“Roll ’Em Pete” – Joe Turner (Vocalion, 1938)

The exuberant “Roll ’Em Pete” was the first studio recording of Big Joe Turner’s powerful pipes and Pete Johnson’s rollicking boogie-woogie piano. Recorded in New York City on December 30, 1938, a week after the Kansas City duo’s appearance at the historic From Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall, “Roll ’Em Pete” became an enduring classic. Turner later claimed that rock ’n’ roll was nothing more than the boogie-woogie and blues he and Johnson trademarked in K.C., and it’s certainly not much of a jump from “Roll ’Em Pete” to 1950s rockers like Turner’s “Shake Rattle and Roll” or Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.”

2018-03-06T18:21:51+00:00 March 6th, 2018|