Huey “Piano” Smith’s Hit song: Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu

Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu

It was on Dr. Johns Gumbo, the Dr. John album where he ‘honored’  the great artists and music of New Orleans when I first heard the music Huey “Piano” Smith. Dr. John recorded a medley of Huey’s songs. One song that was not part of Dr. John mix is “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”.

Ace Records 1957 release by Huey “Piano” Smith

Ace Records was the biggest independent label in Mississippi in the 1950s and 60s containing a roster of Mississippi blues artists and Louisiana musicians like Huey “Piano”  Smith. Alongside label owner Johnny Vincent, Huey Smith  wrote the “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” in 1957 and scored a minor hit, nr 52 in the billboard Chart. 

The song gained a whole lot of attention in  1972 when Johnny Rivers scored and international hit with it and reached number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 during the winter of 1973.

Johnny Rivers – 1972 version  “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”

Huey “Piano” Smith was an important part of the great New Orleans piano tradition, following in the footsteps of Professor Longhair and Fats Domino to take his place among the Crescent City’s R&B elite. (Smith Bio)

But at the peak of his game, Smith epitomized New Orleans R&B at its most infectious and rollicking, as showcased on his classic signature tune “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu.”

Jerry Lee Lewis – Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu

photo credit: DrabikPany Złoty fortepian na pl. Wszystkich Świętych via photopin (license)

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