Wild Bill Moore – Rock And Roll

29th November 2021 · 1940s, 1948, Music, Rock'n'Roll

Rewinding back to 1948 on the early rock’n’roll trail, I discover Detroit sax man Wild Bill Moore.

It’s a perfect example of how R&B (and in particular jump blues) began to evolve into the new genre, and the clue is in the name of the song – Rock And Roll.

Key factors are the backbeat and the wailing sax solos which were a feature of most early rock’n’roll numbers.

Moore had just had a hit with the rollicking boogie-woogie tune We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll and decided to double down on the term, singing: “You can have my money, you can have my honey, but let me rock and roll.”

Coincidentally, in view of his place in the roots of rock’n’roll, Moore’s main influence as a sax player (and the reason he switched from alto to tenor) was a fellow called Chu Berry.

Moore made his name in Chicago in the early 1940s before relocating to LA and then back to his home town Detroit, where he worked with Motown artists like Marvin Gaye. He died in 1983.