Old Jeremiah

Album: Folk Music Of The United States Album III (1934)
  • What would you say about a song that begins:

    Oh my Lord
    Oh my Lordy
    Well, well, well
    I've gotta rock
    You gotta rock

    It sounds like a rather puerile attempt by a fledgling rock band, however, "Old Jeremiah" is actually a song popular with African Americans way back in the 1930s. The great folklorists, father and son John and Alan Lomax, recorded a version at Jennings, Louisiana in June 1934.

    This is perhaps the oldest reference to "rock" in a purely musical sense, and shows the debt later generations of rock musicians - overwhelmingly white - owe to their spiritual forefathers in the Deep South. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


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