Big Joe Turner - Shake, Rattle and Roll - 1954


Big Joe Turner and "Shake, Rattle and Roll" - A Dive into 1954's Rock 'n' Roll Revolution

Introduction to Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner, born in 1911, was a pivotal figure in the development of American rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll. His style, deeply rooted in blues, was influential in shaping the sound of early rock 'n' roll. In this section, you'll explore the life and career of Big Joe Turner, understanding how his musical journey contributed to the rock 'n' roll genre.

  1. Early Life: Discover Turner's early years and how they shaped his musical style.
  2. Rhythm and Blues Influence: Learn about the rhythm and blues era and Turner's role in it.
  3. Transition to Rock 'n' Roll: Understand how Turner's music helped bridge the gap between blues and rock 'n' roll.

"Shake, Rattle and Roll" - The Song That Shook the 1950s

"Shake, Rattle and Roll", recorded by Big Joe Turner in 1954, is considered one of the first rock 'n' roll records. This section will delve into the song's background, its musical components, and its cultural impact.

  1. Song Background: The story behind the creation of "Shake, Rattle and Roll".
  2. 1950s Music Scene: Place the song in the context of the 1950s music industry.
  3. Cultural Impact of the Song: Explore how the song influenced music and society.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Shake, Rattle and Roll" released? (1954) (!1956) (!1952) (!1958)

Who originally recorded "Shake, Rattle and Roll"? (Big Joe Turner) (!Elvis Presley) (!Bill Haley & His Comets) (!Chuck Berry)

What genre does "Shake, Rattle and Roll" primarily belong to? (Rock 'n' Roll) (!Blues) (!Jazz) (!Country)

Which record label released "Shake, Rattle and Roll"? (Atlantic Records) (!Sun Records) (!Chess Records) (!Motown Records)

What was unique about the lyrical content of "Shake, Rattle and Roll"? (It had provocative and playful lyrics for its time) (!It was the first song with a rock 'n' roll beat) (!It was written entirely in a foreign language) (!It was an instrumental with no lyrics)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In which city was Big Joe Turner born? (Kansas City) (!New Orleans) (!Memphis) (!Chicago)

Before his fame in rock 'n' roll, Big Joe Turner was primarily known for which musical genre? (Blues) (!Jazz) (!Country) (!Gospel)

Which of the following was a trademark of Big Joe Turner's performance style? (His powerful, shouting vocal style) (!Intricate guitar solos) (!Complex dance routines) (!Playing the piano)

How did Big Joe Turner influence the rock 'n' roll genre? (By blending blues with a more upbeat rhythm leading to early rock 'n' roll) (!By introducing electronic instruments) (!Through his distinctive fashion style) (!By promoting rock concerts)

What is another famous song recorded by Big Joe Turner? ("Flip, Flop and Fly") (!"Tutti Frutti") (!"Johnny B. Goode") (!"Heartbreak Hotel")

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

Which line follows "I said Shake, rattle and roll"? (You never do nothing to save your doggone soul) (!Get those rhythm and blues) (!I'm rocking all night long) (!Jump, jive, and wail)

What is the tone of the lyrics in "Shake, Rattle and Roll"? (Playful and provocative) (!Somber and reflective) (!Romantic and loving) (!Political and protest)

Which of these is a recurring theme in the lyrics of "Shake, Rattle and Roll"? (Dancing and having fun) (!Travel and adventure) (!Heartbreak and loss) (!Nature and beauty)

The lyrics "Way you wear those dresses, the sun comes shining through" imply what? (A flirtatious and playful compliment) (!A commentary on fashion trends) (!A deep emotional confession) (!A metaphor for honesty)

How do the lyrics of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" reflect the spirit of the 1950s rock 'n' roll era? (By emphasizing freedom, youth, and rebellion) (!Through political activism) (!Focusing on family values) (!Highlighting economic prosperity)


Big Joe Turner Kansas City
"Shake, Rattle and Roll" 1954
Genre of the Song Rock 'n' Roll
Signature Vocal Style Powerful, Shouting
Theme of the Lyrics Dancing and Fun

Open Tasks


  1. Research Big Joe Turner: Find out more about Big Joe Turner's early life and how it influenced his music.
  2. Listen to "Shake, Rattle and Roll" : Listen to the song and describe how it makes you feel.


  1. Compare Music Genres: Compare the elements of blues and rock 'n' roll in Turner's music.
  2. 1950s Music Scene: Research other popular songs from the 1950s and how they contributed to the era.


  1. Analyze Lyrics: Analyze the lyrics of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and discuss its cultural implications.
  2. Musical Influence: Explore how Big Joe Turner's music influenced other rock 'n' roll artists.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss Turner's Influence: Explain how Big Joe Turner's music influenced the evolution of rock 'n' roll.
  2. Impact of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" : Discuss the cultural impact of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" in the 1950s.
  3. Comparative Analysis: Compare Turner's style with that of another rock 'n' roll artist from the 1950s.

OERs on the Topic


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