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2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Jesse Stone

Jesse Stone

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  • Year:
    2010
  • Inducted by:
    Carole King
  • Category:
    Ahmet Ertegun Award
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Hall of Fame Essay

2010

Tony Fletcher

Perhaps no other American popular-music composer straddled the twentieth century quite like Jesse Stone, and not only because he witnessed its every single year.

Jesse Stone did more to develop the basic rock & roll sound than anybody else, said Ahmet Ertegun, and that was surely because his trajectory embodied all the creative black-music forms of the early twentieth century. Born in Kansas in November 1901 into a long line of musicians, Jesse Albert Stone was singing in his family’s minstrel show — alongside a trained dog — at the age of just 4.

By the mid-192os, he was an accomplished piano player, ensconced on the Kansas City jazz scene, where his group the Blues Serenaders recorded a handful of enduring cuts for the preeminent Okeh Records.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010 Induction Ceremony Program Cover
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