What's the oldest rock n roll song you know? When did it come out?
If your answer after 1949, you may want to think again.
Until recently, I wasn't familiar with Louis Jordan's "Saturday Night Fish Fry." But now I am. How I ran across it is ... well, there's a story.
A long time ago, on the SiriusXM radio in the car, I had several of the Decades channels on the presets. 40s on 4, 50s on 5, 60s on 6, 70s on 7, and 80s on 8. I stopped after the 80s because I know what music from the 90s and later sounds like. But the thing that might surprise some is the 40s on 4.
Some of the songs from the 40s are songs that I would listen to as far back as high school. Not many back during my high school days, but some. And as time has gone on, I find more and more from the 40s are songs I'd listen to. I have a few songs from the 40s on my iPhone for occasional listening. Which means my listening might consist of a sampling of Beatles, Pink Floyd, Merle Haggard, The Who, Aerosmith, Glenn Miller, Bob Seger, Joe Walsh, and Nat King Cole.
I was a little disappointed when SiriusXM did a reworking of the channels some time back and 40s on 4 disappeared. Channel 75 Pops disappeared at the same time. I was not a happy camper.
Anyway, the other day, I noticed that right below Channel 74 Met Opera Radio was Channel 73 40s Junction. So, I added that back to my presets, just ahead of 50s on 5.
Now that we're all caught up, I have noticed that when I switch channels because I'd rather hear something else, that when I stop on 40s Junction, I'm not so quick to change to something else. So, I'll drive for some time listening to that.
Well, the other day, right after Glenn Miller (or Benny Goodman, or Artie Shaw, you get the idea) something called "Saturday Night Fish Fry" started playing. I looked over to see if I was still on 40s Junction, or if I had hit the Next button on the steering wheel and moved to 50s on 5.
Nope. Hadn't moved. Was still on 40s Junction, listening to what sounded like a rock n roll song.
Now, I have heard some 50s songs -- songs from as late as 1955, the traditional start of the "rock n roll era" -- on 40s Junction. But, I made a note to look this song up. 1949.
That's rock n roll before there was rock n roll.
If you know of an earlier rock n roll song, let me know.