Graham Reid | | <1 min read
From The Ventures (Walk Don't Run) and the Kingsmen (the garageband classic Louie Louie of '63, see clip) through Jimi Hendrix, the grunge bands (Nirvana, Mudhoiney, Pearl Jam etc) to the Posies, Sleater-Kinney and Modest Mouse, the Pacific Northwest has been a breeding ground for rock'n'roll.
It's fitting that it should be the home the EMP (Experience Music Project), a terrific museum of rock'n'roll and Hendrix memorabilia.
Identifying the first rock'n'roll record to come out of the region however has been rather more difficult -- however local experts (and certainly the EMP compilers of the double CD Wild and Wooly collection) have agreed on this track by a local band which had formely been a gospel group but added singer Joe Boot in '57.
It is said that Boot's old friend from Georgia, Little Richard, dropped by their sessions.
Unfortunately this single failed to sell and got no airtime in the "white-bread regional radio market".
But here is the song which kickstarted the local scene and within the same year Clayton Watson weighed in with his rockabilly single Everybody's Boppin', then came the Frantics, the Wailers (who, with singer Rockin' Robin, cut the first version of Louie Louie), the Sonics, Paul Revere and the Raiders . . .
It might not sound much today, but the rock revolution in the Pacific Northwest started right here.
For more oddities, one-offs or songs with a backstory see From the Vaults.