Live rock ‘n’ roll first came to Peoria in 1957 via a series of public “shindigs” from local promoter Bill Reardon. “There is really no mystery about the rock ‘n’ roll craze,” reported WMBD news announcer Gomer Bath. “It is today’s adaptations of childish routines to new rhythms.“Past generations of children took delight in chanting, ‘Bean soup hot, bean soup cold, bean soup in the pot, nine days old’ and making it fit a double hand-patting routine. Kindergarten children for many years have pantomimed the nursery song, ‘This is the way we wash our clothes…’ fitting the actions to the music and rhythm.“The rock ‘n’ roll is essentially the same kind of fun. It is different only in that teenagers and adolescent-minded adults are now captivated by what used to be fun for children five, six and seven years old.”
Thanks to Chris Farris / Local History Collection : Peoria Public Library for research assistance on this project.