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Reelin and Rocking

February 26, 2010

"Reelin and Rocking" Chuck Berry 1958

“Reelin and Rocking” The B side of “Sweet Little Sixteen” by Chuck Berry. This is an original from my mom’s collection. 1958, Chess Records. Mom was 14 when she bought it, so I come by this stuff honestly I guess. This record is barely playable on a regular turntable, but luckily the jukebox just plows through. It’s more than 50 years old and it has been played a lot. A LOT.

When I write about these records I try to do a little research about them which usually jogs more memories about them, but I have very specific memories of me and my sister playing this record. And we weren’t allowed to play my mom’s records.

There was a trivia question posted online the other day from Mental Floss magazine asking if anyone could name the only number one hit by Chuck Berry. Yup, Chuck’s only number one to date is  “My Ding A Ling.” In doing my research I came across a mention of that song as released in 1972. It was live and recorded in Coventry, England at the Lanchester Arts Festival. Part of that show, was Reelin and Rocking which was also released as a single in 1972. It went to #27 on the Billboard charts. (According to a tour list I found, a couple of weeks later Chuck played the Allen Theatre here in Cleveland.) The album, The London Chuck Berry Sessions, of those live recordings and studio work, is an all-out who’s who of a British pick-up band. Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan of the Faces (and more) with Robbie McIntosh and Onnie McIntyre of Average White Band are among the notables. The London Chuck Berry Sessions – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

So yeah, 1972. I was seven. My sister was three. So I’m sure as my mom was driving us around somewhere we heard Reelin’ and Rockin’ on the radio. (I KNOW I heard My Ding a Ling.) And later she must have pulled out that little red box of 45s. And played her original 45. And I must have begged her to let me play those 45s on my little aqua record player. YouTube – CHUCK BERRY – ‘Reelin’ And Rockin” – 78rpm 1958. (this link is of the 78 rpm version, but it’s exactly like the 45)

And we jumped. We jumped on the bed. And played it over and over and over again. And we jumped on the bed some more. And we weren’t allowed to jump on the bed.

Mom wrote her name on the record in case it got lost at parties. Then wrote her married name over it.

So when we finally got the jukebox working, mom gave me that little box of 45s. The box she took to every party. They were now mine. First thing I did was look for it. Yes. There it is. Chuck Berry.

So for the memory of the pure joy of jumping on a bed with your little sister to a rock and roll classic, it stays in the jukebox.

One Comment leave one →
  1. linda tritz permalink
    April 30, 2010 6:55 pm

    I have both orignal 45′ Reelin * rockin and rock n roll music I would like to sell if anyone is interested

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