Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

Rock and Roll Music

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
"Blue Feeling"

Rock and roll

7" 45-RPM, 10" 78-RPM


September 1957 (1957-09)

May 6 or 15, 1957, Chicago, Illinois

"Rock and Roll Music" is a 1957 hit single written and recorded by rock and roll icon Chuck Berry. The song has been widely covered and is recognized as one of Berry's most popular and enduring compositions. In the fall of 1957, his recording reached number 6 on Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart and number 8 on its Hot 100 chart.


The song has been recorded by many well-known artists, including Bill Haley & His Comets, the Beatles, the Beach Boys (who had a top ten hit with the song on the Hot 100 in 1976), Dickie Rock and the Miami Showband, REO Speedwagon, Mental As Anything, Humble Pie, Manic Street Preachers and Bryan Adams. Berry performed it on December 16, 1957, on ABC's short-lived variety program The Guy Mitchell Show.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Berry's version number 128 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song is also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.


The sessions for "Rock and Roll Music" took place on either May 6 or May 21, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. The session was produced by Leonard Chess and Phil Chess. Backing Berry were Lafayette Leake (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), and Fred Below (drums).

Release and chart performance

Sometime after the single was released in September 1957, "Rock and Roll Music" reached #6 on Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart and #8 on the Billboard Top 100 chart before the year's end.

Chess 7" single

Side one
  1. "Rock and Roll Music"
Side two
  1. "Blue Feeling"

Chess 7" EP

Side one
  1. "Rock and Roll Music"
  2. "Blue Feeling"
Side two
  1. "Oh Baby Doll"
  2. "La Jaunda"

Chess 7" maxi single

Side one
  1. "Rock and Roll Music"
Side two
  1. "Johnny B. Goode"
  2. "School Days"

Golden 45 7" Single

Side one
  1. "Rock and Roll Music"
Side two
  1. "Sweet Little Sixteen"

The Beatles version

The Beatles performed the song in many of their early Hamburg shows, and also played it on the BBC show Pop Go The Beatles. In late 1964, exhausted from non-stop touring and recording and short of original material, they decided to record several of their old rock and rhythm and blues favorites to fill out their LP release Beatles for Sale. Among these was a version of Berry's tune that eventually became as well known as the original. The lead vocal in The Beatles' version was performed by John Lennon. In contrast to Berry's even-toned rendition, Lennon sang it as loudly and dynamically as his voice would permit. In the United States, it was released on the LP, Beatles '65. The song was part of the set list for the group's final tour in 1966 - the performance from their June 30 show at the Nippon Budokan was included in 1996's Anthology 2 - and was also performed during the Get Back/Let It Be Sessions in January 1969.

It also served as the title song to The Beatles' 1976 compilation album, Rock 'n' Roll Music.

The Beatles' version of "Rock and Roll Music" was released as a single in some countries, and topped the charts in Finland, Norway, the Netherlands (double a-side with "No Reply") and Australia.


  • John Lennon, vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney, bass
  • George Harrison, electric guitar
  • Ringo Starr, drums
  • George Martin, piano
  • Personnel according to The Beatles Bible

    Sources have varied in crediting the piano on the track. The original Beatles for Sale liner notes, by Derek Taylor, said that "George Martin joins John and Paul on one piano", implying an overdub by all three that was added after the basic take. In the 1988 book The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn described the recording as a single take with no overdubs, with "all The Beatles on their familiar instruments" and Martin on piano. The tape engineer for the session, Geoff Emerick, provided yet another account in his 2006 book; he recalled that McCartney played piano while Harrison covered on bass and that the only overdub was for double-tracking Lennon's vocal.

    The Beach Boys version

    The Beach Boys' version is notable for the use of backing vocals which repeat the phrase "Rock, roll, rockin' and roll." There is a difference between the LP version and the single version in that the LP version has more synthesizer. Their version reached number 5 on the US chart and number 11 in Canada during the summer of 1976.


  • Mike Love, lead vocal
  • Brian Wilson, organ, piano, Moog bass, synthesizer
  • Dennis Wilson, drums, vocals
  • Carl Wilson, vocals
  • Al Jardine, vocals
  • Mike Altschol, saxophone, clarinet
  • Ed Carter, guitar
  • Steve Douglas, saxophone
  • Dennis Dreith, saxophone, clarinet
  • Gene Estes, percussion
  • Billy Hinsche, guitar
  • John J. Kelson, Jr., saxophone, clarinet
  • Carol Lee Miller, autoharp
  • Jack Nimitz, saxophone, clarinet
  • References

    Rock and Roll Music Wikipedia

    Similar Topics