Is “Rocket ‘88″ by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats the very first rock and roll record? The question has inspired debate among musicologists for years.  Another equally contentious question: Where does the term rock and roll come from?

Rock is derived from the Old English roccain, related to the Old Nordic rykkja meaning, “to pull, tear, move.” The earliest recorded use of the term in literature can be found in the lullaby “Rock-a-bye Baby” from 1805.

Roll is derived from the Latin rotula meaning, “small wheel.” The phrase “rocking and rolling,” a metaphor used by seamen to describe the motion of a ship, dates from the 17th century. Similar metaphors slipped into popular discourse, but one in particular became the inspiration for the genre’s moniker. By the 1920s, “rocking and rolling” became a popular double entendre referring to either dancing or sex. Trixie Smith’s 1922 blues ballad, “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)” may be the first use of the phrase in song.

Alan Freed, a disc jockey in Cleveland, Ohio used the phrase, “The Rock and Roll Session” to describe the amalgamation of rhythm and blues and country music he played during his show. As his radio show gained popularity, so too did the phrase. And why is the “and” sometimes written as ‘n? That’s called an apocopation – the omission of the final sound of a word.

What does Shakespeare have to do with punk rock? Find out here.

Do you have word questions related to other musical styles or artists? Let us know.

Midsection makeover: training your abs and lower back will give you a tighter, stronger middle.(Home Work)

Muscle & Fitness/Hers March 1, 2003 | Lyons, Kim for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Most of us know this quote as Newton’s third law of motion, but did you also know that every major muscle group has an opposite muscle group? Although their actions don’t really compete against each other, the abs and the lower back are perfect examples of opposing muscle groups.

Most of us know exactly when we last did crunches, but when was the last time you worked your lower back? Training one but not the other leads to an imbalance, which you may not even recognize because you adapt to these changes over time. If you feel lower back pain, you’ll likely reach for some Tylenol, but the long-term solution could simply be a more balanced workout. Lower back and ab training aren’t only essential for a beautiful midsection but they’re crucial in maintaining proper posture and helping to prevent lower-back injury. lowerbackexercisesnow.net lower back exercises

The next time you’re watching TV or just have a few minutes for a quick workout, give these basic ab and lower back exercises a try. They may seem simple, but they’ll result in better posture, a stronger core and a midsection you’ll be proud to show off. Before and after your workout, take a few minutes to stretch the appropriate muscle groups.

ab stabilizer This is one of my favorite ab exercises. Although the abs aren’t the main movers, they work very hard to hold you still. The goal is to keep your torso motionless. Lie faceup on the floor and flatten your lower back into the floor or maintain a neutral spine, whichever is more comfortable. The key is to choose one position and maintain it throughout the exercise. With your arms crossed over your chest and your hips and knees bent 90 degrees, simultaneously extend one leg straight out and lift your crossed arms overhead. Return to the start position before switching legs. Do as many reps as you can, maintaining good form, for at least a minute.

tip: If you can’t maintain proper form throughout the movement, try keeping the extended leg higher.

lower back stabilizer As with the ab stabilizer above, in this exercise you keep your torso motionless as you move your arms and legs. Get down on your hands and knees and set your spine in the neutral position (don’t allow your midsection to drop toward the floor). Lift your opposite arm and leg so they’re in line with your spine. Hold for a full second and slowly lower. Switch sides without noticeably shifting your weight onto your other knee–make the switch smoothly. Do as many reps as you can with good form for at least one minute.

tip: Don’t lift your leg and arm too high, which will cause your back to arch excessively. Keep your head, arm and leg in line with your spine.

combination stabilizer This unique exercise requires the use of both the lower back and ab muscles. Lie facedown on the floor, resting on your elbows with your arms tight at your sides and palms facing up. Place your left toes on top of your right heel and, using your abdominal and back muscles, push through your hips to lift your torso off the floor. Hold this position for as long as you can (at least a minute) before returning to the start. Switch feet and repeat, maintaining good form. this web site lower back exercises

tip: To start, place your elbows in a line directly below your shoulders.

bent-knee V-up Working both the upper and lower abdominal regions, this exercise requires balance and good core stabilization. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, knees bent and feet on the floor. Simultaneously lift your knees toward your chest and crunch your upper body forward. Lower back to the start, keeping your heels and shoulder blades off the floor, and do three sets of 10 reps.

tip: Focus your eyes above your knees to keep your chin off your chest.

superman One of the safest and most effective back exercises, the superman is excellent for gaining lower-back strength. Lie facedown with your arms extended out in front, elbows slightly bent. Using your lower-back muscles, lift your chest off the floor, keeping your neck and arms in line with your spine.

tip: Avoid lifting your legs and chest simultaneously. This can put too much pressure on the discs in the back.

Fitness competitor Kim Lyons is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer.

Lyons, Kim


  1. Sean -  October 19, 2013 - 2:57 am

    It has something to do with what instruments are used.. i.e drum, bass, rhythum, and lead with vocals

    that’s what the term rock and roll covers which is why rock and roll has such different tempos involved within the genre

  2. QDUDE -  November 16, 2011 - 3:29 pm

    there should be a chuck norris section on this site

  3. reflektor -  September 30, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    words have several meaning but when you hear or read them in a given context you have to catch the right meaning. rock and roll is very sexual and explicit inTrixie Smith’s 1922 blues ballad, “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll) just listen to it carefully and replace the rock and roll words with some nasty ones fit there. I can imagine in other songs it might have different meaning, in a third song yet another one as well. words, contexts and their relationships are important elements in our communications.

  4. ÑÑÑ -  September 6, 2011 - 7:00 pm

    when I was a kid I used to think that the name came from rolling a rock

  5. Dark Friday -  September 5, 2011 - 10:56 am

    I hate to disappoint you folks who believe that Rock ‘n’ Roll has to do with sexual intercourse. It doesn’t. The “Rock” part is suggestive of hardness (“hard as a rock”). We have what can be referred to as soft music, the type of music that induces relaxation. In contrast to soft music, Rock (hard) music tends to arouse energy and create in the listener a desire to move about. For example by snapping their fingers, patting their foot on the floor, clapping their hands, or nodding their head up and down in time with the beat. The “Roll” part refers to the swaying back and forth that will inevitably happen if the person happens to be standing. Indeed, if you can sit or stand completely still while listening to Rock ‘n’ Roll music then you are in serious need of a body bag, a toe tag, and an undertaker.

  6. Egglebeggle -  September 3, 2011 - 6:58 pm

    I read the post that said that the English language is an evolving thing, where slurred words become the standard in as little as 50 years. I believe Rock ‘N’ Roll is the same, it grows and it changes. Ike Turner singing Rocket 88 is a far cry from the new RHCP album. One of the earlier questions in this thread was about the Blues. In the beginning there was Gospel, and it was a soulful music that raised the spirits toward heaven. I heard once from an old blues singer that “the Blues brings you down into the dust in the same way”. It was the music sung by the black slaves and the chain gangs as they worked under their white masters and wardens. As I heard it, the Blues refers to the way the human eyes sees light in near darkness; the rod photoreceptors translate the low level of photons into the color blue. Thus, if you try to see light in darkeness, all you’ll see is the blues. Very fitting considering the social horrors of that time.

    I think that the one defining characteristic of Rock ‘N’ Roll is the electric guitar, and that instrument was born from blues music. It was called the amplified music, or the electric blues, made famous by the Chicago musicians of that time and later perfected by Muddy Waters. If you look back at the influences cited by The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin, its always blues artists. The blues gave birth to R’N'R.

    As far as alternative music, this is my take. I noticed around 1980, a lot of hard rock and metal bands released a “satatnic” album (Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast”, Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil”). I noticed as I looked back, that everytime the “rebel” music became accepted by the mainstream, the musicians would try and do something shocking to take over the “rebel” mantle. Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” so fast that Pat Boone had a hard time “De-colorizing” it. Charlie Parker’s free-styling “Be-bop” took jazz back to its roots. When Rock became mainstream, then came hard rock. People like KISS and Alice Cooper painted their faces to look dead or like demons. Bands like black Sabbath created lyrics straight out of horror movie that were popular at the time. Suddenly Zeppelin and Pink Floyd were on the oldies stations, even if it was the same three songs. Metal, Thrash, Punk, Garage Bands, Grunge, all of them became mainstream and suddenly, Maddona’s on the TV in a pointy bra and tu-tu; Britney Spears is in her underwear. I think the term “Underground” is the mainstream media’s idea of selling “keepin’ it real” to the kids and the hipsters. They want to be different from the “sold out” music of their parents.

  7. rlcesq -  August 24, 2011 - 7:02 pm

    All words are sacred in their time and of value to someone, in their time, do not mess with them, they take little room, but serve a bigger purpose when called by the thought that needs them.

  8. Tito -  August 24, 2011 - 11:56 am

    Rock ‘n roll died the day Buddy Holly bought the farm. Don’t ever call that trash that came afterwards as Rock ‘n Roll. Nobody after 1960 deserves to be in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Let them have another hall of fame for those like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Stink (sorry, I meant Sting) and the noisemakers of today.

  9. Carlitos -  August 21, 2011 - 8:25 am

    My questions have been answered.

  10. Archon -  August 17, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    @ Carlitos

    Wow! Profiled by the sociopath. That’s very Criminal Minds, but it’s my prediction about you having to return to the scene that is valid. Other than mine above, there’s been one post on this thread in a week, and that’s where you hide yours, so no-one can see. It’s even strange that I decided to go back three topics. It’s even less likely that you will return here to see this, so we’ll wait for a new thread for me to discuss your new incorrect assumptions.

  11. Carlitos -  August 15, 2011 - 7:19 am


    @Archon on August 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm
    “@ Lefty

    Glad you do. Carlitos hates my guts. He keeps making unproven claims and I kept pointing out his errors. He took it as a contest and finally claimed to have given up. Not to worry, he and his outrageous opinions will be back soon”

    Yes, I’m back. And I don’t hate your guts because you have none. Just your annoying “holier-than-thou” attitude. Surely you don’t go through your life correcting everyone and then implying that they’re ignorant in person; this is all you do on this blog. You bring nothing to anyone except shallow amusement to yourself which leads me to believe you have low self esteem and lack caring friends.

  12. DDT -  August 14, 2011 - 9:53 pm

    @Gur: That’s a nice try at defining “alternative,” but I think the distinction is simply one of marketing and sales–you were in the ballpark when you suggested that alternative diverges from pop. First, let’s ask: “Alternative” to what? Alternative to the mainstream, with “mainstream” denoting significant sales, media exposure, and general recognition by even casual listeners.

    The style or genre doesn’t matter, although in the ’80s and ’90s “alternative” was often used to describe non-mainstream hard rock and punk/hardcore. Two quick examples: Nirvana was an “alternative” band when it was releasing records on Sub Pop, but then it graduated to the mainstream when it signed with a major label, Geffen. Casual listeners might think that _Nevermind_ was the band’s first album when in fact it had been recording for years before that release.

    But the idea of “alternative” is older than that. Pink Floyd was known as an “underground” band in the 1960s, and it had been releasing records for several years, on a major label, before it became commercially successful with _Dark Side of the Moon_. In fact, FM rock radio began in the 1960s as an alternative to Top 40 commercial AM radio; FM radio gave exposure to the “alternative” acts of the day, which helped them graduate to the mainstream. Also, keep in mind that FM radio was not always widely available–stock radios in American cars, for example, often featured only AM radio bands through the 1970s.

  13. Archon -  August 13, 2011 - 4:11 pm

    Watched a syndicated rerun of an old Cold Case TV show late last night. It was about a Marine missing off a ship bound for Korea in 1951. We saw him follow a girl into a club, and what’s playing on the record machine? Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats! What an anchor to this thread! To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never heard it. I was alive in ’51 but wasn’t listening to music on the radio, didn’t get TV ’til ’58.

  14. Em -  August 9, 2011 - 4:43 pm

    I forgot to mention that my teacher also noted that proof of this etymology is the fact that many early rock ‘n roll songs had lyrical euphemisms for sex. The songs seemed PG to the average listener, but those in the know knew that the songs were usually referencing the other two parts of the trinity; sex and drugs.

  15. Em -  August 9, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    My music teacher told us that she read that the phrase originated because of the association with that genre of music and sex-crazed black youth. The rocking and rolling was the rocking and rolling done in bed, a euphemism for sex :)

  16. Scott L. -  August 8, 2011 - 3:57 pm

    I like the term “Classic Alternative”, which is somewhat of an oxymoron. “Classic” has a mainstream-ish connotation while alternative does not. In spite of this, Classic Alternative on FIOS is one of my favorite stations to listen to while doing the dishes.

  17. wakener -  August 7, 2011 - 8:55 am

    Freed didn’t create the term; it was already in use. As others have noted, it referred to sex, but specifically to sex in the back seat of a car. You rock (the car) and then you roll (away). And on the radio, you play the music that your parents just don’t get, Daddy-o.

    Alternative music was music that was produced by acts not signed to any of the major labels. They were signed to *alternative* labels, smaller outfits which often dealt with counter-cultural acts, or in some cases, they were independent. Now, when many of the alternative acts have moved into the mainstream, it seems that the term “alternative label” doesn’t have the meaning it used to, so now we have “independent labels,” which originally meant labels not associated with a large corporation. That meaning too, is changing.

  18. Matilde -  August 7, 2011 - 8:48 am

    woops – grammatical not gramatical.

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