First Rock and Roll record redux

I know there have been several threads on this before but maybe time for a rehash? In my reading of past threads there seems to be a mild consensus that Rocket 88 (Ike Turner/Jackie Brenston, 1951) was the first, and indeed throughout the internet.

But I’d like to make the case for Goree Carter’s Rock Awhile (1949). It has the similar R&R feel to it with the big (IMHO) advantage of having a strong rock guitar sound which 88 doesn’t have. And it was recorded a good 2 years earlier.

The guitar has a very Chuck Berry feel despite having been recorded 6 years (!) before Johnny B. Goode (the opening riff of JBG having been lifted from Louis Jordan’s Ain`t That Just Like A Woman (1946).



You may as well ask what atom from The Big Bang came first.

1949 also saw Jimmy Preston’s Rock the Joint, which rocked just as much if not more than Carter.

Even before 1949 there was Wynonie Harris with Good Rockin’ Tonight, whose 1948 version was a good deal more rock than Roy Brown’s 1947 original.

If you want to look at the country part of the rock and roll equation, there’s 1947’s Move It on Over by Hank Williams. I dare you to isolate Zeke Turner’s guitar and tell me it isn’t rock and roll.

Yeah, that first one is a lot more rock than the OP’s, which is explicitly more boogie-woogie to me.

Note: the YouTube poster has the title as “Rock the joint” but the lyrics sound a lot more like “Rock this joint.” Is that a typo?

The second song is “on the cusp”. The Hank Williams one not really.