It's been a while since I posted a song by Erskine Hawkins. Let's bring him back this week.
A song I really like is “Rockin' Rollers' Jubilee”.
Rock and Roll is commonly named the music genre in the 1950s and then later more or less rock music in general. But the words “rocking” and “rolling” appeared much earlier.
I was wondering about the background of them and was doing some research about the use in Swing music.
Rocking and Rolling
On Wikipedia, I found this paragraph:
The phrase “rocking and rolling” originally described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but was used by the early twentieth century, both to describe the spiritual fervor of black church rituals and as a sexual analogy.
Various gospel, blues and swing recordings used the phrase before it became used more frequently – but still intermittently – in the 1940s, on recordings and in reviews of what became known as “rhythm and blues” music aimed at a black audience.
In 1942, Billboard magazine columnist Maurie Orodenker started to use the term “rock-and-roll” to describe upbeat recordings such as “Rock Me” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. By 1943, the “Rock and Roll Inn” in South Merchantville, New Jersey, was established as a music venue.
In the book “Country: The Twisted Roots Of Rock ‘n' Roll” by Nick Tosches, I found the following:
But the words such as juke, jazz, honky-tonk, and rock-and-roll are elusive. None of them was invented for the purpose of art; each seems to have its own pneuma, from which the art evolved, like dark, priveval word magick. […]
By the early thirties, rock-and-roll was more than a fuck-phrase. It described an elusive style of music, a new sensuality of rhythm. In 1931 Duke Ellington recorded “Rockin' in Rhythm” for Victor, and in 1934 Red Nichols cut the same piece for white folks.
In “Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round“, a film released by United Artists in the fall of 1934, the Boswell Sisters sang a song called “Rock and Roll“. It was written by Sidney Clare and Richard A. Whiting, a pair of Tin Pan Alley authors. […]
Then he listed many songs having Rockin' in the title, including our Song of the Week and wrote:
Almost all these records were by blacks, and all of them were popular among blacks.
So we can conclude, that rock-and-roll is a term originated by the african-american community, but like jazz (jass) and many other terms, no-one knows exactly, where it really came from resp. when it was first used.
Rockin' Rollers' Jubilee
Title: Rockin' Rollers' Jubilee
Artist: Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra
Tempo: 175 bpm
Dance: Lindy Hop, Balboa
You can find all the songs of the series also on my Spotify playlist.
Official hashtag of the series: #djcsotw
Do you like that song? What do you think about the series? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!