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: Vaqueros from MN
Integrated into the expected sound of the show, a narrative on art versus commercialism. Culminates with a hard close for membership in last two m...

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


  • Added: Sep 19, 2022
  • Length: 02:59:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Rickie Lee Jones
My friend Rickie Lee Jones pointed out to me the similarities between Mae West and all these contemporary singers. Hear it for yourself.

Bought by KFCF FM and KTAL-LP [Las Cruces Community Radio]


  • Added: Sep 14, 2022
  • Length: 21:56
  • Purchases: 2
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A focus on surf and vocal group harmony songs tonight. California can claim a regional, indigenous music; surf music. Ironically, the blonde Ca...

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


  • Added: Sep 14, 2022
  • Length: 03:58:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Mae West Sings Roy Head's "Treat Her Right."
It's the music that defines "us," the post WWII generation so why do we hear the same couple hundred songs over and over and over again? Not here,...

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


  • Added: Sep 07, 2022
  • Length: 02:59:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Rodney and the Blazers
In the early 1950s, before "Rock and Roll," before Elvis, there were "doo wop" bands. More broadly, there were vocal group harmony bands. Think o...

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


  • Added: Sep 01, 2022
  • Length: 03:58:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Willie Dixon
It wasn't exclusively "the blues" that started rock and roll. In previous shows we heard how the cha cha, mambo, bolero, and even sea shanty were ...

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


  • Added: Aug 22, 2022
  • Length: 04:59:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Les Rhythm Checkers
Tonight's search for the first rock and roll song focuses o girl groups, New Orleans music, and the aura of late night radio is the same aura of la...

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


  • Added: Aug 17, 2022
  • Length: 03:50:44
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: The Prophets
Starting with rock songs that were placed atop a mambo progression because rock has always been an undefined category of music.

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


  • Added: Aug 07, 2022
  • Length: 02:59:00
  • Purchases: 8
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The post-WWII musical culture was different. Something was happening. From the bottom up and all around the world, our ears opened up to an accep...

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


  • Added: Aug 02, 2022
  • Length: 03:00:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Chuck Miller Posing as Bob Dobbs
Brazilian rockabilly, hula songs, and the many ska musicians who write songs about fictional spies characters are what makes "us" - the post WWII r...

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


  • Added: Jul 26, 2022
  • Length: 03:32:50
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Johnny and the Jammers - Johnny Winter's Earliest Band
Back in the mechanical days, for a song to go "viral" required it to be associated with a dance that everyone wanted to learn. Up sprang the "Dan...

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


  • Added: Jul 19, 2022
  • Length: 03:59:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: PRX default Piece image
To convert the Rickie Lee Jones promo from my show to a general promo/station ID for your radio station, just edit out my show name and she'll say,...

Bought by KFCF FM and Prairie Public


  • Added: Jul 13, 2022
  • Length: 06:30
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Frogmen
A piano uses 230 strings while a diddley bow uses one string and between there's all different string counts. Tonight, we start with musicians pl...

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


  • Added: Jul 13, 2022
  • Length: 02:59:00
  • Purchases: 6
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A twist on the "bird bands" names of the 1950s, the first two hours feature bands named after ... fabrics. Tweeds, wool, cotton, velvet, denim, s...

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


  • Added: Jul 05, 2022
  • Length: 03:00:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Vilas Craig
Ritchie Valens made it as a big success without "passing." That is; without sacrificing his Chicano ethnicity but when he "passed away" the record...

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


  • Added: Jun 27, 2022
  • Length: 03:58:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Fletcher Smith
After airing well over 40,000 potential first rock and roll songs over the last 16 years, we find that the first rock and roll song has more to do ...

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


  • Added: Jun 20, 2022
  • Length: 03:00:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Tracey Dey
The conjoinment of music to dance is assumed but before rock and roll, it was big band swing with musicians like Artie Shaw filling huge arenas wit...

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


  • Added: Jun 09, 2022
  • Length: 04:17:17
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Monte Easter in Los Angeles 1990
It's always an audio history of the first rock and roll records focusing on the pioneers instead of the tired old "hits." It's perfect for public ...

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


  • Added: Jun 03, 2022
  • Length: 02:57:01
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Rhythm Rockers
This weeks searches are in vocal group harmony bands, boleros, and girl groups. Not Motown or Phil Spector girl groups because we present "Music y...

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


  • Added: May 24, 2022
  • Length: 04:14:43
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: Eddie Seacrest and the Rollin Rockets
Thoughts on "group harmony" as a category of music (including "doo wop" and the wide range of group vocals with instrumentation). This music was e...

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


  • Added: May 19, 2022
  • Length: 04:04:55
  • Purchases: 5