Rock Awhile

"Rock Awhile"
Rock Awhile (fixed).png
Single by Goree Carter & His Hepcats
B-side"Back Home Blues"
ReleasedApril 1949 (April 1949)
RecordedApril 1949
StudioACA Studios
GenreRock and roll[1][2][3][4]
LabelFreedom Recording Company
Songwriter(s)Goree Carter
Goree Carter & His Hepcats singles chronology
"Rock Awhile"
"I'll Send You"
Audio sample

"Rock Awhile" is a song by American singer-songwriter Goree Carter, recorded in April 1949 for the Freedom Recording Company in Houston, Texas.

The song was released as the 18-year-old Carter's debut single (with "Back Home Blues" as the B-side) shortly after recording. The track is considered by many sources to be the first rock and roll song,[1][2][3][4] and has been called a better candidate than the more commonly cited "Rocket 88", which was released two years later.[1][2][5] The song features an over-driven electric guitar style similar to that of Chuck Berry years later.[1][2][3]

The former New York Times pop critic, Robert Palmer, made this comment about the recording in 1995:

"The clarion guitar intro differs hardly at all from some of the intros Chuck Berry would unleash on his own records after 1955; the guitar solo crackles through an overdriven amplifier; and the boogie-based rhythm charges right along. The subject matter, too, is appropriate -- the record announces that it's time to 'rock awhile,' and then proceeds to show how it's done."


  1. ^ a b c d Robert Palmer, "Church of the Sonic Guitar", pp. 13-38 in Anthony DeCurtis, Present Tense, Duke University Press, 1992, p. 19. ISBN 0-8223-1265-4.
  2. ^ a b c d John Nova Lomax (December 2014), Roll Over, Ike Turner, Texas Monthly
  3. ^ a b c Roger Wood (2003), Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues, pages 46-47, University of Texas Press
  4. ^ a b "Uncovering Houston's lost music history". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 22, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Palmer, Robert; et al. (1992). The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll:The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Music. Random House. p. 12. ISBN 0-679-73728-6. Retrieved August 13, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Racket