Big Joe Turner
A monumental figure in American music, Kansas City-born Big Joe Turner started performing in the late 1920s as a band singer for Bennie Moten, Count Basie, and others. Over the next couple of decades Turner helped define the boogie-woogie and jump-blues styles, alongside the likes of Meade Lux Lewis and Willie "the Lion" Smith. In the early '50s, he laid down the template for rock & roll with such tracks as "Shake, Rattle & Roll," his style providing an enormous influence on the first generation of rock & roll artists (many of whom covered the songs Turner made famous). A giant of jazz, blues, and rock & roll, Turner continued to perform all three well into the '70s, passing away in 1985.
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