Rocket 88

Album: Chicago Blues, Volume 2 (1951)
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  • You woman have heard of jalopies
    You heard the noise they make
    Let me introduce you to my Rocket '88
    Yes, it's great, just won't wait
    Everybody likes my Rocket '88
    Baby, we'll will ride in style movin' all along

    V-8 motor and this modern design
    Black convertible top and the girls don't mind
    Sportin' with me, ridin' all around town for joy
    Blow your horn, rocket, blow your horn

    Step in my rocket and don't be late
    We're pullin' out about a half past eight
    Goin' on the corner and havin' some fun
    Takin' my rocket on a long, hot run
    Ooh, goin' out, oozin' and cruisin' and havin' fun

    Now that you've ridden in my Rocket '88
    I'll be around every night about eight
    You know it's great, don't be late
    Everybody likes my Rocket '88
    Girls will ride in style, movin' all along Writer/s: JACKIE BRENSTON
    Publisher: Royalty Network, Songtrust Ave, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 10

  • George from Vancouver, Canadaconsider for first rock & roll record: "Caldonia" by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. Deffo not Darlene Love - it's not Rock really at all.
  • Orby from Ellenton, Fl, FlRocket 88 was a Rhythm and Blues song, there were no Rock and Roll charts at the time. Rock and Roll was created after Elvis got going. "Christmas" )Baby please come home" by Darlene Love was the first rock and roll song in 1963.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationUK Radiooresenteur Mark Radcliffe wrote in His 'Reelin' in the Years' Book: It's generally accepted that the first rock'n'roll record was 'Rocket 88' recorded in 1951 by Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm. Strictly speaking a rhythm and blues song, it had a new, aggressive, distorted sound allegedly resulting from rainwater getting into Ike's amplifier in the boot of his car. Another version of the tale has the same amp falling from a roof rack and suffering significant damage. Whichever you choose to believe it seems that the birth of rock'n'roll owes something to Ike Turner's very casual attitude to automobile maintenance and/or road safety. A trip down to the Memphis branch of Halfords would surely have resulted in the purchase of some of those little stretchy rope things, which would have secured the precious roof-rack cargo. Let's give Ike the benefit of the doubt, as the long-suffering Tina often did, and say it was half-day closing.
  • Jon from Destin, FlPhillips formed Sun Records in Feb 1952, not 1954.

    Elvis' first Sun release (209) was in July 1954. So how could Phillips have "discovered" Elvis in 1955? Besides, it was his Secretary Marion that "discovered" the talent and notified her Boss after recording a $4.00 acetate of Elvis' 'My Happiness' in Aug 1953.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Cavery funky record.....(in a good way)
  • Blah from Edmonton, Canada rocket 88 is a great song by a fantastic musician (ike, although it was NOT the first rock n roll record/song.
    Contrary to what music 'historians' or Rolling Stone says, rock n roll can be traced as far back as 1924 with Hersal Thomas and Jimmy Blythe playing what then was called 'boogie woogie' piano.
    boogie woogie progressions are exactly the same as rocket 88 or any rock n roll progressions. It is the I-IV-V chord progression that is played at a fast pace. That WAS rock n roll. in 1930 Pinetop Smith was playing boogie woogie with his song 'Pinetop boogie woogie', in the 30's Count Basie with 'One O' Clock Jump'-THAT was a rock n roll song, Benny Goodman with 'Boy Meets Girl', or any bebop musicians in the 40's with 'Billie's Bounce'.
    As you can see rock n' roll cannot be traced to a single musician. Even if Hersal Thomas was one of the first KNOWN musicians to play rock n roll/boogie woogie, like Little Richard took the piano roll from Rocket 88, Hersal Thomas may have taken the rock n roll piano roll from even earlier musicians.
    However, if you still disagree with me, I have one more piece of evidence. Fats Domino, everyone knows him as one of the men from the 50's who POPULARIZED (not created) rock n roll. His 1949 song (yes 2 years BEFORE rocket 88) called 'The Fat Man' is rock n roll, just like Count Basie, or Benny Goodman.
    So there's my rant for the day. Email me at if you still think i'm wrong.
  • Darrell from EugeneThe Olds Rocket 88 was a good car. My parents had a 1952. It was fast, I got lots of speeding tickets in it (4 to be exact) and it was comfortable, but its only drawbacks were its propensity for losing its chrome plating and its extremely high fuel consumption (about 10 mpg if I remember correctly.)
  • Frank from Fort Myers, Fljust a great song way ahead of its time, underated ,,, the omega of music
  • Jameson from Lexington, KyIn the movie "Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension", when Buckaroo and those hard-rockin' scientists, the Hong Kong Cavaliers take the stage, this is the song they open with. They only get about thirty seconds into it, but the sound is unmistakable.
  • Ted from Loveland, Co"Rocket 88", a rhythm and blues song from 1951 claimed by Sun Records owner and pioneer rock and roll record producer Sam Phillips as "the first rock and roll song".
    The record was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, but the band did not actually exist. The song was written by Ike Turner and recorded by him with his band, the Kings of Rhythm. Brenston (1930-1979) was a saxophonist with Turner and also sang the vocal on "Rocket 88", a hymn of praise to the joys of the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 automobile (see: Oldsmobile 88), which had just been introduced in 1949. Brenston also was given author credit not Turner; it is now agreed that Brenston's contribution was overstated for obscure, non-musical reasons.

    Working from the raw material of jump blues and swing combo music, Turner made it even rawer, starting with a strongly stated back beat and superimposing Brenston's enthusiastic vocals and tenor saxophone solos by "Raymond" and Brenston. The song also features one of the first examples of distorted, or fuzz guitar ever recorded. Reportedly, a speaker was damaged on Highway 61 when the band was driving from Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee but Phillips liked the sound and used it.

    "Rocket 88" is the prototype for hundreds of other rock and roll records in musical style and lineup, not to mention its lyrics in which an automobile serves as a metaphor for romantic prowess.

    The claim that "Rocket 88" was the first rock and roll record is perhaps overstated, but it was the second-biggest rhythm and blues single of 1951 and much more influential than some other "first" claimants. "Rocket 88" was successfully covered by Bill Haley and his Comets early in his career, leading to his own impact on popular music. Turner's piano introduction was copied note for note by Little Richard on his "Lucille" several years after that.

    Brenston left Turner's band after the record's success and released several more singles between 1951 and 1953, but they were slavish copies of the original and had little success. Brenston rejoined Turner's band as a saxophonist in 1957 and continued with him until 1965.
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