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Rosco Gordon

Rosco Gordon was best known for being one of the progenitors of a slightly shambolic, loping style of piano shuffle called "Rosco's Rhythm." The basic elements of this sound were further developed after Jamaican musicians got a hold of 45s Gordon recorded in the early '50s -- which were not available to Jamaicans until 1959 -- and created ska, which took its name for the sound of this particular shuffle as it sounded being played on an electric guitar (ska-ska-ska).

No less an authority than Chris Blackwell -- he was the founder/president of Island Records who produced Bob Marley, the Wailers, and Peter Tosh, to name a few -- has cited Gordon's importance to reggae and ska music and championed the sound he helped create.

Gordon had originally been a member of the famed Beale Streeters, a Memphis, TN-based group that also featured the considerable talents of Johnny Ace, B.B. King, and Bobby "Blue" Bland, in the late '40s. They were scouted by none other than Ike Turner for Modern Records, who recorded the Beale Streeters' first single in 1951.

Gordon was soon recording sides for Sam Phillips and his Sun Records label. Phillips later sold the master of Gordon's own "Bootin'" to two competing labels, Chess and RPM, both of whom released it as a single. This "mix-up" did not, however, prevent the song from hitting number one on the R&B chart in 1952.

The follow-up to "Bootin'," called "No More Doggin'," was the first song to feature the now-familiar shuffle rhythm of Gordon's design, with a strong accent on the off-beat that repeated the oft-monotonous guitar phrasing. Though Gordon had recorded the song in the living room of a friend's home, in fact, the sound was fully developed and unique for its time. On July 11, 2002, Gordon died of a heart attack at his home in Queens, New York. He was 74. ~ Bryan Thomas
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: No Dark In America

1. No Dark In America

2. Cheese & Crackers

3. Early In The Morning

4. A Night In Rio

5. Girl In My World

6. You Don't Care About Nothing

7. I Am The One

8. That's What You Do To Me

9. You Look Bad WHen You're Naked

10. Love On Top Of Love

11. Takes A Lot Of Loving

12. Are You Mine?

13. When Baby Come Home

14. One More Time

15. Now You're Gone

x

Track List: Memphis Tennessee

1. Memphis Tennessee

2. Sit Right Here

3. Bad Dream

5. No More Doggin'

6. Now You're Gone

7. Just A Little Bit

8. Let's Get High

11. Cheese & Crackers

x

Track List: Let's Get High

Disc 1

1. She Rocks Me

2. So Tired

3. Roscoe's Boogie

4. City Woman

5. That Gal Of Mine

6. Ouch! Pretty Baby

7. Saddled The Cow (And Milked The Horse)

8. Run To Me Baby

9. Dime A Dozen

10. New Remedy For Love

11. Miserable Old Feeling

12. Booted

13. Cold, Cold Winter

14. Two Kinds Of Women

15. No More Doggin'

16. Maria

17. I Remember Your Kisses

18. What You Got On Your Mind

19. New Orleans Wimmen

20. Hey Fat Girl

21. T Model Boogie

22. Too Many Women

23. Three Cent Love

24. You Figure It Out

25. Dream Baby

26. Lucille (Looking For My Baby)

27. Blues For My Baby

Disc 2

1. Just In From Texas

2. I'm In Love

3. Tomorrow May Be Too Late

4. We're All Loaded (Whiskey Made Me Drunk)

5. Don't Have To Worry 'bout You No More

6. Throwing My Money Away

7. Why Do I Love You Baby

8. T Model Boogie

9. Decorate The Counter

10. I Wade Through Muddy Water

11. Just Love Me Baby

12. Weeping Blues

13. She's My Baby

14. That's What You Do To Me

15. I'm Gonna Shake It

16. Mean Woman

17. Let's Get High

18. Just My Memories Of You

19. Chicken (Dance With You)

20. Love For You Baby

21. Bop With Me Baby

22. Hey Hey Girl

23. If You Want Your Woman

24. Don't Take It Out On Me

25. Real Pretty Mama

26. Tired Of Living

27. I Don't Like It

Comments

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This was some entertainer. . . . . A n o t h e r new one to me.... Pandora keeps on rocking.....
Report as inappropriate
What a story!
Report as inappropriate
amazing and i wish i would have heard him years ago!

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