The members of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were still in grammar school; Lonnie Donegan was still known as Anthony Donegan and thinking of becoming an entertainer; and Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies had not yet even met. As of 2014, only two members of this particular contingent were still alive (Joey Ambrose and Dick Richards), but they continued to perform in Branson and in Europe. During the 1940s Haley was considered one of the top cowboy yodelers in America as "Silver Yodeling Bill Haley". And to top off the good news, Haley not only had a full concert schedule in front of him in the U.S.A., but major record labels interested in recording him; he ended up signing with Buddha/Kama Sutra Records for a pair of live albums. [11] The Comets were separately inducted into the Hall of Fame as a group in 2012, after a rule change allowed the induction of backing groups (the Comets were mass-inducted alongside several other groups such as Hank Ballard's the Midnighters and Gene Vincent's Blue Caps. Contrary to the popular perception, he remained an active musician throughout the 1960s, recording for Warner Bros. and a brace of other U.S. labels, and he also found a lucrative performing and recording career in Mexico (where Haley, not Chubby Checker or Hank Ballard, started the "twist" craze). John Swenson. Tchaikovsky and Bach is Cadillac music, while we play more down-to-earth Ford music. Perhaps little of the post-1957 stuff could set the whole world on fire, but Haley had already been there and done that, and still had a lot of good music to play. They continued playing in clubs as well as over the radio around Philadelphia, and in 1951 made their first recordings.". John Swenson. [10] Initially, it was relatively successful, peaking at number 23 on the Billboard pop singles chart and staying on the charts for a few weeks. William John Clifton "Bill" Haley (/ˈheɪliː/; July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981) was an American rock and roll musician. Bill Haley and the Comets performed "Rock Around the Clock" on the Texaco Star Theater hosted by Milton Berle on Tuesday, May 31, 1955, on NBC in an a cappella and lip-synched version. 'Bill Haley: The Daddy of Rock and Roll', P.164, by John Swenson (Pub. Miller either genuinely didn't see the potential of the song, or else he didn't like the business arrangement that Myers had with Haley, because he refused to record it. ", "Vive la Rock and Roll", "So Right Toight", "Ana Maria", "Yucatan Twist", "Football Rock and Roll", and "Chick Safari". But some of it, like "Rockin' Chair on the Moon," was years ahead of its time; and some of it, like "Crazy, Man, Crazy" -- a Haley original whose title came from a piece of teen slang that he'd heard -- did exactly what was intended, hitting the Top 20 on the pop charts in 1953, a first for a white band playing an R&B-style song. Haley and his band were important in launching the music known as "Rock and Roll" to a wider audience after a period of it being considered an underground genre. The Comets were one of the best rock & roll bands of their era, with a mostly sax-driven sound ornamented with heavy rhythm guitar from Haley, a slap-bass, and drumming with lots of rim-shots; they had the "blackest" sound of any white band working in 1953-1955. Haley historian Chris Gardner, as well as surviving members of the group, have confirmed that the two singles: "Out Where the West Winds Blow"/"Who's Gonna Kiss You When I'm Gone" (Vogue R736) and "Boogie Woogie Yodel"/"Baby I Found Out All About You" (Vogue R786) do not feature Haley. It was released a month later and made the charts for one week at number 23, selling 75,000 copies, not bad but not very significant either. Saxman Rudy Pompilli, who'd been with him since 1955, died in 1975, and Haley eventually retired from performing. Bill Haley is the neglected hero of early rock & roll. Bill Haley's compositions included "Four Leaf Clover Blues", "Crazy Man, Crazy", "What'Cha Gonna Do", "Fractured", "Live It Up", "Farewell, So Long, Goodbye", "Real Rock Drive", "Rocking Chair on the Moon", "Sundown Boogie", "Birth Of The Boogie", "Two Hound Dogs", "Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie", "Hot Dog Buddy Buddy", "R-O-C-K", "Rudy's Rock", "Calling All Comets", "Tonight's the Night", "Hook, Line and Sinker", "Sway with Me", "Paper Boy (On Main Street U.S.A.)", "Skinny Minnie", "B.B. [35] However, the tracks were nonetheless included in the compilation box set Rock 'n' Roll Arrives released by Bear Family Records in 2006. That debut single sold just a few thousand copies regionally, as did its follow-up, "Green Tree Boogie." With the song's success, the age of rock music began overnight and instantly ended the dominance of the jazz and pop standards performed by Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Perry Como, Bing Crosby and others. At the time, "Rocket 88" didn't seem to matter too much in terms of sales, as it was neither fish nor fowl; not good enough R&B to eclipse Brenston's original among black record buyers, nor sufficiently a country record the way white audiences or the radio stations that catered to them wanted. ", The sleeve notes continue: "When Bill Haley was fifteen [c.1940] he left home with his guitar and very little else and set out on the hard road to fame and fortune. She took him home, however, fed him and gave him his first dose. William John Clifton "Bill" Haley ( /ˈ h eɪ l iː / ; July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981) was one of the first American rock and roll musicians. In Rock Around the Clock, by contrast, the single truest scene depicts a would-be promoter driving through rural Pennsylvania and chancing upon a dance where Haley and company are playing; he enters, sees hundreds of kids dancing to the band's music, and asks a woman being lifted up over the head of her partner, "Hey sister, what's that exercise you're getting?" Additionally, overseas, where any visiting American artist was treated well, Haley was greeted like visiting royalty; he always had large and fiercely loyal audiences in England, France, and Germany, which would turn out in huge numbers to see him. They followed it up quickly with "Dim, Dim the Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere)," a jaunty piece that reached number 11 nationally and actually made the R&B charts for Haley, a first for him. [14] He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame[27] at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard[28][29] on February 8, 1960,[30] for his contributions to the music industry The Comets were separately inducted into the Hall of Fame as a group in 2012, after a rule change allowed the induction of backing groups. His recordings have sold over 60 million records worldwide.

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