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 First rock and roll record

Even more than most other musical genres, rock and roll emerged gradually from many artists work over a number of years, so any attempt to label a record as the first rock and roll song is an exercise in narrowing things down farther than they can reasonably be narrowed. But that hasn't stopped many people from asserting one song or another as the first.

According to music historian Peter Guralnick, the first rock and roll record was "Rocket 88," by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (written by 19-year-old Ike Turner, also the session leader) and recorded by Sam Phillips for his Memphis Recording Service in 1951 (the master tape being sold to and later released by Chess Records).[1] Wynonie Harris' 1947 cover of Roy Brown's "Good Rocking Tonight" is also a claimant for the title of first rock and roll record, as the popularity of this record led to many answer songs, mostly by black artists, with the same rocking beat, during the late 40's and early 50's. (Roy Brown's original had a shuffle blues beat, not quite rocking, but Wynonie Harris changed the rhythm to a rocking gospel beat with hand clapping on the backbeat, which distinguishes it from previous records). Ray Charles referred to Little Richard as being the artist that started a new kind of music,[citation needed] which was a funky style of rock n roll that he was performing onstage for a few years before appearing on record in 1955 as "Tutti Frutti."[2] Others have pointed to the broad commercial success with white audiences of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" or "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and his Comets as true starting points. Still others point out that performers like Arthur Crudup and Fats Domino were recording blues songs as early as 1946 that are indistinguishable from later rock and roll, and that these blues songs were based on themes, chord changes, and rhythms dating back decades before that. Crudup's "That's All Right" recorded with an electric guitar in 1946 is similar in style to Elvis's version recorded in 1954.[3] R&B saxophone player and band leader Louis Jordan actually broke into the pop charts in the mid-forties with the rocker "Caldonia." In 1947 Jack Guthrie and his group The Oaklahomans had a hit with "Oakie Boogie," basically a mix of boogie woogie with hillbilly and an electric guitar thrown in (a fairly new invention in 1947). Benny Carter, a co-author of "Cow Cow Boogie" (Capitol Records first gold single) back in 1942, wrote the jazz-swing song "Rock Me to Sleep" with Paul Vandervoort II in 1950.

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