Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bill Haley

Rock Around The Clock
One of two Bill Haley records found at the weekend which is most unusual. This one a compilation on the budget Ace Of Clubs label in the 60's of songs made famous ten years earlier.

"Haley broke into rock and roll via country and western music. He was a member of the Downhomers and musical director for the Saddlemen. The latter group had a regular radio show at a Chester, Pennsylvania, radio station. Haley brought different sounds into the Saddlemen's repertoire in an attempt to blend, in his words, "country and western, Dixieland and the old-style rhythm & blues." In 1952, the Saddlemen released "Rock This Joint" on the Essex label, and it sold 75,000 copies. By 1953, the group had changed its name to Bill Haley and His Comets and recorded the slang-filled "Crazy, Man, Crazy," a bonafide rock and roll hit. Haley and His Comets were thereupon signed to Decca Records.

At their first session for Decca, they cut "Rock Around the Clock" (which had originally been recorded in 1952 by Sunny Dae. Little attention was paid to Haley's version upon its initial release in the spring of 1954. The group followed it with their cover version of Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll," which cracked the Top Ten in July 1954 and sold a million copies. "Rock Around the Clock" got its second lease on life by being chosen for the soundtrack to The Blackboard Jungle, a 1955 movie about high-school delinquency that generated controversy in the press and pandemonium among the young. In effect, "Rock Around the Clock" became an anthem for rebellious Fifties youth. A 1956 movie named after the song, which featured nine lip-synched performances by Haley, made him a star here and abroad. His celebrity was particularly long-lived in Britain, where he continued to be treated as rock royalty into the Seventies."

Discover more about Bill Haley HERE.

Bill Haley - Thirteen Women

Bill Haley - Razzle Dazzle

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice little story about Bill haley. I have my own blog about old records and I have a story about a Bill Haley 'find' too! Check it out at http://oldrecordsuk.blogspot.com/