More a link than a post! (Is it rock yet?)



I stumbled across one of those lists of songs that preceded and maybe anticipated rock n roll. A much better and more comprehensive one than many I’ve seen. Nice introductory article too. What it was doing on a schools-choosing website I am not quite sure but well worth a perusal.

Some of the videos they posted are no longer available so I’ve made a Youtube playlist of my own for any who would like to have a listen.

Here’s the link to the site itself:

And here is the playlist.



12 thoughts on “More a link than a post! (Is it rock yet?)

  1. I’m not sure if that link was usable. Try again just in case:


    In case anyone wants to see a straightforward list of the songs:

    1) My Daddy Rocks me With One Steady Roll – Trixie Smith (1922)
    2) Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie – Pinetop Smith (1928)
    3) It’s Tight Like That – Tampa Red and Georgia Tom (1928)
    4) Crazy About My Baby – Blind Roosevelt Graves (1929)
    5) It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That swing) – Duke Ellington (1931)
    6) Tiger Rag – Washboard Rhythm Kings (1932)
    7) Good Lord (Run Old Jeremiah) – Austin Coleman with Joe Washington Brown (1934)
    8) Baby Please Don’t Go – Big Joe Williams (1935)
    9) Shave ‘em Dry – Lucile Bogan (1935)
    10) Rock Island Line – Lead Belly (1937)
    11) Sing, Sing, Sing – Benny Goodman (1937)
    12) Rock It For me – Ella Fitzgerald (1938)
    13) Rock My Soul – Golden gate Quartet (1938)
    14) When the Saints Go marching In – Louis Armstrong (1938)
    15) Roll ‘em Pete – Big Joe Williams and Pete Johnson (1938)
    16) Rock Me – Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1942)
    17) Junker’s Blues – Champion Jack Dupree (1940)
    18) Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar – Will Bradley (1940)
    19) Flying Home – Lionel Hampton and Illinois Jacquet (1942)
    20) Guitar Boogie – Arthur Smith (1945)
    21) The Honeydripper – Joe Liggins and the Honeydrippers (1945)
    22) Be-Baba-Leba – Helen Humes (1945)
    23) Ain’t That Just Like a Woman – Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five (1946)
    24) That’s All Right – Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1946)
    25) Blue Moon of Kentucky – Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys (1946)
    26) House of Blue Lights – Freddy Slack and Ella Mae Morse (1946)
    27) Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee – Stick McGhee and his Buddies (1946)
    28) Freight Train Boogie – Delmore Brothers (1946)
    29) Route 66 – Nat “King” Cole (1946)
    30) Good Rockin’ Tonight – Wynonie Harris (1947)
    31) We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll – Wild Bill Moore (1947)
    32) Move it On Over – Hank Williams (1947)
    33) Boogie Chillen – John Lee Hooker (1948)
    34) The Hucklebuck – Paul Williams (1949)
    35) Rock Awhile – Goree Carter – (1949)
    36) Rock the Joint – Jimmy Preston (1949)
    37) Hot Rod Race – Arkie Shibley and his Mountain Dew Boys (1950)
    38) Sixty Minute Man – Billy Ward and his Dominoes (1951)
    39) Train Kept A’Rollin’ – Tiny Bradshaw (1951)
    40) Rocket 88 – Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (1951)
    41) Lawdy Miss Clawdy – Lloyd Price (1952)
    42) Gee – The Crows (1953)
    43) (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean – Ruth Brown (1953)
    44) Jock-A-Mo – Sugar Boy Crawford and his Cane Cutters (1953)
    45) Crazy Man Crazy – Bill Haley and his Comets (1953)
    46) Hound Dog – Big Mama Thornton (1953)
    47) Riot in Cell Block #9 – The Robins (1954)
    48) Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy waters (1954)
    49) Work With Me Annie – Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (1954)
    50) Rock Around the Clock – Sonny Dae and his Knights (1954)

  2. What a treat! Weekends hereabouts are usually barren, dry as dust, nothing happening!
    But this is possibly the ALL TIME BEST EVER playlist to grace this site.
    That’s all the music that my musical taste evolved with in my early years, I sill have many of those recordings on vinyl.
    On the topic of “Is it rock yet” I have a very specific memory of when it all began for me, it was in a cinema in Ipswich in the early 50’s, the show was the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. A large, [approx 20 musicians and vocalists] jazz group with Hamp out front at a drum kit, a piano plus his vibraphone. He did something I’d never seen before, he got that group so fired up that what they were playing was no longer ‘big band jazz’, it was something else altogether, I remember it culminating with Hamp literally dancing on the top of his Tom Tom and urging the band on at the top of his lungs, the finale was him leading the entire band off the stage and marching and playing through the auditorium. The audience, me included, went nuts.
    I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site how after that show I gave Hamp and his wife Gladys a guided tour of Ipswich.
    For me that was the beginning of rock ‘n roll, he only appears on that playlist once and

    that’s in the Carnegie hall concert of 1938, Swing, Swing, Swing [that’s Gene Krupa on the drums] and Jess Stacy on piano. Try googling Hamp’s early orch. playing Flying Home or Central Avenue Breakdown, they must be out there somewhere. That’s where it started.

    • “Swing, Swing, Swing” was playlisted on Song-Bar for “songs to fill a dancefloor”. A couple of weeks later I happened across it on this list and promptly nominated it for the topic “songs with outstanding percussion” forgetting that I had heard it so recently!
      Some of us take a while for things to sink in.

      Glad you are enjoying.

  3. No doubt that anything that Louis ever played preempts anything that anyone else ever played. Not sure what ‘pre-empts’ means here but there was a lot more to Hamp’s music than a single individual playing for other than musical beauty, that’s not what Illinois was there for, his job was to get the crowd up on their feet and screaming! He succeeded,
    I was there, on several occasions.

  4. Some great music here. I’m only about six songs in so far, but I am salivating at what is still to come.

  5. And today I get this from Jazz n Blues Experience, a YT channel I subscribe to

    Jazz Playlist – Swing, Ballads & Soul, 36 Great Tracks – starting with Stan Kenton and Ella Fitzgerald to Art Pepper, Benny Goodman, Bill Bojangles Robinson to Billie Holiday and Sidney Bechet. Check out the playlist. It is over 2 hours long.
    Gotta love these compilations. Thanks sev.

  6. hi Severin, thank you so much for posting this. I have been wanting to listen to the list but just haven’t had a chance yet. I know many but nowhere near all of the songs on the list. Glad to see Hank Williams Move it Over though, I love that one. This looks really interesting, so I would love to hear it.

    • I love Move it on Over too. Definite similarities to Rock Around the Clock I think. Have you heard Lucille Bogan’s Shave ’em Dry yet? Unbelievably filthy and brilliant.

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