Did You Know?...That
Amazing Rock and Roll Facts
Key Recordings: 1920s
…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
…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.
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
…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
…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