(via Hank Ballard – “The Twist”)

Year: 1959

“Ballard’s ‘The Twist’ (1959) was indeed the first completely alienated dance form. Instead of being part of a pair, line, couple, or group, twisters were dancers who were liberated from stifling community; they were individuals. The twist was a revolutionary force in breaking apart social units and enforcing individualist ideology. Though rock ‘n’ roll music had existed long before this dance, the introduction of the twist was a shift which punctuated a profound new beginning for rock ‘n’ roll: rock as a culturally enforced paradigm, which cut across race and class lines.

“…The pill is widely credited for launching the so-called sexual revolution and for sparking a new era of promiscuity and rebellion against the nuclear family unit and its oppressive gender roles. But the pill and the twist, along with other postindustrial dances, didn’t just encourage more sex without regard for pregnancy; they also parented a new relationship to sex. People engaged in intercourse with lots of different people not because they were newly carefree – there had been sex before this – but because dancing, the ancient ritualistic pantomime of intercourse and intimacy, was now an alienated action; an individualistic task where the participant was required to be alone, in a frenzied, masturbatory state, both highly stimulating and deeply depressing. The void was to be filled with actual fornication. The two phenomenon are therefore related: ‘The Twist’ (1959) made the pill absolutely necessary, while “the pill” (1960) made the world engendered by the twist manageable.”

–Censorship Now!! (2015)

Love him or hate him, Svenonius is always entertaining to read.


(via Ike Turner – “Rocket 88”)

Year: 1951

Album: “Rocket 88” Single [Chess]

One of the few legitimate contenders for the first ever rock & roll hit. This song was recorded by Sam Phillips for his Sun Records, but the song ended up being released on Chess Records. The song is credited to Jackie Brenston, but this was a Turner song and it’s now mostly associate with him.

The story behind the guitar’s fuzzy sound is one of the great stories of rock & roll: The band was driving down Highway 61 from Mississippi to Memphis to record some songs and the amplifier was damaged. The amp sounded horrible in the studio, so someone stuffed the amp with wads of newspapers to hold the cone in place, which gave off a strange distorted sound. Sam loved the sound and convinced the band to record a take with the strange-sounding amp. The band ended up loving the sound too, and the rest is history.

So Sam Phillips also invented the first fuzz pedal?


(via Joe Hill Louis – “Boogie In The Park”)

Year: 1950

Album: “Boogie In The Park” Single [Phillips]

This breakout hit from the one-man blues band Joe Hill Louis (real name Lester Hill) was one of the first songs recorded by Sam Phillips, who would later go on to discover Elvis, Johnny Cash, and many more. This song was release on Sam’s short lived Phillips label, which would later become Sun Records. The Man Who Invented Rock & Roll indeed.