Archive for the ‘50’s r’n’r’ Category

Sylvia Robinson has died


The only way to make love worthwhile is without caution. 

from wikipedia: Mickey & Sylvia was an American R & B duo, composed of Mickey “Guitar” Baker and Sylvia Robinson. They were the first big seller for Groove Records. Mickey was a music instructor and Sylvia one of his pupils. Baker was inspired to form the group by the success of Les Paul and Mary Ford. They had a Top 20 hit with “Love Is Strange” in 1957. The record sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The duo eventually bought their own nightclub, established a publishing company,  and formed their own record label.  Although Mickey & Sylvia disbanded by the end of the 1950s, they continued to record together on an infrequent basis until 1965, when Mickey quit the music industry in the United States. After that, Mickey had a successful reer as a session musician, moving to Paris. Sylvia had a hit record in 1973 with “Pillow Talk,” and  later assisted in the formation of the Sugar Hill rap label. She died on the morning of September 29, 2011, aged 75, at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey from congestive heart failure.

mickey & sylvia – love is strange

Is this the first rock & roll song?



“Dance First. Think later. It’s the natural order.” – Samuel Beckett

Jackie Breston & His Delta Cats featuring Ike Turner on guitar doing  “Rocket 88” recorded in 1951 is reputed to be the first rock & roll song. Not the first song to feature the words but the first example of what would become the dominant musical style of the coming decade. The honking sax, the rollicking piano but especially the scuzzy sound of that guitar, all became hallmarks of the best of early rock & roll and the song still kicks it today. The story goes that the band drove all night from Kansas City to Chess Records in Chicago for their studio recording début. Once there, it was discovered that a hole had been punched in the guitar amp from either the travel or getting it in or out of the trunk of the car the band rode in, hence the lo-fi rumble & fuzz sound of the guitar on this record.

Jackie Breston & His Delta Cats (ft. Ike Turner on guitar) – Rocket 88 (1951)