Air Week: December 9-15, 2013
Jimmy Liggins didn’t have the chart success or popularity of his older brother Joe Liggins, but he did have a killer band, a raw sound and quite possibly the “first rock n’ roll record.”
Both brothers traveled to California from their native Oklahoma in order to make it in the music business. Jimmy started out as a professional boxer before hanging up the gloves in order to drive his older brother around after the success of Joe’s “The Honeydripper” in 1945. By the end of ’46, Jimmy told Joe that he was cuttin’ out on his own to form his own band and make his own records. He hit the charts with his 2nd single “Teardrop Blues” in 1948. Its flipside was “Cadillac Boogie,” which was Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston’s inspiration for “Rocket 88.” Jimmy Liggins only scored four R&B chart hits during his career, but he cut a trove of groovy plattahs worth hearing. He is definitely one of R&B’s unsung heroes. Get Jimmy Liggins’ story and all the great music that comes with it on this week’s “Juke In The Back” with Matt The Cat.