I know, it's only rock n roll...

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I know, it's only rock n roll...

Postby davidm on January 20th, 2020, 2:53 pm 

Ok, enough about Einstein for now, and back, briefly, to rock ’n’ roll. ;-)

The first known “secular” use of “rock” and “roll” in a recorded song dates to 1922 (!) and was recorded by Trixie Smith: “My Daddy Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll).” The soulful, bluesy recording can be found here, though the date given, 1938, is wrong, and the person depicted is evidently not Trixie Smith, but Bessie Smith.

I guess “rock” and “roll” was used previously in religious hymns, though one must suppose for an entirely different reason. :-) It is pretty obvious from the above-linked recording what THIS song means by “rock” and “roll.”
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I know, it's only rock n roll...

Postby hyksos on January 20th, 2020, 4:57 pm 

That song is unbelievable and easily 30 years ahead of its time. The fact that the chorus talks about being "rocked" and then has roll right next to it.

( cue Queen. We will, we will rock you!. )

People in the comments are like, "Is this the origin of rock-&-roll?"
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Re: I know, it's only rock n roll...

Postby davidm on January 20th, 2020, 6:28 pm 

Here is more about the etymology of “rock and roll,” its relation to black gospel singers, its use as African-American slang in the early 20th century referring to hot music/sex, about Alan Freed, and a great lyric from 1935: “If Satan starts to hound you, commence to rock and roll. Get rhythm in your feet and music in your soul…”

Love live rock ’n’ roll! (And Einstein, too) :-) As we can see, Elvis did NOT start rock ’n’ roll.
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Re: I know, it's only rock n roll...

Postby Dave_C on January 21st, 2020, 9:18 pm 

Thanks for the fascinating history. One thing that's bugged me since reading this is the correct title of the song. I'm seeing at least as many "My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)". I kinda buy into the picture of the phonograph label here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGoa0YDGnyE

Any thoughts?
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