(The) Rock and Roll Waltz

"(The) Rock and Roll Waltz"
Single by Kay Starr
B-side "I've Changed My Mind a Thousand Times"
Released December 1955
Format 45 RPM, 78 RPM
Recorded 1955
Genre Vocal Music
Label RCA Victor
Writer(s) Shorty Allen, Roy Alfred
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Kay Starr singles chronology
"Good and Lonesome"
"(The) Rock and Roll Waltz"
"Second Fiddle"

"(The) Rock and Roll Waltz" is a popular song with music by Shorty Allen and lyrics by Roy Alfred in 1955, although the identity of the lyricist is in dispute. Other sources cite a Dick Ware, Dick Wise, or Dick Wine.[1][2][3][4]

As the title suggests this novelty song[5] is a waltz in triple metre, but it also contains a bass riff that is reminiscent of typical boogie woogie and rock and roll riffs.

The song is told from the point of view of a teenager who comes home early from a date, and catches her parents attempting to dance to one of her rock and roll records; only, having no frame of reference, the couple tries to waltz to the music.

The Kay Starr recording of the song, made in 1955, reached number one on the Billboard singles chart in 1956, staying there for six weeks. The recording was released by RCA Victor as catalog number 47-6359. It was Kay Starr's first recording of great significance for RCA Victor after leaving Capitol Records.[3] She had a number of lesser chart entries on RCA in 1955, including "Good and Lonesome" and "Turn Right". She thought it was a joke when the A&R staff at RCA Victor picked it for her; it was so different from what she was used to recording. It was a No. 1 hit, a million seller, and one of the early songs of the rock and roll era.[4]

The track also spent one week at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1956.[3][6]

Other artists who recorded this song include Ann-Margret (in 1962), Annette Funicello (in 1961), and Lawrence Welk and His Champagne Music with Alice Lon on vocals (in 1956, Coral EC 81128).

See also


  1. Eugene Chadbourne. "Shorty Allen | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  2. "Lawrence Welk And His Champagne Music - Champagne Pops - Coral - USA". 45cat. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  3. 1 2 3 Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 24. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  4. 1 2 Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 87. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  5. "Kay Starr | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. 1922-07-21. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  6. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 57. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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