Camp Meeting Jubilee

Episode Air Date: January 21, 2020
Artist: Edison Quartet
Recording Title: Camp Meeting Jubilee

Rock historians attribute the term “Rock and Roll” to radio dj Allen Freed in 1951. And while he set a name to that combo of rhythm, blues, country, jazz that got Elvis wagging his hips around, he wasn’t the first to put the words together.

The origins of the term are nautical…17th-century sailors would describe ship’s movements as rocking and rolling.

The first recorded mention of the words “rock” and “roll” together? That would be the Edison Quartet, who also went by the Haydn Quartet when not recording with old Thomas Alva.  Their 1904 recording of Camp Meeting Jubilee contain the lyrics “rocking and rolling in your arms”. Here they are on a brown wax cylinder recording from 1904.


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2 Responses to “Camp Meeting Jubilee”

  1. Joseph Scott
    July 5, 2016 at 17:40 #

    “And while he set a name to…” No, that myth exists because of Freed’s habit of dishonest self-promotion. Erline “Rock And Roll” Harris was already going by that nickname publicly in print when she made the rock and roll recording “Jump And Shout” in 1949. _Billboard_ wrote about Jimmy “Baby Face” Lewis’s “rock and roll shouting” (on a tune where Lewis was close in style to Big Joe Turner) in 1947. Etc. Freed’s first R&B show was in 1951. Freed picked up a term that was already around, and was very important in popularizing it further.

  2. Phons Bakx
    April 22, 2018 at 05:04 #

    Before that in 1900 there is a recording of a ´coon song´ in where the rockin-rolling-phrase already can be heard. It is from the Columbia Quartet and it is also based on a hymn beyond some kind of Moses-profecy

Leave a Reply to Joseph Scott