1951 – “Rocket 88”, often cited as “the first rock and roll record” is recorded
Jackie Brenston (August 24, 1928 or 1930[note 1] – December 15, 1979) was an American R&B singer and saxophonist, who recorded, with Ike Turner’s band, the first version of the pioneering rock-and-roll song “Rocket 88”.
Returning to Clarksdale from army service, Brenston learned to play the tenor saxophone and linked up with Ike Turner in 1950 as a tenor sax player and occasional singer in Turner’s band, the Kings of Rhythm.
The success of the record caused friction within the group, and after one further recording session, Brenston left Turner’s band to pursue a solo career.
Brenston later went on to perform in Lowell Fulson’s band for two years. He returned to play in Turner’s band in 1955. Although he occasionally sang with the band, Turner allegedly barred him from singing “Rocket 88”.
Extra Note: While there are other records that are also said to be the “first”, many sources confirm that Rocket 88 was certainly among the first of the rock’n’roll genre.
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