Jackie Brenston

Rocket 88

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 / Warner Bros. 0:00
Blue Flames: Sun Blues Collection 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 2:49
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Roots of Rock - 1945-1956 1990
Various Artists
2:49
Car & Driver: Greatest Car Songs and Other Lost Treasures of the Road 1992
Various Artists
Compose Records 2:49
The R&B Box: 30 Years of Rhythm & Blues 1994
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Bros.
The Sun Records Collection [Rhino] 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 2:47
Rhythm Rockin' Blues 1995 Ace 0:00
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
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
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Rock & Roll: 50th Anniversary Collection 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:46
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
Sun Records Collection [Pazzazz] 2005
Various Artists
Pazzazz 2:49
100 Rhythm & Blues Classics 2005
Various Artists
Castle Pulse 2:50
Best of Sun Records, Vol. 1 2005
Various Artists
Pazzazz 2:49
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
Plug It In! Turn It Up! Electric Blues - The Definitive Collection, Pt. 1: Beginnings 1939-1954 2012
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:49
Elvis Presley: The Songs He Loved and Those That Loved Him 2017 Enlightenment / Enlightenment Series 2:47
1951 R&B Hits Collection
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:49
Memphis Blues Collection: Elvis Presley & The Songs That Drove Him Wild
Various Artists
Chrome Dreams 2:47
Original Hits From the 50's
Various Artists
10Ten Media