The Paul McCartney Project

Good Rockin' Tonight

Written by Roy Brown

Album This song officially appears on the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) Official live.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1991
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Good Rocking Tonight” was originally a jump blues song released in 1947 by its writer, Roy Brown and was covered by many other recording artists. The song includes the memorable refrain, “Well I heard the news, there’s good rocking tonight!” The song anticipated elements of rock and roll music.

Brown had first offered his song to Wynonie Harris, who turned it down. He then approached Cecil Gant later that night, but after hearing Brown sing, Gant made a 2:30 AM phone call to Jules Braun, the president of DeLuxe Records. After Roy Brown sang his song over the phone, Braun asked Brown to sing it a second time. He then told Gant, “Give him fifty dollars and don’t let him out of your sight.”

Five weeks later, Brown recorded the song for DeLuxe Records. Only after Brown’s record had gained traction in New Orleans did Harris decide to cover it. Harris’s version was even more energetic than Brown’s original version, featuring black gospel style handclapping. This may have contributed to the composition’s greater success on the national R&B chart. Brown’s original recording hit #13 of the Billboard R&B chart, but Harris’ record became a #1 R&B hit and remained on the chart for half a year. Brown’s single would re-enter the chart in 1949, peaking at #11.

Harris had a reputation for carousing, and sometimes forgot lyrics. His “Good Rockin'” recording session largely followed Brown’s original lyrics, but by the end, he replaced the last section with a series of raucous “hoy hoy hoy!” interjections, a commonly used expression in jump blues tunes of the time, going back to 1945’s “The Honeydripper” by Joe Liggins.[citation needed]

The song is a primer of sorts on the popular black music of the era, making lyrical reference to Sweet Lorraine, Sioux City Sue, Sweet Georgia Brown, Caldonia, Elder Brown, and Deacon Jones. All of these characters had figured prominently in previous hit songs. The song has also been credited with being the most successful record to that point to use the word “rock” not as a euphemism for sex, but as a descriptive for the musical style, a connection which would become even clearer in 1954 when a version of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” became Elvis Presley’s second-ever single.

While Brown missed out on the biggest hit version of his song, its success kicked off his own career, which included two #1 R&B hits. In 1949, he released “Rockin’ at Midnight”, a sequel to “Good Rockin’ Tonight.” It reached #2 on the R&B chart, where it remained for a month.

Es Paranza/Atlantic Records

In 1954, “Good Rockin’ Tonight” was the second Sun Records release by Elvis Presley, along with “I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine” on the flip side. Presley and his bandmates hewed closer to the original Roy Brown version, but omitted the lyrics’ by-then-dated roster of names in favor of a simpler, more energetic “We’re gonna rock, rock, rock!” Described as “a flat-out rocker” country radio programmers blanched, and older audiences were somewhat mystified. A live show broadcast from Houston DJ Bill Collie’s club documented that the crowd “barely responded” to the song. “Blue Moon of Kentucky“, the uptempo version of the Bill Monroe classic, has “the fans go stark raving nuts with joy”. Both sides of this second record featuring “Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill” “stiffed”..”

The song was used for the Elvis Presley biopic Elvis which starred Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Presley; it was used for a scene where he is performing at the Louisiana Hayride in 1956.

Last updated on March 13, 2014


Well, I heard the news, there's good rockin' tonight
Yeah, I heard the news everybody rockin' tonight

Well, I want you to meet me behind the barn
Don't you be worried, I'll do you no harm
I want you to bring along my rockin' shoes
Tonight I'm gonna rock away all my blues
I heard the news, there's good rockin' tonight

Well, gonna rock, gonna rock
Lets rock, yeah gonna rock
Gonna rock all our blues away

Well, I heard the news there's good rockin' tonight
Yeah, I heard the news Ev'rybody rockin' tonight

Well I want you to meet me behind the barn
Don't you be worried I'll do you no harm
I want you to bring along my rockin' shoes
Tonight I'm gonna rock away all my blues
I heard the news, there's good rockin' tonight

We're, gonna rock, we're gonna rock
Gonna rock, yeh gonna rock
Gonna rock all our blues away.

Officially appears on

Unplugged (The Official Bootleg)

Official live • Released in 1991

3:43 • LiveL1

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Robbie McIntosh:
Acoustic guitar
Hamish Stuart:
Acoustic bass, Vocal harmonies
Paul Wickens:
Blair Cunningham:
Geoff Emerick:
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Gary Stewart:
Assistant engineer
Peter Craigie:
Assistant engineer
Gary Bradshaw:
Monitor engineer

Concert From "MTV Unplugged" in Wembley, United Kingdom on Jan 25, 1991

Paul Is Live

Official live • Released in 1993

2:52 • LiveL2

Performed by:
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyRobbie McIntoshHamish StuartPaul WickensBlair Cunningham
Paul McCartney:
Geoff Emerick:
Engineering, Mixing
Julian Mendelsohn:
Bob Kraushaar:

Concert From the concert in Charlotte, USA on Jun 15, 1993

Wild Life (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

0:58 • DemoA • Home Recording

Performed by:
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartney
Paul McCartney:
Alex Wharton:

Session Recording:
Jun 06, 1971
Campbeltown, Scotland


Codename Falconer

Unofficial live

3:11 • Live

Concert From the concert in Copenhagen, Denmark on Jul 24, 1991

Magical Toronto Night

Unofficial live

2:43 • Live

Concert From the concert in Toronto, Canada on Jun 06, 1993

Tug Of War Rehearsal

Unofficial album

5:25 • Studio rehearsal

Oct 30, 1980
Pugin's Hall

Live performances

“Good Rockin' Tonight” has been played in 85 concerts and 4 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Good Rockin' Tonight” has been played


Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.