Rock & roll’s everlasting energy—where did it start? Finding the “first” is difficult, although Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88” is a strong contender.

Rockin’ the Jukebox

This is the story of “Rocket 88” and discover the history behind.

Story 1951

A teenage band called Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm recorded “Rocket 88” at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Jackie Brenston, Turner’s saxophonist and occasional vocalist, wrote the high-octane blues and jump blues song with a powerful rhythm section and strong electric guitar.

Lines Blurred

“Rocket 88” wasn’t blues. The distorted guitar and fast tempo foreshadowed “rock and roll.”

The Great Rock-and-Roll Debate

While “Rocket 88” is a solid contender, early rock and roll was influenced by many. Why it’s debated:

Evolution, Not Invention

Rock and roll evolved. Blues, rhythm and blues, and country music nourished it. Wynonie Harris’ 1948 song “Good Rockin’ Tonight” and Rocket 88 demonstrate this change.

Blurred Genre Lines

Early rock and roll was called “rhythm and blues” or “race music,” among African Americans. The word “rock and roll” wasn’t popular until the mid-1950s.

Conclusion: A Musical Revolution Catalyst

While “Rocket 88” may not be the first rock and roll song, its importance is obvious. It captured raw energy and a new attitude that connected with young listeners and led to the 1950s rock & roll explosion. Play “Rocket 88” to commemorate this music revolution.