 1925.

  • …that "That Black Snake Moan", a country blues first recorded in 1926 by Blind Lemon Jefferson, contains the lines "That's all right mama / That's all right for you / Mama, that's all right / Most any old way you do", later famously used by Arthur Crudup and then Elvis Presley.

  • …that "Sail Away Ladies" and "Rock About My Saro Jane" were recorded by Uncle Dave Macon and his Fruit Jar Drinkers on May 7, 1927. "Sail Away Ladies" is a traditional square dance tune, with, in Macon's version, a vocal refrain of "Don't she rock, daddy-o", which in other versions became "Don't you rock me, daddy-o". "Don't You Rock Me, Daddy-o" later became a hit in the UK in 1957 for both the Vipers Skiffle Group and Lonnie Donegan. Macon is thought to have learned the song "Rock About My Saro Jane" from black stevedores at Nashville in the 1880s, although Alan Lomax believed that the song dated from the mid-nineteenth century.

  • …that "Kansas City Blues" by Jim Jackson. recorded on October 10, 1927, was a best selling blues, suggested as one of the first million-seller records. Its melody line was later re-used and developed by Charlie Patton in "Going To Move To Alabama" (1929) and Hank Williams ("Move It On Over") (1947) before emerging in "Rock Around The Clock", (1954) and its lyrical content presaged Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City". It contains the line "It takes a rocking chair to rock, a rubber ball to roll," which had previously been used in 1924 by Ma Rainey in "Jealous Hearted Blues", and which Bill Haley would later incorporate into his 1952 recording, "Sundown Boogie."

  • …that "It's Tight Like That" by Tampa Red with pianist Georgia Tom (Thomas A. Dorsey), recorded on October 24, 1928, was a highly successful early hokum record, which combined bawdy rural humor with sophisticated musical technique. With his Chicago Five, Tampa Red later went on to pioneer the Chicago small group "Bluebird" sound, while Dorsey became "the father of gospel music".

  • …that "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" by Clarence "Pinetop" Smith, recorded on December 29, 1928, was one of the first hit "boogie woogie" recordings, and the first to include classic rock and roll references to "the girl with the red dress on" being told to "not move a peg" until she could "shake that thing" and "mess around". Smith's tune itself derives from Jimmy Blythe's 1925 recording, "Jimmy's Blues", and earlier records had been made in a similar style by Meade "Lux" Lewis and others. A hit "pop" version of Smith's record was released by Tommy Dorsey in 1938, as "Boogie Woogie".

  • …that "Crazy About My Baby" by Blind Roosevelt Graves and brother Uaroy, recorded in 1929, was a rhythmic country blues with small group accompaniment. Researcher Gayle Dean Wardlow has stated that this "could be considered the first rock 'n' roll recording". The brothers also recorded rhythmic gospel music. The Graves brothers, with an additional piano player, were later recorded as the Mississippi Jook Band, whose 1936 recordings including "Skippy Whippy", "Barbecue Bust" and "Hittin' The Bottle Stomp" were highly rhythmic instrumental recordings which, according to writer Robert Palmer, "..featured fully formed rock and roll guitar riffs and a stomping rock and roll beat".

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