There's a good article in Not So Modern Drummer magazine this month about the history of rock drumming (specifically, "Charles Connor and the Invention of the Rock and Roll Beat". It talks about how a drummer named Charles Connor may have actually been the first guy to play a straight eighth note rock and roll beat on the drums even though legendary studio great Earl Palmer has been credited for having invented the rock drumming beat. The article suggests that although Earl Palmer was the first to record rock drumming, Charles Connor had already been playing the straight 8th rock style with Little Richard live. Aparently Little Richard had told Charles that he wanted him to make a sound like a choo choo train when it leaves the station. When Charles said, "It sounds like eighth notes", Little Richard said, "Well if that's eighth notes, that's what I want you to play behind me on my fast tunes." And rock drumming was born.