Memphis Minute - April 29th
This teenage band mate of Ike Turner played in their big band around Clarksdale Mississippi, where they both were born and in 1951 made the trip to Memphis as part of a five piece band that made music history. Credited as Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats, it was actually Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm. The 17 year old played saxophone on “Rocket 88” at Memphis Recording Service with Sam Phillips producing for Chess Records in Chicago. Getting no credit or money for the instant hit and first recognized rock ‘n roll song - the band co-wrote it with Ike - the sax player left the group and played several sessions including the original “Mystery Train” by Little Junior Parker in 1953, later recorded by Elvis. He also recorded his own songs for Phillips’ Sun label of which only two were released - the two recorded in 1954 with his old bandleader Turner playing guitar. The following year he rejoined the Kings of Rhythm in St Louis, where he had a relationship and a son with their new lead singer - before she married Ike and changed her name to Tina.
He returned to Clarksdale and recorded a little until the 1970’s. He played that sax until his death of heart failure in 1996 at only 62 years old.
Born on this day in 1933, the first rock ‘n roll sax man - Raymond Hill!