“The blues had a baby and they called it rock ‘n’ roll,” said the great Muddy Waters.
But what was the firstborn? What was the first rock ‘n’ roll record?
Using this question as their starting point, writer Jim Dawson and DJ Steve Propes nominate 50 recordings for that honor. Beginning with a 1944 Jazz at the Philharmonic recording, “Blues,” and ending with Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” What Was the First Rock ‘n’ Roll Record? Profiles some of the most important and influential recordings in rock’s history.
For each nominee, Dawson and Propes provide chart positions, labels, recording information, and an explanation as to why it might qualify as the first. Lesser known milestones like “Open the Door, Richard” and “Rocket 88” appear here alongside acknowledged classics like “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” and “Rock Around the Clock,” and many forgotten artists are restored to their rightful place in rock’s pantheon. The result is a provocative and entertaining guide to the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll.
This 30th anniversary updated and revised edition brings to light new and surprising details about the songs, albums, and artists that are vying for the honor of being the first rock ‘n’ roll record.