With Just A Hint Of Amelia

Posts Tagged ‘Little Richard

amelia sign

Dearest Princess Amelia. Your Daddy told me that you left a sign outside your room this week asking him and Mummy to stay out. I hope that maybe you were making presents for them which is why you wanted the door shut. Is that true?

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Anyway I thought that after making that sign you might like some songs about doors that are shut 🙂

I hope that you enjoy them.

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Once upon a time there was a new blog. A very special blog. A blog just for Amelia Catherine Williams (Although I think we’ll let other people read it too). A blog bringing all the magical types of music to Amelia, who also happens to be one year old today, 5th May 2011. A few weeks ago she had a naming ceremony and I had the honour of being one of her Odd Parents. (Well it wasn’t a religious ceremony so I could hardly be a God Parent could I?) One of the commitments I made as an Odd Parent was to become Amelia’s musical guide. So every month I will post a brief piece about music which may be genre related, music history related or related to a specific band or artist or anything that might be interesting. I hope to continue this journey at least until Amelia becomes a sulky teen and gets fed up with it 😉 which means I’ll have to keep posting until at least 2023.

Amelia chooses the shades for her first attempt at a rock chick look

So let’s get on with the first post shall we? Are you sitting comfortably? I hope so because you are about to hear the story of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Apologies for the next line but it is for Amelia!

Once upon a time the world of music was quite bland, manufactured and contrived, just like it is now. But this story takes us back many, many years through the dark musical forest, to a time before even I was born. Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls and anyone else who happens to be reading let me take you right back to 1951, a whole 60 years ago! When you step out of the musical time machine in 1951 America switch on the radio, you may well hear what many people believe to be the first ever rock ‘n’ roll song. It was called “Rocket ’88” and was recorded at the famous Sun Recording Studios owned by Sam Phillips. The song was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, however it seems that the person behind the song was in fact Ike Turner. The song went to number one on the US R & B Charts. Sam Phillips along with many other music critics later claimed that this song was the first ever rock ‘n’ roll song. If you wondered why it was called “Rocket 88” then let me tell you. It was a kind of love song to a car, the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 which was first launched around that time.

This may well have been the case but it was not necessarily the most influential rock ‘n’ roll song. Arguably that title could be given to many songs, in particular a few from the mid 50s. “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets became a big hit after featuring in the film the “Blackboard Jungle” it caused many young cinema goers to rip up their seats. I do not expect you to behave like that Amelia, ok? Strangely Bill Haley covered “Rocket 88” later in 1951 with an earlier band of his; Bill Haley and his Saddlemen. Their version was more a fusion of country and Rhythm and Blues and some people say that version is the definitive first ever rock ‘n’ roll record.

Many rock stars have said that the first time they heard Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel” (which was also recorded at Sun Studios) was the moment they began to appreciate rock ‘n’roll. Many other artists lay claim to being the most influential as far as rock ‘n’ roll goes; Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Little Richard to name a few. Incidentally if you listen carefully you can tell that Little Richard appeared to have stolen the piano riff from “Rocket 88” for his song “Good Golly Miss Molly

Of course back in those heady days of the fifties the UK had to try their hand at this new fangled rock ‘n’ roll thing, so we had none other than Cliff Richard with “Move It”. Unfortunately whilst it was good it was nowhere near as good as the recordings coming from the USA. That perception would be changed just a few years later by four young men from Liverpool. But that is another story altogether.

THE END (well for this month anyway and apart from the music which you will see and hear below)


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