The Paul McCartney Project

Shake, Rattle And Roll

Album This song officially appears on the Anthology 3 Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1996

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions

Mixing Get Back album

Mar 13, 1969

Other Big Joe Turner songs

Honey Hush

Officially appears on Run Devil Run

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Shake, Rattle and Roll” is a twelve bar blues-form rock and roll song, written in 1954 by Jesse Stone under his assumed songwriting name Charles E. Calhoun. It was originally recorded by Big Joe Turner, and most successfully by Bill Haley & His Comets. The song as sung by Big Joe Turner is ranked #127 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Origins of the song

In early 1954, Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records suggested to Stone that he write an up-tempo blues for Big Joe Turner, a blues shouter whose career had begun in Kansas City before World War II. Stone played around with various phrases before coming up with “shake, rattle and roll”.

However, the phrase had been used in earlier songs. In 1919, Al Bernard recorded a song about gambling with dice with the same title, clearly evoking the action of shooting dice from a cup. The phrase is also heard in “Roll The Bones” by the Excelsior Quartette in 1922.

Original recording by Joe Turner

Turner’s version was recorded in New York on February 15, 1954. The shouting chorus on his version consisted of Jesse Stone, and record label executives Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegün. The saxophone solo was by Sam “The Man” Taylor. Turner’s recording was released in April 1954, reached #1 on the US Billboard R&B chart on June 12, did not move for three weeks, and peaked at #22, nearly at the same time, on the Billboard pop chart (subsequently billed as the Billboard Hot 100).

The song, in its original incarnation, is highly sexual. Perhaps its most salacious lyric, which was absent from the later Bill Haley rendition, is “I’ve been holdin’ it in, way down underneath / You make me roll my eyes, baby, make me grit my teeth”. [It may actually be “Over the hill, way down underneath.] On the recording, Turner slurred the lyric “holdin’ it in”, since this line may have been considered too risqué for publication. The chorus uses “shake, rattle and roll” to refer to boisterous intercourse, in the same way that the words “rock and roll” were first used by numerous rhythm and blues singers, starting with Trixie Smith’s “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)” in 1922, and continuing on prominently through the 1940s and 1950s. Stone stated that the line about “a one-eyed cat peepin’ in a seafood store” was suggested to him by Atlantic session drummer Sam “Baby” Lovett, which is also a sly sexual reference, the “one-eyed cat” being the male organ and the more traditional “seafood” reference being the female organ.

Bill Haley’s version

Bill Haley & His Comets’ cover version of the song, recorded on June 7, 1954 (the same week Turner’s version first topped the R&B charts), featured the following members of the Comets: Johnny Grande (piano), Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Marshall Lytle (bass), and Joey Ambrose (saxophone). It is known that Danny Cedrone, a session musician who frequently worked for Haley, played lead guitar, but there is controversy over who played drums. Music reference books indicate that it was Panama Francis, a noted jazz drummer who worked with Haley’s producer, Milt Gabler, however in a letter written in the early 1980s, Gabler denied this and said the drummer was Billy Gussak. Bill Haley’s own stage drummer, Dick Richards, did not play on this record but may have provided backing vocals since he participated in the recording of the song’s B-side, “A.B.C. Boogie”. This was Cedrone’s final recording session as he died only ten days later.

Haley’s version was released in August and reached #7 on the Billboard pop chart, spending a total of twenty-seven weeks in the Top 40 It was used as the theme song for the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League for many years, and is now used as the victory song for the current franchise in Springfield, Mass., the Springfield Falcons.

Gabler has explained that he would “clean up” lyrics because, “I didn’t want any censor with the radio station to bar the record from being played on the air. With NBC a lot of race records wouldn’t get played because of the lyrics. So I had to watch that closely” […]

Other versions

Other notable recordings of “Shake, Rattle and Roll” include a version by Arthur Conley which was a hit in 1967, as well as cover versions of Turner’s and Haley’s arrangements by The Beatles, Sam Cooke, Willy DeVille, Johnny Horton, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, NRBQ, Huey Lewis and the News, Doc Watson, and Buddy Holly. […]

Last updated on October 9, 2015

Officially appears on

Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

3:11 • OuttakeA • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Lead vocal, Piano
Ringo Starr :
John Lennon :
Electric guitar, Lead vocal
George Martin :
Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer
Billy Preston :

Session Recording:
Jan 26, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Lumpy Trousers

Unofficial live

6:30 • Soundcheck

The Soundcheck Songs Vol. 3

Unofficial album • Released in 1998

6:29 • Soundcheck

A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 26th, 1969 - 3 & 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

1:45 • Rehearsal • Jan.26 - D3-12 - Shake, Rattle And Roll 26.58

Session Recording:
Jan 26, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 27th, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

1:39 • Rehearsal • Jan.27 - D1-13 - Shake, Rattle And Roll 26.58P

Session Recording:
Jan 27, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Paul Is Live - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

6:18 • Soundcheck • 1993 soundcheck

Live performances

“Shake, Rattle And Roll” has been played in 1 concerts and 2 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where Shake, Rattle And Roll has been played

17th Buddy Holly Week

Sep 09, 1992 • Part of Buddy Holly Week


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