From the 1920s through the 1930s, Turner and boogie-woogiepianistPete Johnson enjoyed a successful and highly influential collaboration that, following their appearance at Carnegie Hall on December 23, 1938, helped launch a craze for boogie-woogie in the United States. After the pair separated, Turner continued to experience cross-genre musical success, establishing himself as one of the founders of rock and roll with such smash hits as "Shake, Rattle and Roll", but he did not turn his back on his roots.The Boss of the Blues marks one of the last reunions Turner would have with Johnson, as, supported by a number of swing's best performers, they re-created a number of the classic tracks that had helped lay the groundwork for rhythm and blues. A presenter of jazz on Australian Broadcasting Commission radio said of this record, "When someone asks you 'What is Jazz?', just play the opening bars of 'Roll 'Em Pete'". The bold, vigorous arrangements by the veteran Ernie Wilkins fully represent the traditions of Kansas City music, while also giving a 'mainstream' platform to the musicians, not all of whom, e.g. both Pete Brown and Lawrence Brown, had K.C. backgrounds.