Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Father of Rock Is Dead

Rock/Pop/Soul music has a lot of key leadership position that have been filled:

"The King" of Rock: Elvis Presley
Godfather of Soul: James Brown
King of Pop: Michael Jackson

and some lesser known ones:

Grandfather of Grunge: Neil Young

If Elvis is the "King," who is the "Queen?" Doing a quick Google search, I find that Freddie Mercury's band Queen is actually Queen of Rock...not exactly what I was going for here...the other name that I see a few times is Tina Turner, which is not a name I would have thought of at first but the more you know about her career and her early early music the label of "Queen of Rock" makes sense.

Tina Turner is forever connected to her ex-husband Ike Turner. Mr. Turner died today at the age of 76. I'll let MSNBC sum up why, although Tina may be the Queen of Rock, Ike was the Father of Rock:

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.

And it would be another singer — a young woman named Anna Mae Bullock — who would bring Turner his greatest fame, and infamy.

Ike Turner -- Rocket 88
This version comes from the Sun Records collection The Blues Came Down From Memphis.