19 Aug 2022


Rock and Roll: Shake, Rattle and Roll and Hit the Road Jack

Format: MLA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Case Study

Words: 510

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0

Shake, Rattle and Roll” - Bill Haley and his Comets 

In general, “Shake, Rattle and Roll” is a twelve bar blues-form rock and roll song. Based on the rhythm, it is hard to be a very happy and bright song that is full of energy. The most visible form of this song is that it is predominantly based on the chords of a key I, IV, and V. It has the musical features of country music along with boogie-woogie and jazz. The basic reason is the leading instrument is a piano which is being supplemented by a guitar. At the same time, the beat can be said to be of a dance rhythm that has an accentuated backbeat which is commonly from a snare drum.

Bill Haley features several members of the comets such as Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Johnny Grande (piano), Joey Ambrose (saxophone), and Marshall Lytle (bass). Considering Haley’s recording is cover of the song, it peppier and brighter such that it can fit the definition of rock and roll. Alternatively, it seems to be a merger of rhythm and blues and country music. Further, this cover version is emphasizing guitars compared to saxophones which are giving it a rhythmic feel more akin to western swing. Although this version is more censored, it did not crossover to the R&B charts. This can be assumed that the preferred audiences are black.

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A detailed focus on the instruments, piano in the song is the boogie-woogie since it is the instrumental driving piece. Further, the way of the piano and rhythm is accompanied by the clapping sound is very invigorating and upbeat. The song attains a soothing sound from the smooth bass of the electronic guitar and the catchy riffs from the saxophones as the band sang the choruses of the song.

Hit the Road Jack” – Ray Charles 

The songs take exactly two minutes and thus, it draws up a short course on how rock and roll should be recorded. Ray Charles is among the vanguard of the second wave of pioneers which is full of humor, an infectious beat, and aplomb. Away from the artist, the featured scene is simple enough to provide a description of a ne’er-do-well man who after ‘dogging’ around is trying to slip back into his woman’s good grace. However, the woman wants nothing to do with him including his money making capability and his character of spending his little bit of money on bad habits.

Further, Charles’s and one of the “Raelettes,” Margie Hendricks vocal interplay and his backing singers is practiced and tight. As a result, there is close familiarity and strenuous works sessions with a timeless story. The story is that both were lovers and he did not accept to leave his wife for her. Also, she’s got his number but it appeared to be the wrong one:

Now baby, listen baby, don't ya treat me this-a way 

Cause I'll be back on my feet someday 

(Don't care if you do 'cause it's understood 

you ain't got no money, you just ain't no good) 

The song has a galloping pace and it has some features of Country swing in it. There is also a little Rock-a-Billy, the smirk of a novelty song and some fast-paced Blues. The voice as given out by Charles is that of a protesting, commanding, and lamenting at the same time. It is my presumption that the barking voice demands that it toes the line and thus, the playing band should be kept together in large part. This is a come practice in the dancehall ditties and Country-Blues.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Rock and Roll: Shake, Rattle and Roll and Hit the Road Jack.


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