It’s the first boogie woogie hit but is it rock & roll?
Butterbeans and Susie accompanist, Clarence ‘Pinetop’ Smith, recorded his renowned
boogie piano track, Pinetop’s ‘Boogie Woogie’. A 24-year old Alabama comedian and
piano player, Pinetop enjoyed one of the first-ever boogie hits with this
number, which was hugely responsible for popularising the style we now know as
boogie woogie. Take a listen on the link below:
The question is, does it qualify as early rock & roll? I’ve a sneaking suspicion it doesn’t but I’d like some feedback regarding my World’s First True Rock & Roll Releases list. You be the judge. Please leave comments in the space below or twitter me.
Pinetop Smith, who came up with the song at a house-rent or skiffle party, died
in 1929 after being shot in a fight in a Chicago dance hall aged just 25. No
photographs of him exist and most pics purporting to be Smith are of CowCow Davenport and Pinetop Perkins.
The first blues songwriter and singer to incorporate,
‘The girl with the red dress on’, ‘Shake that thing’ and ‘Mess around’ into his
lyrics, Smith was a big influence on Ray Charles, amongst others. Tommy Dorsey’s 1938 big-band revival of Pinetop’s
Boogie Woogie sparked the boogie woogie craze that took off during the Second World
War, along with Albert Ammon’s Boogie Woogie Stomp, currently my number one. See archive.