Jackie Brenston

Rocket 88

Composed by Jackie Brenston

Song Review by

Ike Turner carved a niche for himself as a noted blues pianist long before his rock 'em, sock 'em marriage to Annie Mae Bullock (Tina Turner), and as the creator of what many call the first rock & roll record, the immortal "Rocket 88." Sam Philips recorded the number in 1951 with Ike Turner & His Kings of Rhythm Band in Memphis, TN, then shipped it off to Chess Records credited as, without Ike's knowledge, Jackie Brenston & the Delta Cats -- a surprise to Ike. Even more surprisingly, Ike wrote the song but Brenston received the credit on the label. Brenston played tenor sax in Ike's band, and the unexpected fame swelled his head so much that he left Ike to go solo but never tasted success again. The song pays homage to the Oldsmobile model Rocket 88; at the time, the car had one of the biggest V8 engines you could find other than the Cadillac and the luxury model Olds. The song made Philips enough money to start Sun Records, where he recorded the likes of B. B. King, Junior Parker, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1959
Various Artists
Chess
The Sun Story [Rhino] 1987
Various Artists
Rhino
Blue Flames: Sun Blues Collection 1990
Various Artists
Rhino
Car & Driver: Greatest Car Songs and Other Lost Treasures of the Road 1992
Various Artists
Compose Records 2:49
The Sun Records Collection [Rhino] 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 2:47
Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994 1996
Various Artists
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings 2:41
Going All the Way 1997
Original Soundtrack
Verve / Polygram 2:47
Verve New Releases: September 1997 1997
Various Artists
Verve 2:47
Jumpin' Jive: Jump Blues Essentials 1999
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:49
Hot Rods & Custom Classics 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:46
Loud, Fast & Out of Control: The Wild Sounds of the '50s [Box] 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:49
Soundtrack Jams, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:51
Soundtrack Jams 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:51
The Sun Records Story 2001
Various Artists
Charly Records
Say It Loud! A Celebration of Black Music in America [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 2:49
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Prism Leisure 2:50
No Image 2002
Various Artists
Charly Records
An Introduction to the Blues: 60 Blues Guitar Greats 2003
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd.
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: The Road to Memphis[Original Soundtrack] 2003
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O 2:50
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
R&B Hits of 1951 2003
Various Artists
Indigo
Rock & Roll: 50th Anniversary Collection 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:46
Crazy 'Bout an Automobile 2004
Various Artists
Ace 2:47
The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll: 1946-1954 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:48
Memphis Celebrates 50 Years of Rock 'n' Roll 2004
Various Artists
BMG / BMG Heritage 2:48
The R&B Years 1951 2004
Various Artists
Boulevard Vintage 2:49
100 Rhythm & Blues Classics 2005
Various Artists
Castle Pulse 2:50
Trains & Cars 2005
Various Artists
Document
Space Guitar & Deathray Boogie 2006
Various Artists
Buzzola
Oldies But Goldies [Documents] 2006
Various Artists
Document 2:49
The Blues Had a Baby...They Called It Rock 'N' Roll 2006
Various Artists
Primo Records 2:50
The Legendary Sounds of Sun Studios 2006
Various Artists
Metro Triples 2:52
One for the Money: The Birth of Rock 'N' Roll [DVD] 2006
Various Artists
Passport Audio
The Rock 'N' Roll Explosion: 120 Hits That Rocked the World 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:51
The Mistreater 2007 Shout! / Rev-Ola Records 2:47
Rockin' Memphis 2008
Various Artists
Proper Box 2:51
Rock 'N' Roll [Intro] 2008
Various Artists
Intro 2:49
The Roots of Jimi Hendrix 2008
Various Artists
Snapper 2:48
100 Percent Blues 2009
Various Artists
Union Square Music / 100 Percent 2:50
A Complete Introduction to Chess 2010
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution 2:49
Juke Box Jive: Essential Rock 'n' Roll 2011
Various Artists
Metro Select 2:51
Truck Stop: Rock 'n' Roll Driving Songs 2014
Various Artists
Metro Tins
No Image
Various Artists
Broken Audio 2:48
Hot Hundred: Hits of the 50s
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:49
I Just Love Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:49
I Just Love Truckin'
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:49
Little Box of Halloween
Various Artists
Chrome Dreams / Enlightenment 2:48
Memphis Blues Collection: Elvis Presley & The Songs That Drove Him Wild
Various Artists
Chrome Dreams 2:47
No Image
Various Artists
X5 2:46
Original Hits From the 50's
Various Artists
10Ten Media 2:47
The Vintage Collection: Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:49
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