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Rockin' Down The Highway

The Cars and the People That Made Rock Roll

Paul Grushkin

The original California car hop The Original Big Boy Restaurant is still there in Burbank, close to Warner Bros and Disney Studios. You can still get car hop service for yr double decker hamburger fries and cherry coke.

Rock 'n' Roll (possibly) started when Cleveland DJ Alan Freed visited a record store and saw white kids buying (black musician's) R&B records. To cash in, he changed the name of his show to "Moondog's Rock & Roll House Party". The music was still R&B. Not until 1955 and Elvis Presley and Little Richard

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1955 Sun Records owner Sam Philips presented Carl Perkins with a Cadillac to recognize "Blue Suede Shoes" being first record to top all three Billboard charts - pop, country and R&B. What he didn't mention was that the cost of the car had been deducted from Perkin's royalties.

Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" often cited as first Rock n Roll record. First released 1954, so predating Elvis and Little Richard, but it only became a hit when it was featured in a controversial film Blackboard Jungle, the following year.

You can't drive your house, you can't drive your stock portfolio. But you can still buy or build a cool car and parade it. In a world where people feel they have no power, no control, no influence, the car is still a place where you can be in the driver's seat.

Brian Wilson describing hearing one of Phil Spector's wall-of-sound songs for first time while out in his car. "I had to pull over. I couldn't drive any more."

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