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good rockin’ tonight | roy brown

many believe this is the first rock-n-roll song. recorded less than one block away from the (in)famous congo square in new orleans in 1947, it sounds like nothing the world was listening to at the time.

about congo square; it was the place the spanish and french allowed slaves to gather on sunday to play music and dance since the 1740’s. in 1819 a writer named h.c. knight visited nola and wrote, “the african slaves meet on the green, by the swamp, and rock the city with their congo dances.”

it was the first time the word “rock” was used as a verb and metaphor. it described a certain kind of “unheard of” music 133 years before the general use of the word was allegedly coined by a dj in cleveland to term what white kids were listening to in 1952 because he felt the racial connotation of “rhythm and blues” might turn off his white audience.

whatever, dude.

new orleans. where jazz, funk, r&b, and rock-n-roll were invented.

the dance in place congo - engraving | e.w. kemble, 1886

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