Various Artists

Rock & Roll, Vol. 4: 1948

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Rock & roll music scholars debate when the genre really began and which artist produced its first recording. But critics can agree that the music which defined a generation had its roots in the blues and rhythm & blues artists of the 1940s. Many of those early artists were African Americans who saw their songs recorded by young white musicians who liked their music so well they thought they wrote it. Setting aside the important issues of copyright piracy and musical equities, the kaleidoscope of contributors to the rock & roll idiom makes for interesting listening. This CD is part of a series that goes back to those days in the 1940s before rock & roll had a name and started a cultural revolution. This volume focuses on the year 1948, when an avalanche of great music was released, all bearing the throbbing beat that was to characterize the music later called rock & roll. Many of the artists on the album are well known to mainstream listeners: John Lee Hooker, Harry Choates, Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, Wynonie Harris, and Lightnin' Hopkins, to name a few. But they comprise only a small part of the wide array of artists featured on this album. The music enthusiast will be edified by hearing selections from the likes of Cat Anderson, Hankshaw Hawkins, Pee Wee King, the Buchanan Brothers, Spade Cooley, Eddie Shaw & the Wolf Gang, and many more. Hank Williams makes the list of rock & roll influences, turning in a scorching version of "The Blues Come Around." The influence of Southern blues is apparent in tunes like King Porter's "Chittlin' Ball," Curly Williams' "Georgia Boogie," and "Hole in the Wall Tonight" performed by Albinia Jones. Blue Lu Barker belts out "Here's a Little Girl," a song penned for her by her husband, Danny Barker, who accompanies her on guitar. If one ever wondered where the term "Let's Boogie!" came from, this album will set the record straight with one great boogie after another. When the CD is over, there is bound to be a better appreciation of where rock & roll came from and where it was going from the vantage point of the year 1948.

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