Rocket 88

Highly Appreciated

ROCKET 88 (Bill Haley and the Saddlemen)
“Rocket 88”  (originally written as Rocket “88”) is a rhythm and blues song that was first recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 3 or 5, 1951 (accounts differ).  The recording was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, who were actually Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm.  A second version of “Rocket 88” was recorded by the country music group Bill Haley and the Saddlemen at a recording session on June 14, 1951, a few months after Turner recorded his version.  Haley’s recording was a regional hit in the northeast United States and started Haley along the musical road which led to his own impact on popular music with “Rock Around the Clock” in 1955.  (More from Wikipedia)

Sometime in the 1949 to 1952 period, Bill Haley and the Saddlemen were formed; this was the band that would later evolve into Bill Haley and His Comets.  This band recorded a cover version of “Rocket 88” on Holiday Records that was released on June 14, 1951, barely two months after the original release of this song by Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm (though this original record was actually credited to Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats). 


Now, Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88 is named by many rock critics and music historians as “the first rock and roll record”; what’s more, “Rocket 88” as recorded by Bill Haley and the Saddlemen is one of the very earliest recordings in what would later become known as “rockabilly”, the musical style pioneered by Elvis Presley and others. 


(June 2013/1)


Last edited: March 22, 2021