Album: Various Artists, The First Rock and Roll Record (Famous Flames) (4/5)


This 3CD set attempts to map out the most exhaustive pre-history of rock'n'roll so far committed to one album, and for the most part it does a pretty decent job, tracing the line back as far as the 1916 "The Camp Meeting Jubilee", a pre-blues minstrel-tent recording of such scratchy authenticity it sounds like a parody.

From there it travels through blues, jazz, swing and R&B to Elvis, taking in such obvious milestones as Stick McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" and Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88", widely accepted as the first true rock'n'roll record. Given the history of this most miscegenate of musical forms, though, it's a bit skimpy on the white side of the alliance, with only the sketchiest representation for western swing and hillbilly music.

DOWNLOAD THIS Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee; That's All Right Mama; Saturday Night Fish Fry; Shake, Rattle and Roll