13 August 1919
Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States
17 December 1984 (aged 65)
Jimmy Preston (August 18, 1913, Chester, Pennsylvania – December 1984, Philadelphia, PA) was an American rhythm & blues bandleader, alto saxophonist, drummer and singer who made an important contribution to early rock and roll.
Preston's first R&B top ten hit was with "Hucklebuck Daddy" in 1949, recorded for Philadelphia's Gotham Records. His main claim to fame was to record, as Jimmy Preston and His Prestonians, the original version of "Rock the Joint" for Gotham in 1949. The sax breaks on "Rock the Joint" were the work of tenor player Danny Turner (1920-1995). “Rock The Joint” was re-recorded by Jimmy Cavallo in 1951, and Bill Haley and the Saddlemen in 1952.
In 1950, tenor saxophone player Benny Golson and pianist Billy Gaines were added to new line-up and recorded songs like "Early Morning Blues" and "Hayride". Preston moved to Derby Records and had a final R&B hit with a cover of Louis Prima’s “Oh Babe”. He gave up playing music in 1952, without realizing that he would later be identified as one of the founders of rock and roll.
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