Kay Starr: The Rock and Roll Waltz (1955)

 |   |  <1 min read

Kay Starr: The Rock and Roll Waltz (1955)

Cheap Trick scored a lot of favourable press for their Surrender (see clip below) in which the kid wakes up to find mum and dad rocking and rolling (rolling numbers) and having his Kiss records out.

If that song had a forefather it was perhaps this gimmicky and safer song by Kay Starr whose chart career had taken a bit of fall until she picked up on the rock'n'roll craze and took this rather bland and slightly silly song to the top of the charts in '55, just as rock'n'roll was starting to break.

Starr had previously sung with Glenn Miller's band and was considered a fine singer of popular jazz so, at 33, this song might have seemed a bit beneath her. But when times get tough . . . and anyway her new label RCA (soon to become home to Elvis Presley) made the strong suggestion she do it.

It briefly resurrected her career but by the Sixties she wasn't having hits and although she went back to jazz again and tried country music, her options were limited and she ended up (very successfully) in Las Vegas.

But it is for the antecedent to Cheap Trick's theme of adults trying on the kids' music (less happily in this case) that we acknowledge her at From the Vaults.

.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

Chris Bourke - Mar 1, 2012

Hi Graham - thought you might be interested to know there's a NZ version of the "Rock'n'Roll Waltz" - recorded by the Gedson Sisters on Tanza in the mid 50s. It has a rollicking boogie bass from pianist Crombie Murdoch. cb

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Dirty Red: Mother Fuyer (1947)

Dirty Red: Mother Fuyer (1947)

Blues and jazz artists often used coded language to get their lyrics past record companies and radio programmers, so you would get a song like When I'm In My Tea (by Jo-Jo Adams, 1946) about... > Read more

Steve and Eydie: Black Hole Sun (1997)

Steve and Eydie: Black Hole Sun (1997)

The fad for lounge music in the late Nineties was amusing enough, but inevitably most of what emerged was forgettable. (Although who could expunge this from the memory.) Still, groups like... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

DELINQUENT DAYS; OUTSIDERS ON THE SILVER SCREEN (2020): The kids aren't alright

DELINQUENT DAYS; OUTSIDERS ON THE SILVER SCREEN (2020): The kids aren't alright

In the shorthand of pop culture, some would have you believe there was nothing going on between the death of Buddy Holly and the arrival of the Beatles. Certainly there were a lot of... > Read more

YASMIN BROWN PICKS HER BEST OF 2020 EPs

YASMIN BROWN PICKS HER BEST OF 2020 EPs

Yes, 2020 was a strange one but musicians in lockdown actually had time on their hands to finish off singles, EPs or albums. Or start and finish them. We've already had the Editor's Choice of... > Read more