If Lovin' Is Believin'

Album: Move Baby Move (1954)

Songfacts®:

  • Could this be the first heavy metal record? Nick Duckett of Rhythmandbluesrecords explains:

    In January 1954, when Ike Turner brought the young singer to Philips' attention, he was playing a curious hybrid of black and white music using nursery rhyme lyrics and cheerleader chants. Billy 'The Kid' Emerson released five singles under his name between 1954 and 1956, but his first release was one of the strangest of all rhythm and blues records. Taken at a slow pace, it starts off with the band doubling on a riff that wouldn't be out of place on a British heavy blues rock album from the late '60s. Deep Purple eat your heart out. The verse finds Billy singing along to something resembling a slow baion rhythm, which would be used some ten years later in pop by Leiber and Stoller with the Drifters, and also notably by the Kingsmen on "Louie Louie." Where Billy heard it, the Lord only knows, and it didn't do the disc any good either - like all the singles he released, it bombed.
  • Recorded in Memphis in January 1954 and released on Sun 195, the performers on this song were Billy Emerson, (vocals, piano) Oliver Sain (alto sax) Eugene Fox (tenor sax), Ike Turner (guitar), Jesse Knight (bass) and Willie Sims (drums).
  • Bob Dylan borrowed heavily from this tune for his 2020 song "False Prophet."

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