“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (sometimes rendered “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On”) is a song written by Dave “Curlee” Williams and sometimes also credited to James Faye “Roy” Hall. The song was first recorded by Big Maybelle, though the best-known version is the 1957 rock and roll/rockabilly version by Jerry Lee Lewis.
Sun released the song on a single, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the magazine’s R&B record charts. A record review appeared in Billboard on May 27, 1957. The single also hit No. 1 on the country charts, and No. 8 in the UK. Lewis became an instant sensation and as music writer Robert Gordon noted: “Jerry Lee began to show that in this new emerging genre called rock ‘n’ roll, not everybody was going to stand there with a guitar.”
American music critic Cub Koda described the song as a “rock & roll classic”, while scholar Charles L. Ponce de Leon said it was “perhaps the quintessential rockabilly anthem”. Lewis’s version of the song is ranked as the 61st greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. In 2005, it was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
B-side “It’ll Be Me”
Released April 15, 1957
Genre Rock and roll, rockabilly
Songwriter(s) Dave “Curlee” Williams, James Faye “Roy”
Producer(s) Jack Clement