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Hardrock 305

March 15, 2018

15 March. Remembering “Hardrock” Gunter, (27 February 1925 – 15 March 2013). He is nowadays largely unremembered but one of his tracks has a good claim to being the world’s first Rock ‘n Roll record! A talented singer, guitarist and songwriter, in 1950 he issued the  high energy boogie song ‘Birmingham Bounce’ whose lyrics include ‘everybody starts rockin and shufflin’ their feet/ when the drums start a layin’ that solid beat’.  Shortly after , Gunter issued “Gonna dance all night” which includes the lines “Gonna Rock & Roll, Gonna Dance All Night”. Both songs predated by a year, Ike Turner’s band’s “Rocket 88″ later popularized by Bill Haley.  However despite his forays into early Rockabilly/Rock, Gunter’s musical roots were in country music having been especially influenced in the 30s and ’40s by “Texas Drifter” Goebel Reeves and pioneering “Western Swing” musician  Hank Penny. The Archive have released a CD of Gunter’s work, across  mix of styles. ps: on many of Gunter’s recordings, fiddle was by Buddy Durham, whose anniversary was cited here yesterday (March 14th).

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