Good Rocking Tonight  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Enlarge
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Good Rocking Tonight" was originally a jump blues song released in 1947 by its writer, Roy Brown and was covered by many other recording artists. The song includes the memorable refrain, "Well I heard the news, there's good rocking tonight!"

Original version

Brown had first offered his song to Wynonie Harris, who turned it down. Only after the Brown's record gained traction in New Orleans did Harris decide to cover it. Harris's version was even more energetic than Brown's original version, featuring black gospel style handclapping. This may have contributed to the composition's greater success on the national R&B chart. Brown's original recording hit number 13 of the Billboard R&B chart, but Harris' record became a number one R&B hit and remained on the chart for half a year. Brown's single would re-enter the chart in 1949, peaking at #11.

Harris had a reputation for carousing, and sometimes forgot lyrics. His "Good Rockin'" recording session largely followed Brown's original lyrics, but by the end, he replaced the last section with a series of raucous "hoy hoy hoy!" interjections, a commonly used expression in jump blues tunes of the time, going back to 1945's "The Honeydripper" by Joe Liggins.

The song is a primer of sorts on the popular black music of the era, making lyrical reference to Sweet Lorraine, Sioux City Sue, Sweet Georgia Brown, Caldonia, Elder Brown, and Deacon Jones. All of these characters had figured prominently in previous hit songs.

While Brown missed out on the biggest hit version of his song, its success kicked off his own career, which included two #1 R&B hits. In 1949, he released "Rockin' at Midnight", a sequel to "Good Rockin' Tonight", which might be thought of as "Good Rockin' Tonight part II" because it included updates on the same characters as the original. It reached #2 on the R&B chart, where it remained for a month.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Good Rocking Tonight" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools