The Rock And Roll Waltz (1955)

Click the YouTube video below to listen:

Download MP3s from

Kay Starr (born Katherine Laverne Starks July 21, 1922 on a reservation in Dougherty, Oklahoma.) Her father Harry was a full-blooded Iroquois Indian. Her mother, Annie, was of mixed Irish and American Indian heritage.

Kay Starr is an American pop and jazz singer who was popular during the 1950s. She is best remembered for songs such as "Side By Side", "Wheel of Fortune" and "Rock And Roll Waltz".

The song is told from the point-of-view of a girl who comes home and catches her parents attempting to waltz to one of her rock and roll records.

Starr thought it was a joke when the A&R staff at RCA Victor Records picked it for her, as it was so different from what she was used to recording. Released in December 1955, within three months, it became her first successful release for RCA Victor after leaving Capitol Records.

Chart position: #1 (US), three weeks in March 1956.

It was also the Most Played in Jukeboxes for six weeks. It was also the first number single by a female singer in the rock era, the first to have "rock and roll" in the title, and the first number one single for RCA Victor Records.

It was preceded at #1 by "The Great Pretender" (the Platters) and succeeded by "The Poor People Of Paris" (Les Baxter).

Written by:
Shorty Allen (music) and Roy Alfred (lyrics).

My two cents: This is a fun novelty song that's like a parody of itself. Some rock purists might look down upon it, along with Patti Page's "(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window?", as being part of the cloying, antithetical period that existed before rock and roll took over.

However, I don't agree with that. Every singer has a story, and Kay Starr's is very interesting. For example, during World War II, she sang in different army camps, traveling in uncomfortable army transport. She caught a terrible cold, which led to pneumonia and an army hospital stay.

Nodes developed on Kay's vocal chords, which required surgery. That resulted in the complete loss of her voice completely. She could only communicate by writing. A year and a half later, she was able to sing again, though her voice became more husky.

Now, to me, that's a pretty good "rock and roll" back story!

Download MP3s from

Want to submit facts and trivia about this song? Leave a comment!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be sure to leave a comment. If you love the oldies, then by all means, say so!