Searching For The First Rock And Roll Song

Series produced by Jamie Dell'Apa

Caption: PRX default Series image
PRX default Series image 

Music from that time when rhythm and blues and rock and roll were emerging but hadn't yet become a predictable formula. A time when musicians were listening to and incorporating these exciting emergences into their own style of music. We focus on music that is difficult to categorize. C&W that sounds like rockabilly and rockabilly that sounds like R&B which sounds an awful lot like rock. That's the sweet spot for the music on the show and, sure enough, that's where the New Orleans sound is centered.

To follow us (and see playlists) on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saturday-Night-New-Orleans-Radio/625773220767239

What does music sound like when it is taken out of context?

When John Coltrane quits walking the bar for dance patrons or some English kids leave gentle pop music for the blues of the American south, they're following their muse. Breaking out of the formula. The result can be a disaster or miraculous. Dr. Demento plays the disasters. We play the miraculous.

Music from that time when rhythm and blues and rock and roll were emerging but hadn't yet become a predictable formula. A time when musicians were listening to and incorporating these music's exciting emergence into their own style of music. We focus on music that is difficult to categorize. C&W that sounds like rockabilly and rockabilly that sounds like R&B which sounds an awful lot like rock. That's the sweet spot for the music on the show and, sure enough, that's where the New Orleans sound is centered.

Songs are arranged in sets originating from an overall theme and between songs are short interstitial sound clips that sometimes tell a parallel story or a contrasting story or are simply audio cultural artifacts used that frame the music. Hide full description

What does music sound like when it is taken out of context? When John Coltrane quits walking the bar for dance patrons or some English kids leave gentle pop music for the blues of the American south, they're following their muse. Breaking out of the formula. The result can be a disaster or miraculous. Dr. Demento plays the disasters. We play the miraculous. Music from that time when rhythm and blues and rock and roll were emerging but hadn't yet become a predictable formula. A time when musicians were listening to and incorporating these music's exciting emergence into their own style of music. We focus on music that is difficult to categorize. C&W that sounds like rockabilly and rockabilly that sounds like R&B which sounds an awful lot like rock. That's the sweet spot for... Show full description


649 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Sammy Masters and Jimmy Bryant
No seatbelts, air bags, safety glass, padded dashboards, etc. of the bad old days and we get dead teenager song lyrics. Oh also songs about wine a...

Bought by KSLU, KFCF FM, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], WQCS, KPRG and more


  • Added: Sep 26, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: George Martin Along With The Beatles.  Producer For The Beatles.  As "Ray Cathode," Martin Created a 45 rpm Record of "Electronic Music" in the Early 1960s
We won't find the first rock and roll record but in the search we will find the roots of our post WWII generation's musical sensibilities.

Bought by KFCF FM, KPRG, Prairie Public, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], Delmarva Public Media and more


  • Added: Sep 20, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:01
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The "Bob" In The Machine
Three of the most individual songwriters, Slim Gaillard, Randy Newman, and Martin Mull, sing about cities.

Bought by Delmarva Public Media and WYAP


  • Added: Sep 13, 2023
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Clinger Sisters
Music from the post WWII era when a fundamental world-wide musical change was recorded under the undefined phrase, "rock and roll." We search fo...

Bought by KFCF FM, Prairie Public, Delmarva Public Media, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], KSLU and more


  • Added: Sep 12, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: My Father
The swirls of the radio muse continue to enchant after the highly planned regular three hour radio show. Turn over the aether to the unfeeling rob...

Bought by WYAP


  • Added: Sep 05, 2023
  • Length: 01:21:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Missfits
Late night radio. Daytime distractions are smothered under darkness and silence. Our minds focus on our most important matters. Our deepest buri...

Bought by KPRG, KFCF FM, Prairie Public, KSLU, Delmarva Public Media and more


  • Added: Sep 04, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Jaime Brockett LP
Songs and sentiments from where the long sedimentary history of Great Plains of barren flatness were ripped open by an newer era's upthrust of the ...

Bought by Delmarva Public Media


  • Added: Aug 29, 2023
  • Length: 01:22:03
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The Liverbirds
Finding the first rock and roll record mean searching the music library of songs before rock and roll was popular. Back before it was even commerc...

Bought by KFCF FM, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], Prairie Public, Delmarva Public Media, WQCS and more


  • Added: Aug 28, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Nason putting his father's ashes in The Mississippi River after the Krewe Of St. Anne parade on Mardi Gras Day.  A few years later, Nason's ashes followed Nason's steps in the paraded and into the river.
Free form radio in the middle of the night where the surrounding darkness uncovers music and stories about ourselves. Tonight, music of youthful ...

Bought by WPVM 103.7


  • Added: Aug 28, 2023
  • Length: 01:58:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Fabulous Combo Kings
Two generations of experts and they still haven't found the first rock and roll song. The structure of their inquiry is generating too many "first...

Bought by WPVM 103.7, KPRG, KFCF FM, Delmarva Public Media, WQCS and more


  • Added: Aug 21, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 9
Caption: Van Morrison
It is 3am on Sunday morning. I've finished my formal show but the radio muse still whispers for more. It's free form radio. Unplanned, improvisa...

Bought by KFCF FM, KPRG, Prairie Public, and Delmarva Public Media


  • Added: Aug 17, 2023
  • Length: 58:53
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Slim Lay
To be first to create new art means you must start as unpopular so that is where we search for the first rock and roll song; in all the music you'v...

Bought by KFCF FM, KPRG, KSLU, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], Prairie Public and more


  • Added: Aug 15, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Skee Brothers
Searching for the first rock and roll song without regard to "hits" means finding surprises. Some beyond belief such as the competitors to the #1 ...

Bought by KPRG, KFCF FM, Prairie Public, WQCS, Delmarva Public Media and more


  • Added: Aug 08, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Washington Phillips
The mystery of who and what happens in heaven from scolding abstractions to humerous specifics, pop song lyrics have evolved over the last 100 year...

Bought by KFCF FM and Delmarva Public Media


  • Added: Aug 01, 2023
  • Length: 58:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Brothers Stick and Brownie McGhee
Popular songs done by the song's originators and if rock and roll broke up the orthodoxy, then Spike Jones could be considered the original rock an...

Bought by KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], WQCS, KETR-FM, and Prairie Public


  • Added: Jul 31, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Los Indonesios aka Black Dynamites
Rock and roll guitar instrumentals have always been a mainstay. Paraphrasing Dan Hicks, "All our songs are instrumentals but here's one we added l...

Bought by WYAP, KFCF FM, KPRG, Prairie Public, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio] and more


  • Added: Jul 24, 2023
  • Length: 02:56:56
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Sam Mateparae and the Rockin Rockers (New Zealand)
A variety of theme including lyrics about Alaska, Pig Latin, schoolyard chants, and twists on "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette" as we search for...

Bought by KFCF FM, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], Prairie Public, KPRG, Delmarva Public Media and more


  • Added: Jul 18, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 7
Piece image
Louisiana music, girl groups, and a cluster of musicians who played cowboys but would have musically fit better on Sugar Hill than the Black Hills....

Bought by KFCF FM, Prairie Public, KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio], KPRG, Delmarva Public Media and more


  • Added: Jul 12, 2023
  • Length: 02:56:59
  • Purchases: 6

  • Added: Jul 04, 2023
  • Length: 02:57:00
  • Purchases: 7