bessie smith, ike turner, “rocket 88”

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riverside hotel

from bessie smith, ike turner, “rocket 88” posted in music by donkeyoti

This former hospital in Clarksdale, MS is a music landmark. The owner, Frank "Rat" Ratcliff, is part proprietor/part blues historian and is happy to disclose all of the famous musicians who have been through.

On September 26, 1937, Bessie Smith died in Room #2 of this building after a car accident when it was a hospital. It was converted to a hotel in 1944.

In the early months of 1951, Ike Turner practiced with his band here, and worked out the song "Rocket 88" during rehearsals in the basement. Released under the band name Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (Jackie was the saxophone player and vocalist on the track), "Rocket 88" is considered by many to be the first rock and roll song ever recorded.

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