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1956:

"Rock and Roll Waltz" by Kay Starr
"They were trying to waltz to a rock and roll song"

The scene invoked by "Rock and Roll Waltz" encapsulates the emerging generation gap of 1956. A mom and dad surreptitiously viewed by their daughter when she returns home from a date, probably perplexed by finding only those "darn rock and roll records" in their daughter's collection, they settle for one of the records and proceed to try and convert the rock and roll rhythm to their generation's dance steps. Kay Starr was not thrilled with recording the song, calling it a "nursery rhyme kind of thing." But it entered the top 40 on January 7, 1956 and by February 18 had reached number one. It is the precursor of the many rock and roll dance songs that would follow, even giving step instructions ("a-one, two, and then jump") much as Chubby Checker would later do with a thing called the twist. But I sincerely hope the "rock and roll waltz" never actually made it to the dance floor..

 

 

 

LYRICS:

One night I was late, came home from a date
Slipped out of my shoes at the door
Then from the front room, I heard a jump tune
I looked in and here's what I saw

There in the night what a wonderful scene
Mom was dancing with Dad to my record machine
And while they danced, only one thing was wrong
They were trying to waltz to a rock and roll song!

a-one, two, and then rock
a-one, two, and then roll
They did the rock and roll waltz
a-rock, two, three, a-roll, two, three
It looked so cute to me
I love the rock and roll waltz

a-one, two, and then rock
a-one, two, and then roll
a-one, two, and then jump
It's good for your soul
It's old but it's new
Let's do the rock and roll waltz

There in the night what a wonderful scene
Mom was dancing with Dad to my record machine
And while they danced, only one thing was wrong
They were trying to waltz to a rock and roll song!

a-one, two, and then rock
a-one, two, and then roll
a-one, two, and then jump
It's good for your soul
It's old but it's new
Let's do the rock and roll waltz
Let's do the rock and roll waltz

 

 

week debuted highest ranking Date Highest Rank Weeks in Top Twenty Weeks in Top Forty BillBoard Rank Cashbox Ranking GT rank
1956 1 7 1 1956 2 25 17 20 10 13 11