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on 23 December 2011
It's not only rock'n'roll, but I like it all! Probably, ever since the mid-1950s, music fans have argued long into the night, about which was the first rock'n'roll record. Popularly, it is considered generally to be 'Rock Around the Clock' by Bill Haley and His Comets. This excellent three-CD set includes two different versions of Rock Around the Clock, curiously one credited to two or three writers, while the other version is considered to be 'anonymous'. It must be the old payola roll blues... I set each of the three CDs playing in different rooms around the house on random and shuffle and left them playing for days on end, a worthy testament to this excellent set. It includes tracks going as far back as, believe it or not, 1916 and, right up to the early- and mid-fifties. 80-odd tracks, vying to be the first rock'n'roll record! I don't think it answers the question, 'Which was the first rock'n'roll record?', but it certainly generates a lot of discussion. Rock'n'roll was a fortuitous mix of many different musical styles coming together, and, 50 to 60 years on I don't think we can ever answer the question but it is interesting to discuss it. Here we have blues, jazz, rhythm-and-blues, Western swing and country music, Honky Tonk, Boogie, and even a little bit of Woogie! You could spend hours arguing about the difference between honky tonk, barrel house, and juke joint blues, nearly as long as discussing the different purposes of these mysterious and alluring buildings. I have memories from the late seventies talking about music, with an old man, who could remember being chastised by his mother in the mid-1930s for listening to rhythm music or as she put it '...that rock'n'roll music...' so even the phrase is hard to date. Alan Freed may have popularised it, but I doubt he named it.

I have long considered the 1947 recording by Hank Williams, 'Move it on Over', to be a strong contender for the first rock'n'roll record, and equally so Fats Domino's 1947 recording 'The Fat Man'. Recently I heard the same tune recorded in the very early 1940s, as 'They call me the Junk Man', by Champion Jack Dupree, absent here but equally plausible. 1952's Rocket 88, by Jackie Brenston is another much-mooted contender. Anyone who has found this review will be overwhelmed by the scope of this collection, and any music fan will love arguing for or against the inclusion of every single track. The compilation of this set must have been a labour of love, based on a long out-of-print book discussing the same subject. It's very hard to fault this collection, but purely for balance, it is a little difficult to read the extensive sleeve notes booklet, due to the choice of colours, and also a few more early 1950s records by white artists would have been welcome. Any of 10 year-old Larry Collins' vibrantly youthful contributions, along with his searing twin-necked guitar would not have been out of place. (Check him out, ably supporting his elder sister Laurie, one-time girlfriend of a young Ricky Nelson) Take my advice, buy this set and put one CD on in each room, as I did and, while we'll never know which was the first rock'n' roll record, be assured that rock'n'roll is here to stay.

Martin H. Watson
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on 14 May 2012
I was recommened this CD by my DJ buddy in Tucson Arizona It was well worth purchasing Lots of obscure sounds from the beggining of Rock n Roll Good booklet as well with plenty of info about each song Some stuff even I did know !!!! Would recommend it to any one who is in to the history of recorded muzak. VinylPaul :-)
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on 13 March 2012
The material on these cd's is incredible and thanks to the present availability in the public domain ,a bargain price. Of course , in common with most cd booklets, you need A1 vision to read the content.
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on 29 January 2012
The First Rock And Roll Record

Whilst I have yet to buy this CD I do have the majority of the tracks in my collection. As an historical overview its a great set and a recommended buy, but if you feel this set can settle the debate as to the first rock'n'roll record then forget it. It ia an impossibility to identify this record, simply because rock'n'roll developed organically from various previous styles of music. It was not conceived but merely happened gradually, and I'll be ever thankful that I was there at the start here in Britain in the mid 50's.

Alan Freed cleverly combined the terms 'rock' and 'roll' into the single term rock'n'roll, rather than conceived it, but by applying the term to rhythm and blues to mean a style of dance music , rhythm and blues began to gain acceptance with white audiences, as he divorced the terms from their original sexual connotation. You can listen to countless rhythm and blues records (and blues recordings too) and quickly realise that in most cases, the terms rock and roll had little to do with dancing - except in the horizontal position! Thus rhythm and blues was never likely to gain mainstream recognition on white radio stations (note the plethora of sanitised white cover versions for the pop market in the early days of rock'n'roll)until Alan Freed made the terms rock and roll respectable. What Alan thankfully did was to identify for white American youth, the excitement of the original rhythm and blues recordings, which along side the white rock'n'roll of such as Bill Haley and Elvis, was to change the face of popular music forever.

Enjoy this set for what it is, and bear in mind that when you listen to tracks such as The Boswell Sisters singing about Rock and Roll they had no relevance to the rock'n'roll story whatsover. Nothing's really new though in music is it? Buy and enjoy.
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on 2 March 2012
I always thought the first rnr record was Bonnie Lou's Tennessee Wig Walk for the simple reason that this was one of the rare occassions that an American hit was bigger in the U K and not only that but it happenned in 1954!This was without any personal appearances of the singer who beat out all the covers and at the time was just a pop record.Same as Bill Haley's Comets who made Rock around the Clock around this time though it became a hit single 2 years later.So that was the first no matter what anyone says as it fell in line with a new word in the language.
Instead of adding the daft idea that the Boswell Sisters made the first because of the words the compilers might have noted Hal Singer's Rock around the Clock.This was made in 1950 and is nothing to do with the later song of the same title yet has the same format and lyrical ideas even adding the "one for the money two for the show" line
It doesn't matter how much they flog the idea it was Fats Domino or Ike Turner or Hank Williams their music was rhythm and blues or hillbilly the first rock'n'roll record was Haley's Rock around the Clock.Even the earlier version by Sonny Dae & the Knights was a hillbilly record-exactly what Bill Haley was making up to the breakthrough and when Shake rattle & roll and Rock the Joint were covers of R & B records
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on 19 August 2013
Without sounding disrespectful to the artistes on the album, there were some tracks that weren't to my music tastes but's my opinion. A lot of them were very good.
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on 16 May 2013
very dissapointed sent 2 number three and 1 number 2 instead of 1,2 and 3 have been in touch but no answer as yet
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on 23 October 2014
a lot of rubbish on it
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