Do you recall Roaring into the 20s? During that era, the terms 'rock' and 'roll' were used together and separately mostly by the African-Americans whose connotation could be interpreted as partying down, carrying on and/or having sex. Three songs of the 1920s that rocked/rolled include Trixie Smith's tune "My Daddy Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)", Lil Johnson's "Rock That Thing" and "Rock Me Mama" by Ikey Robinson. Thus, from these roaring Blues' artists, inspiration for the term Rock and Roll was spawned.
By the 1930s, the term carried with it a distinct rhythmic beat. Swinging into the 30s found Victor Records capturing Duke Ellington's "Rockin' in Rhythm" in 1931. The Boswell Sisters recorded a song titled "Rock and Roll" in the 1934 United Artists flick Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round. In 1939, Buddy Jones recorded "Rockin' Rollin' Mama" (String), in which he soulfully shouted, "I love the way you rock and roll!"
It was while Swinging in the 40s that the flames of rockin' and rollin' got hotter and hotter. In 1948, Wynonie Harris recording "Good Rockin' Tonight (King) became a #1 hit even though an earlier version by Roy Brown (Deluxe, 1947) had ranked at #13 of the Billboard R&B chart. It was all uphill from there with more R&B tunes working "rock" or "roll" into their titles, even a little boogie. Having orginated much earlier, boogie-woogie showed its dance face becoming popular in the late 30s and early 40s.
Check out these tunes:
All this time you may have thought Rock and Roll, Rock & Roll, Rock 'n' Roll, Rockin' and Rollin' were only attributed to the decade of the 50s. Have some fun! Ask a family member or friend, even a stranger, when rock and roll originated and from what music genre it evolved.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times. . .