Jimmy Liggins cut Cadillac Boogie in 1947

Very little is new in the world of music
entertainment. This rings particularly true when it comes to rock showmanship. If
you believed all you read, you’d think a wild stage act was invented by Elvis
Presley and the rest of the 1950s rock & roll pioneers.

But even Elvis and his contemporaries, Chuck Berry
and Little Richard, had their influences when it came to stagecraft. In their
case, and with Bill Hayley, too, it was the same influence: an ex-boxer from
Oklahoma called Jimmy Liggins.
Young Jimmy boxed professionally under the name Kid
Zulu before becoming a driver, at the age of 18, for his older brother, Joe Liggins, and Joe’s
popular Honeydrippers band. This gave Jimmy a taste for the stage and, in 1947,
the young singer and guitarist signed his first record deal.
Jimmy Liggins and his band, the Drops of Joy,
produced a jump blues style of music that rocked harder than brother Joe’s polished
One of Jimmy earliest recordings was an early precursor
to rock & roll called Cadillac Boogie, recorded in Los Angeles in 1947. Take a listen on the link below.
took almost a year to get released but I include Jimmy Liggins’ Cadillac Boogie at number six in my
countdown of the earliest rock & roll records that pre-empted rock &
This will be broadcast on Code Zero Radio at 3pm US CDT tomorrow,
Wednesday, 30 April, which is 9pm in the UK and 10pm in Europe. Here’s the link
below. Hope you can make it.  If not the podcast is repeated at the same time
this coming Saturday 3 May and Monday 5 May.