The Elusive First Song of Rock and Roll

There have been many attempts to put the first rock and roll song, but rock historians broadly disagree with that one song. There are many songs to run, but before we get there, what exactly is meant by rock and roll songs?

Black rhythms and blues are known as the birthplace of rock and roll. This is distinguished by 4/4 times, the beat of high tempo, and the emphasis on the saxophone to carry a solo in eight middle bars. Rock and roll can hardly be seen from rhythm and blues, except rock and roll uses guitars to play eight middle solos rather than saxophone. At least that’s my definition. Rock and roll is responsible for the appearance of an electric guitar.

If you read one of the history of rock and roll, the first famous rock and roll song fell to one of the following: Wynonie Harris, with “Good Rocking At Midnight” (1953), “Sh Boom”, by The Chords, (1954 ), (the first “race” record to penetrate the top 10 of white), and “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets (1954).

Although these are all breakthrough songs, in one way or another; they are no match for being the first rock and roll song. First of all, they all used saxophone to carry eight middle, and second, they posted the date of the song that I believed to be the “first” rock and roll song.

This song is “Saturday Night Fish Fry” points. 1 and 2, by Louis Jordan (1949). Louis Jordan, maybe the first black man to receive wide acceptance by white people. While mostly known as rhythm stars and black blues in the forties, he was the first person to use the guitar as a solo instrument. The song repeatedly uses the phrase “it was rockin”, and it’s a big hit, in the top ten juke boxes of the year.

For the first Rockabilly song ever, I nominated “We Going To Roll and Rock” by Eddie Zack and his cousin Ritchie in 1953. If there were older rockabilly songs, I didn’t realize it.

I am proud to say that I have a copy of 78rpm of these two songs. (“We Going To Roll and Rock” is very rare.)