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Black Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers

Artist Song Buy
Chuck Berry  Brown Eyed Handsome Man   buy on itunes
Little Richard  Tutti Frutti   buy on itunes
Bo Diddley  Bo Diddley   buy on itunes
The Coasters  That Is Rock and Roll   buy on itunes
Big Joe Turner  Shake, Rattle and Roll   buy on itunes
His Delta Cats & Jackie Brenston  Rocket 88   buy on itunes
Wynonie Harris  Good Rockin’ Tonight   buy on itunes
Chubby Checker  The Twist   buy on itunes
Huey Piano Smith  Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu   buy on itunes
Screamin' Jay Hawkins  You Ain't Foolin' Me   buy on itunes
Larry Williams  Slow Down   buy on itunes
Little Willie John  Leave My Kitten Alone   buy on itunes
Amos Milburn  Chicken Shack Boogie   buy on itunes
Roy Hamilton  Don't Let Go   buy on itunes
LaVern Baker  Voodoo Voodoo   buy on itunes
Ruth Brown  This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'   buy on itunes
Esquerita  Rockin' the Joint   buy on itunes


Rock 'n' roll may have had a white King, but from its first song to its [i]greatest[/i] songs, the royal court had a far different complexion. If Jackie Brenston wasn't the luckiest man in pop history, he sure was close, because it's his name — and not real bandleader Ike Turner's — on the label of "Rocket 88," the boogiefied jump blues that many consider to be the first rock song ever. Our country cousins in Britain, specifically at [i]Mojo[/i] magazine, cite the [i]wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom[/i] eruption of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" as the sound of rock being born, and stuck it at the top of their list of "100 Records That Changed the World." And the Crescent City's resident Big Man, Fats Domino (whose band backed Little Richard on "Tutti Frutti"), pounds out semihemidemiquavers on the ivories while pouring out his broken heart in "Ain't That a Shame." From Little Willie John to Big Joe Turner, we've got all the groundbreakers that not only laid rock 'n' roll's foundation, but also — with songs like Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" — paved the way for Black Pride and the Civil Rights Movement.
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