Rock The Joint

Album: From Western Swing To Rock (1952)
Charted: 20

Songfacts®:

  • This is the song that Bill Haley himself claimed launched Rock 'n' Roll. In Bill Haley: The Daddy of Rock and Roll, his biographer John Swenson relates how he came to record it. Haley was working in the Twin Bars night club near the Philadelphia Naval Yard when he heard a song called "Rock The Joint" which was played by a disc jockey named Jim Reeves [not THE Jim Reeves]. Reeves was white but he played "race music," meaning black music. Haley liked the song and re-wrote some of the words.
  • The British Library, the national library of Britain, holds a copy of the sheet music of "Rock The Joint" headed Professional Copy: "Words and Music by Grafton, Keene & Bagby." It is copyrighted by Andrea Music of Philadelphia, 1952.

    The name Grafton should actually read Crafton, as in Harry Crafton, Wendell "Don" Keane and Harry "Doc" Bagby. The song begins: "We're gonna tear down the mail box and rip up the floor."
  • Haley released his version on Essex Music in 1952 as Bill Haley And The Saddlemen. It was the B Side of "Icy Heart," but was obviously a much better song; the same guitar solo would be repeated on the smash hit "Rock Around The Clock." As claimed in Haley's biography, "Rock The Joint" was "the first national hit to become an anthem for schoolkids." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

Comments: 2

  • Bob from Los Angeles, MsHow can people say That's All Right (Mama) is the first Rock And Roll record when this song was released in '52? If you are going to give that honor to a white guy, it has to go to Bill Haley.
  • Robert from Houston, TxReverend Horton Heat covered this on their album "It's Martini Time."
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