Music has no color, borders are boundaries. Music transcends all walks of life. Still when you think of country music, you think whites. When you think of hip-hop, you think Black. Many people might not know though, that Rock and Roll like hip hop was once considered Black music. Somewhere along the way the music got taken over or hijacked.
Ike Turner, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is credited by many rock historians with making the first rock ‘n’ roll record, “Rocket 88,” in 1951. Produced by the legendary Sam Phillips, it was groundbreaking for its use of distorted electric guitar. But as would be the case for most of his career, Turner, a prolific session guitarist and piano player, was not the star on the record — it was recorded with Turner’s band but credited to singer Jackie Brenston.
Say what? I will be the first to admit that I don’t know much about the history of American music. To be quite frank, apart from hip hop I really don’t know that much. If I had to guess, common sense would have told me that rock ‘n’ roll got some of its influences from Rhythm and Blues. Even reggae has some R&B influences indirectly. Reggae is a child of ska and ska had some R&B influences.
I heard Little Richard mentioned that he never got his just due for what he contributed to rock ‘n’ roll. I also heard of who stole what from whom, i.e. Elvis Presley stealing a lot of his materials from soul and R&B singers. However, never in a thousand years would I have guessed that the first ever rock ‘n’ roll record was made by Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston. I did not even know he was in the Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of fame. Every time I heard his name, it was in the context of beating Tina Turner. It is sad that it is only at his death that I am realizing that the man was a legend. I always thought it was all about Tina, and Ike just happened to be her man, kind of like Oprah and Steadman (minus the beatings and Gayle King).
Well, today I learned that there was more to Ike than beating on Tina. I hope others who don’t know will learn of his accomplishments too.