Did You Know?...That
Amazing Rock and Roll Facts
Key Artist: 1940s
…that Sonny Boy Williamson
(John Lee Curtis Williamson, March 30, 1914 – June 1, 1948)
was an American blues harmonica player and singer, and the
first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson.
Schwictenberg (July 12, 1912 – July 15, 1989) was an
American trombonist and bandleader who also performed under
the name Will Bradley. He was known for swing and sweet dance
music, as well as boogie woogie songs, many of which were
written by Don Raye.
…that Lionel Leo
Hampton (April 20, 1908 – August 31, 2002)
was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist,
bandleader and actor. Along with Red Norvo, Hampton was one of
the first jazz vibraphone players. Hampton ranks among the
great names in jazz history, having worked with a who's who of
jazz musicians, from Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich to Charlie
Parker and Quincy Jones. In 1992, he was inducted into the
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker (May 28,
1910 – March 16, 1975) was a critically acclaimed American
blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist,
who was one of the most influential pioneers and innovators of
the jump blues and electric blues sound.
…that Louis Thomas
Jordan (July 8, 1908 – February 4, 1975) was
a pioneering American jazz, blues and rhythm & blues musician,
songwriter and bandleader who enjoyed his greatest popularity
from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as "The King of
the Jukebox", he was highly popular with both black and white
audiences in the later years of the swing era. In 2004,
Rolling Stone magazine ranked him no. 59 on their list of the
100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
…that Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
(August 24, 1905 – March 28, 1974) was an American Delta blues
singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known outside
blues circles for writing songs such as "That's All Right"
(1946), "My Baby Left Me" and "So Glad You're Mine", later
covered by Elvis Presley and dozens of other artists.
…that Joe Liggins
(July 9, 1915 – July 26, 1987) was an American R&B, jazz and
blues pianist, who was the frontman in the 1940s and 1950s
with the band, Joe Liggins and his Honeydrippers.
…that Arthur Smith
(born in Clinton, SC, April 1, 1921). He is a musician and
…that Frederick Charles Slack
(born in Viroqua, WI, August 7, 1910 – August 10, 1965) was a
swing and boogie-woogie pianist and bandleader.
…that Ella Mae
Morse (born in Mansfield, TX on September 12,
1924 – died on October 16, 1999 in Bullhead City, AZ), was a
popular singer. Morse blended jazz, country, pop, and R&B.
…that Nathaniel Adams Coles
(born: Montgomery, AL on March 17, 1919 – died: Santa Monica,
CA, February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole,
was a musician who first came to prominence as a leading jazz
pianist. He owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft
baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz
…that Alton Delmore (December 25, 1908 –
June 8, 1964) and Rabon Delmore (December 3, 1916 – December
4, 1952), billed as The Delmore
Brothers, were country music pioneers and
stars of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s. The Delmore
Brothers, together with other brother duets such as the Louvin
Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, the Monroe Brothers (Birch,
Charlie and Bill Monroe), the McGee Brothers, and The Stanley
Brothers, had a profound impact on the history of country
music and American popular music.
Williams (born Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama,
September 17, 1923 – died Mount Olives, WV, January 1, 1953).
Born Hiram King Williams, he was a singer-songwriter and
musician regarded as one of the most important country music
artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five
released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the
Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11
that ranked number one.
…that Roy James
Brown (born: New Orleans, LA on September 10,
1925 — died in San Fernando, California on May 25, 1981) was a
R&B singer, songwriter and musician, who had an influence on
the early development of rock and roll by changing the
direction R&B was headed in. His original song and hit
recording "Good Rocking Tonight" was covered by Wynonie
Harris, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat
Boone, and the rock group Montrose. Brown was the first singer
in recording history to sing R&B songs with a gospel-steeped
delivery, which was then considered taboo by many churches. In
addition, his melismatical pleading, vocal style influenced
B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson and
Harris (August 24, 1915 – June 14, 1969), was born in
Omaha, Nebraska, and died in Los Angeles, CA. He was a blues
shouter and rhythm and blues singer of upbeat songs, featuring
humorous, often ribald lyrics. With fifteen Top 10 hits
between 1946 and 1952, Harris is generally considered one of
rock and roll's forerunners, influencing Elvis Presley among
…that William M. Moore (June 13, 1918, Houston, TX
– August 1, 1983, Los Angeles, CA), known as Wild Bill Moore,
was a jazz and R&B tenor saxophone player.
…that Goree Carter
(December 31, 1930, Houston, TX - December 29, 1990, Houston,
TX ) was a R&B singer and rock and roll guitarist, best known
for his 1949 single, "Rock Awhile," which is considered a
strong contender for the "first rock and roll record" title
and featured an over-driven electric guitar style similar to
that of Chuck Berry several years later.
Preston (August 18, 1913, Chester, Pennsylvania –
December 1984, Philadelphia, PA) was an R&B bandleader, alto
saxophonist and singer who made an important contribution to
early rock and roll. His first R&B hit was with "Hucklebuck
Daddy", but his main claim to fame was to record, as Jimmy
Preston and His Prestonians, the original version of "Rock the
Joint" for Gotham Records in Philadelphia in 1949.
…that Antoine Dominique "Fats"
Domino Jr. (born February 26, 1928, New Orleans, LA)
is a R&B and rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter. He
was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Domino is French
Creole and Creole was his first language. Domino was delivered
at home by his midwife grandmother. Like most families in the
Lower Ninth Ward, Domino's family were new arrivals from
Vacherie Louisiana. His father was a well known violinist, and
Domino was inspired to play himself. He eventually learned
from his uncle, jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett. Fats released
five Gold (million selling) records before 1955. Domino also
had 35 Top 40 American Hits and has a music style based on
traditional R&B ensembles of Bass, Piano, Electric Guitar,
Drums, and Saxophone.