Saturday, March 5, 2011

Today is the 60th Anniversary of The Birth of Rock & Roll

On March 5th 1951, a little known band drove to Memphis from Clarksdale, Mississippi to audition for Sam Phillips in the studio (before the studio was home to Sun Records). The band was ‘Jackie Brenston & his Delta Cats’, which included Willie Kizart on guitar, Raymond Hill on Saxophone, and Ike Turner on piano. During the drive Kizart’s amp became loose and fell from the roof of the car, ending up with a busted speaker cone. Having no way of repairing the amp that night, Phillips and the band began experimenting with ways to make it produce a decent sound. They stuffed some paper into the amp, giving it a much more distorted sound, which Sam chose to emphasize during the recording. The song was ‘Rocket 88’, a reference to the popular Oldsmobile car. The distorted amp, piano, sax, & vocals came together wonderfully. Sam sent the song to Chess Records in Chicago and it was #1 by June of that same year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this!!!