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.

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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
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Songs about eating watermelons, Route 16, a trampoline, too much makeup, Barber of Saville, drunks at the front door, gun-toting drunken monkeys wh...

  • Added: May 18, 2013
  • Length: 02:55:52
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Music you've never heard by musicians you've never heard of. Americana music from the 1950s to 70's. Collector's music. Playing another "no hitt...

  • Added: Nov 19, 2012
  • Length: 04:08:52
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Another Saturday night in the French Quarter. Music you've never heard by musicians you've never heard of... Collector's music. Music from the 1...

  • Added: Nov 13, 2012
  • Length: 02:35:42
Caption: Music for your one hour of criminality
You're allowed to re-live the hour that we set our clocks back. It's like erasing that hour and re-recording it. Perhaps the greatest holiday eve...

  • Added: Nov 05, 2012
  • Length: 03:54:41
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Heavy on the mini-themes not available in normal radio (baseball and eanie meenie miny moe songs) with the usual "music you've never heard by music...

Bought by KPIP-LP


  • Added: Oct 29, 2012
  • Length: 02:56:56
  • Purchases: 1
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The music that emerged when the separation line between race records and popular music dissolved. Americana roots music that you've never heard fr...

Bought by KPIP-LP


  • Added: Oct 14, 2012
  • Length: 02:55:27
  • Purchases: 1
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Music from before David Bowie, Lou Reed, Harry Nillson, Vanilla Fudge and others found their commercial sound. Guess what? It sounded like what w...

Bought by Prairie Public


  • Added: May 20, 2013
  • Length: 03:02:24
  • Purchases: 1
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Music you've never heard by musicians you've never heard of... A night of great interstitials from the Firesign Theater and a reading and music ab...

  • Added: May 20, 2013
  • Length: 02:48:30
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Another Saturday night and I ain't got no flooding in my house.

Bought by KPIP-LP


  • Added: Oct 02, 2012
  • Length: 02:57:19
  • Purchases: 1
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Ferrato's Later On Decatur and a round of "before they were."

  • Added: May 19, 2013
  • Length: 02:38:09
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A long game of "before they were..." A game for tracking a musician's output from before they found their sound (or were branded with a sound). O...

  • Added: Jan 06, 2013
  • Length: 03:10:23
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The countdown, "10, 9, 8, 7, ... Blastoff" is embedded in everyone's brainstem and it shows up in plenty of songs from the 50's to the 70s. An hou...

  • Added: Nov 13, 2012
  • Length: 59:58
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Songs about the hot dog and for some reason the interstitial sound clips were working well tonight.

  • Added: Jan 07, 2013
  • Length: 02:54:26
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Mountain Oysters and New Orleans music. It's just won't work in text so as the philosopher-king Bullwinkle says, "Just listen..."

  • Added: Dec 03, 2012
  • Length: 02:58:15
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A culling of the over-heard. There are about 150 songs that repeatedly assault your ears in public places. The over-heard. Tonight, we cull them...

  • Added: Dec 02, 2012
  • Length: 02:58:37
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Three hours of music you've never heard by musicians you've never heard of. Collector's music so that you don't need to spend your adulthood in yo...

  • Added: Apr 04, 2013
  • Length: 02:55:29
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Music you've never heard by musicians you've never heard of. Presented in goofy themes for reasons that I've forgotten.

  • Added: Feb 10, 2013
  • Length: 02:55:29
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Robert Moulton the singing cab driver drops in with ... oh it's too goofy to write about but he had me laughing at his audacity. Also songs with d...

  • Added: Feb 04, 2013
  • Length: 03:03:04
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You can hear echos of Guitar Slim's eight-second riff in hundreds of songs (but we'll only hear a few of them). Also music about the 99 versus 1 p...

  • Added: Jan 01, 2013
  • Length: 03:08:21
Caption: Me on Mardi Gras Day 2009, Credit: Storkleg
Also the night that started the "He lurks..." intro to Sam's show.

  • Added: Dec 03, 2012
  • Length: 02:17:00