50s Music

Brenda Lee 1957 – Rock The Bop

About the song

If you are a fan of rockabilly music, you might have heard of Brenda Lee, the “Little Miss Dynamite” who rocked the charts in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But did you know that one of her earliest recordings was a song called “Rock The Bop”, which was released in 1957 when she was only 13 years old? In this blog post, we will explore the origins and impact of this song, which showcases Brenda Lee’s amazing vocal talent and energy.

“Rock The Bop” was written by Mel Tillis and Wayne Walker, two country songwriters who also penned hits for Webb Pierce, Ray Price, Faron Young and others. The song was recorded by Brenda Lee on November 29, 1957 at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The studio was owned by Owen Bradley, who was Brenda Lee’s producer and mentor. Bradley assembled a team of top-notch musicians to back up Brenda Lee, including Grady Martin on guitar, Harold Bradley on bass, Buddy Harman on drums, Floyd Cramer on piano and Boots Randolph on saxophone. These musicians were known as the Nashville A-Team, and they played on many classic country and rockabilly records.

“Rock The Bop” was released as the B-side of “Rock-A-Bye Baby Blues”, another rockabilly tune by Brenda Lee, on December 30, 1957. The single was issued by Decca Records, which was Brenda Lee’s label since she signed with them in 1956. The song received positive reviews from critics and fans alike, who praised Brenda Lee’s powerful and expressive voice. The song also got some airplay on radio stations across the country, especially in the South and Midwest. However, the song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, which was dominated by pop and rock and roll artists like Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and Buddy Holly at the time.

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Despite its lack of commercial success, “Rock The Bop” is considered to be one of Brenda Lee’s best and most influential songs. It showcases her ability to sing with passion and conviction, as well as her versatility to switch from country to rockabilly styles. The song also features some catchy lyrics and a driving rhythm that make it a perfect dance tune. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, including Wanda Jackson, Shakin’ Stevens, The Cramps and Brian Setzer. The song is also regarded as one of the earliest examples of rockabilly music, which is a fusion of country and rhythm and blues that paved the way for rock and roll.

If you want to listen to “Rock The Bop” by Brenda Lee, you can find it on YouTube or on various streaming platforms. You can also check out some of her other hits, such as “Sweet Nothin’s”, “I’m Sorry”, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “I Want To Be Wanted”. You will be amazed by her voice and charisma, which earned her a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.


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