(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?