Wednesday, May 08, 2013

My Greatest Experience In Music ....... So Far
I was born the year Heartbreak Hotel hit the charts and Elvis became a house hold word.  I was only 7 when the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show.  I don't recall any fanfare over The great Chuck Berry or Little Richard.  I guess it had much to do with race at the time. 
 I got to watch Rock Music morph to the point that "The Ramones" made a living out of rebelling against those who were making a living singing "folk and love ballads" under the guise of Rock.  The Ramones, who were just trying to be an "Iggy Pop" cover band, would go onto piss off Hollywood by interrupting the Hollywood Hormone Formula.
 To understand the Hollywood Hormone Formula you have to go back to February of 1959.  Those three years between 1956 and 1959 brought us the very cement foundation of Rock and Roll.  Those who like to marginalize other styles to make their own musical forms might call what came out those three years, Roots Rock or Rock-a-Billy.  I call it pure Rock.  It was a primal combination of Gospel, Country and Rhythm and Blues.  It was new and it was a form a Teenage rebellion.  That was the motive behind the success of Rock Music. 
Prior to 1956, what was soon to be recorded as "Rock and Roll" was then known as "Race" music.  In the south, especially in the farm fields around Memphis, black bands would get together and play a new kind of blues.  Songs like "Hound Dog" and "That's alright Mama" were songs sung for black social get togethers.  It wasn't long before a young disc Jockey who was dabbling in audio recordings, would hear black artists like "Howlin' Wolf" and most importantly a nobody named "Jackie Brenston". 
Many of you have probably heard of Howlin Wolf as a part of Blues History, but Jackie Brenston is probably one of the most unnoticed musicians in Rock and Roll History.  While this disc Jockey named Sam Phillips, was recording what was then called "Race Music",  Jackie Brenston was singing an upbeat version of the blues.  Mr. Phillips heard of the young Jackie Brenston and brought him to 706 Union Avenue in Memphis where "Rocket 88" was recorded.  On the way to Sam's studio, the Bass speaker of the electric Bass Amplifier blew a hole in the speaker.  This gave Rocket 88 that distorted sound, which at first, Brenston felt was the demise of the recording, but Phillips would discover "Distortion" in this recording.  Rocket 88 went on to become the 1st Rock and Roll recording ever.  And just for the sake of Trivia, the keyboardist for Jackie Brenston was an unknown musician named Ike Turner.
This is where the familiar story begins.
Young white teenage kids who were looking at pictures of hand painted porn where tuning their radios into Sam's radio show which came on "after hours" as many of the original "Race" music songs were "suggestive" to say the least.  Little Richard was known for writing songs so filthy that producers would hire writers to clean up LR's lyrics so they could be recorded and played on the radio.
This was that new cool thing that TEENS knew about while the parents were still listening to Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman and Mitch Miller.  At the time, Frank Sinatra was the coolness of the air waves.  He was non-controversial, clean cut, and most of all he was WHITE.
Sam Phillips knew he was had something that American kids wanted to hear.  A good example is Billy Ward and the Dominoes' song "Sixty Minute Man"  Chorus goes:
There'll be 15 minutes of kissing, then you'll holler please don't stop!
There'll be 15 minutes of Teasing
15 minutes of squeezing
And 15 minutes of blowing my Top pop pop
Cause I'm a sixty minute man.
At least one got a Math lesson........
Come back tomorrow for some whiteness and the Crash that changed it all and let the termites in.


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