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Jackie Brenston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jackie Brenston
Jackie Brenston.jpg
Brenston (right) with Ike Turner
Background information
Born(1928-08-24)August 24, 1928 or 1930
Clarksdale, Mississippi, United States
Died(1979-12-15)December 15, 1979 (aged 49-51)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
GenresR&B, blues, rock and roll
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsVocals, saxophone
Years active1950–1960s
LabelsChess
Associated actsIke Turner
Kings of Rhythm
Lowell Fulson
Jackie Brenston And The Delta Cats

Jackie Brenston (August 24, 1928 or 1930[note 1]  – December 15, 1979) was an American R&B singer and saxophonist, who recorded, with Ike Turner's band, the first version of the pioneering rock-and-roll song "Rocket 88."

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  • ✪ Rocket 88 (Original Version) - Ike Turner/Jackie Brenston
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  • ✪ Jackie Brenston - Rocket 88 (1950)

Transcription

Contents

Biography

Brenston was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.[1] Returning to Clarksdale from army service in 1947, Brenston learned to play the tenor saxophone and linked up with Ike Turner in 1950 as a tenor sax player and occasional singer in Turner's band, the Kings of Rhythm. The local success of the band prompted B. B. King to recommend them to studio owner Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee, where the band made several recordings in early March 1951, including "Rocket 88" on which Brenston sang lead and was credited with writing.[2]

Phillips licensed the recordings to Chess Records in Chicago, which released "Rocket 88" as by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats instead of Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm featuring Jackie Brenston.[2] Turner blamed Phillips for this error.[3] The record soon reached number one on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. It sold approximately half a million copies. Turner and the band were paid $20 each for the record. The exception was Brenston who sold the rights to Phillips for $910.[4]

Phillips later claimed that this was the first rock and roll record.[1] That claim has often been repeated by others, although there are numerous other candidates. Phillips used income from the success of the record to start Sun Records the following year.[5]

The success of the record caused friction within the group. After one further recording session, Brenston left Turner's band to pursue a solo career. Brenston later went on to perform in Lowell Fulson's band for two years. He returned to play in Turner's band from 1955 to 1962.[2] Although he occasionally sang with the band, Turner apparently barred him from singing "Rocket 88."

By now an alcoholic, Brenston continued playing in local bands. In 1960, Turner signed with Sue Records and released "A Fool In Love" with his future wife Tina Turner. Turner wrote one of Brenston's last recordings, "Trouble Up The Road" / "You Ain't The One" in 1961.[6] Brenston's final recording session was in Chicago with Earl Hooker's band in 1963, and released on Mel London's Mel-Lon label, but alcoholism took a toll on his career. He returned to Clarksdale and worked occasionally as a truck driver.[7]

Brenston died of a fatal heart attack at V.A. Hospital in Memphis on December 15, 1979.[8]

Legacy

In 2007, Rev-Ola released a compilation of twenty-four vintage sides recorded by Brenston. Of his legacy, the music historian Richie Unterberger wrote,

If ever there were a case of the record overshadowing the artist, it would be Jackie Brenston's 'Rocket 88.' ... Brenston is often dismissed as a footnote to his own landmark, with pianist/bandleader Ike Turner's role in the recording getting more ink, Brenston sometimes characterized as a journeyman who lucked into the spotlight almost by chance. ... [Brenston was] something of a journeyman R&B vocalist, but wasn't as inconsequential as some critics have opined.[9]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Jackie Brenston among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[10]

Discography

Singles

  • 1951: "Rocket 88" / "Come Back To Where You Belong" (Chess 1458) – Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats
  • 1951: "My Real Gone Rocket" / "Tuckered Out" (Chess 1469) – Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats
  • 1957: "Much Later" / "The Mistreater" (Federal 12291) – Jackie Brenston With Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm
  • 1957: "What Can It Be" / "Gonna Wait For My Chance" (Federal 12283) – Jackie Brenston With Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm
  • 1961: "Trouble Up The Road" / "You Ain't The One" (Sue 736) – Jackie Brensten With Ike Turner's Orchestra
  • 1963: "Want You To Rock Me" / "Down In My Heart" (Mel-Lon 1000) – Jackie Brenston

Notes

  1. ^ Most published sources and the U.S. Social Security Death Index give 1930 as his year of birth. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and reportedly his gravestone give 1928.

References

  1. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The 1970s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  2. ^ a b c Robert Palmer. Deep Blues. Penguin Books. pp. 222–3. ISBN 978-0-14-006223-6.
  3. ^ Turner, Ike (1999). Takin' Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner. Cawthorne, Nigel. London: Virgin. ISBN 1852278501. OCLC 43321298.
  4. ^ Tina Turner, Kurt Loder (1986). I, Tina: My Life Story. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780688059491.
  5. ^ O'Toole, Kit (2019-08-08). ""Rocket 88": One of The Pioneering Songs of Rock". CultureSonar.
  6. ^ "Jackie Brensten* With Ike Turner's Orchestra – Trouble Up The Road". Discogs.
  7. ^ Tosches, Nick. (1999). Unsung Heroes Of Rock 'n' Roll: The Birth Of Rock In The Wild Years Before Elvis. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306808919. OCLC 925143398.
  8. ^ "Jackie Brenston". www.rockabilly.nl. Retrieved 2019-08-26.
  9. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "The Mistreater: Jackie Brenston | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  10. ^ Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.

Main sources

This page was last edited on 4 October 2019, at 23:19
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