Discerning the identity of the first rock & roll record has been a source of debate for decades, but Lloyd Price will confidently assure you it was his own "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" that started the ball rolling. Cut March 13, 1952, in Price's hometown of New Orleans at Cosimo Matassa's famed J&M Studios, the groundbreaking eight-bar blues was aimed straight at the teen market (Price was then one himself). His heartbroken vocal wails loud and strong over rolling 88s supplied by a moonlighting Fats Domino, already an established Crescent City star by then; the rest of the crew assembled by producer/trumpeter Dave Bartholomew was equally stellar, including tenor saxman Herb Hardesty and drummer Earl Palmer. The song title was inspired by local DJ James "Okey Dokey" Smith, an early mentor to Price who exuberantly advised his faithful listeners, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy, eat Mother's Homemade Pies and drink Maxwell House coffee!" Bartholomew heard Price perform "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," dug it, and recommended the young singer to Specialty Records boss Art Rupe, who felt the same way. Once pressed up on Los Angeles-based Specialty, the tune climbed to the very top of the R&B charts, attracting sizable crossover sales as well. Price recut "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" at a faster tempo for a 1959 ABC-Paramount album in the wake of his smash "Stagger Lee"; the upbeat groove was reminiscent of Elvis Presley's sizzling 1956 cover for RCA Victor (the same year Price provided his own sequel with a driving "Forgive Me Clawdy" for Specialty).