Ike Turner Tribute #5 (Rocket88 – Jackie Brenstons Delta Cats – Chess – 1951)
couldn’t lay down a tribute to Ike without including the classic Rocket88. hailed by many as the first ‘Rock&Roll’ record. Teenage DJ Isiah ‘Ike’ Turner orchestrates and smashes the piano on this his first recording. vocal by Clarksdale’s Jackie Brenston it also features a saxophone break by 17 year old Raymond Hill, (the father of Tina’s first child).
recorded in the spring of 1951 by Sam Phillips and sold to the brothers Chess. Phillips used the money to found Sun a year later and the rest is Rock & Roll history. ‘written’ by Ike the song is largely based on Jimmy Liggins 1947 cut ‘Cadillac Boogie’ as well as boogie woogie piano legend Pete Johnsons 1949 piece ‘Rocket88 boogie’ but it’s not the song itself that is ‘new’ .. more the elusive & mystical ‘vibes’ produced in complete harmony by these ‘hepcats’ that just goes to prove that pieces like this don’t grow on trees.
for themusicologist it’s always a treat and one that satisfies no matter how many times I’ve had the pleasure.