The Background

Rock and Roll

"Rock-and-Roll or rock'n'roll (räk'n roll') n. first so used (1951) by Alan Freed, Cleveland disc jockey, taken from the song "My Baby Rocks Me with a Steady Roll". The use of rock, roll, rock and roll, etc., with reference to sexual intercourse, is traditional in blues, a form of popular music that evolved in the 1950's from rhythm and blues, characterized by the use of electric guitars, a strong rhythm with an accent on the offbeat, and youth-oriented lyrics." (http://www.history-of-rock.com)

“This year, pop - or, more accurately, rock'n'roll… - is 50 years old… Elvis Presley, a Southern white boy inhabiting a black form, was the first… expression of a music that was raw and primal, charged with a sexual tension… 5th July 1954 – Elvis Presley records 'That's All Right Mama' at Sun Studios, Memphis Rock'n'roll's big bang. A 19-year-old truck driver fulfils producer Sam Phillips's dream of finding 'a white guy who sings like a negro'. There were rock'n'roll records before this one, nearly all of them by black artists, but this is the moment when the embryonic form found its perfect embodiment.” (Sean O'Hagan, Sunday May 2, 2004, The Observer)

Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup - the father of rock'n'roll?

"One of the pivotal moments in the history of post-war popular music came at the end of a long and not very rewarding recording session at the small Sun studio in Memphis in 1954. Studio boss Sam Phillips had been trying to prise out a debut recording from his new signing, a lank-haired young truck driver with a poor complexion but a remarkable voice called Elvis Presley.

Backed by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, the three had been fooling around with country ballads and mediocre pop songs. Nothing had clicked. Left to themselves while a disgruntled Phillips went into the control room, Presley said that “this song popped into my mind that I had heard years ago, and I started kidding around with it”.

Elvis was jumping around

Moore took up the story. “Elvis just started singing this song, jumping around and acting the fool and then Bill picked up his bass, and he started acting the fool, too, and I started playing with them… Sam stuck his head out and said: ‘What are you doing? And we said ‘We don’t know”. ‘Well back up,’ he said. ‘Try to find a place to start, and do it again.’”

The song, “That’s All Right, Mama”, became Presley’s first release and went on to change the face of pop music. Sam Phillip’s long-held ambition of finding a white boy who could sing the blues had been fulfilled with a song written and originally recorded in 1946 by a Mississippi-born blues guitarist and singer whom Elvis idolised called Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup..." (John Clarke, June 22, 2016, iNews - read the full article)

John Clarke says "I am a journalist with an interest in the blues and have written many pieces in the past on everything and everyone from Slim Harpo to Buddy Guy for The Times, The Independent and i newspaper. I am also a charter member of the now 20,000 strong Real Blues Forum on Facebook. I saw my first blues artist (Champion Jack Dupree) around 1967 and have been in love with the blues ever since".

Scotty Moore RIP June 28, 2016

Winfield Scott "Scotty" Moore III, born on December 27, 1931, has today died. Scotty was an American guitarist and recording engineer best known for backing Elvis Presley early in his career. (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/scotty-moore-elvis-presley-guitarist-dead-at-84-20160628).

The people behind Save the Blues

Leo King is an unusually gifted British songwriter and composer who has been producing musical works for private commission for many years. Tuneful, catchy, richly tonal, harmonious, exciting, his smooth and deeply-textured compositions address and appeal to a wide range of musical tastes from pop/rock, country/folk to serious light classical, orchestral and choral. This is his first Charity Rock Song – a uniquely memorable piece of modern hard blues-rock celebrating the occasion of fifty years of rock'n'roll.

Fine & Mellow are a multi-talented band of professional musicians delivering superb and sensitive interpretations of modern popular music, in a variety of styles. Line-up: Oskar Smith (guitar), Dave Cook (drum kit), Karl Mullen (keys), Nina Zagorski (vocals) and Scott Devine (bass guitar).

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