500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Big Joe Turner, 'Shake, Rattle & Roll'
Writer: Charles Calhoun
Producer: Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler
Released: April '54, Atlantic
Atlantic Records' contribution to the birth of rock & roll (Wexler and Ertegun even sang backup), "Shake, Rattle & Roll" was written specifically for big-voiced blues singer Turner, one of the label's early stars. "Everybody was singing slow blues when I was young, and I thought I'd put a beat to it and sing it uptempo," Turner said. This track, with its big bounce and raunchy lyrics ("I'm like a one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood store"), topped the R&B charts; typical of the times, a sanitized cover by Bill Haley and the Comets got white America bopping.
Appears on: The Very Best of Big Joe Turner (Rhino)