Just stopping by to say hi or hello - other tribute to the king of rock'n'roll (11/09/2008)
With his curl, his rasping invitation to "Rock Around The Clock" and the cheerful gymnastics of his musicians, Bill Haley has written himself into the pop history books forever. He conveys on record as few others have been able too, the musical style of an era that changed the face of popular music. Bill's rock and roll style evolved from the kind of music he had been playing in country and western groups and the rhythm and blues music he loved. He combined these two styles of music to create the sound that was to change the music scene for the generation of the early 50s. Like many others, Haley experimented with various line-ups and his first efforts on minor American record labels met with little response. With his group the "Comets" Haley scored his first real success, "Shake, Rattle And Roll" in 1954 which broke into both the American and British charts. The following year, his biggest and most familiar hit "Rock Around The Clock" was featured in the MGM film about teenage violence, "(The) Blackboard Jungle". This was a worldwide hit which sparked off a Haley hysteria that made national headlines when he and his Comets appeared in the film "Rock Around The Clock". Banner headlines proclaimes seat ripping in cinemas everywhere and the Haley formula went on producing more and more chart hits. His popularity at that time was remarkable and a European tour confirmed that Haley was indeed the 'King of Rock'n'Roll' - however, his reign coincided with the emergence of Elvis 'The Pelvis' Presley as a major force in rock music (Presley was 10 years younger than Haley but invented nothing in rock and roll music and anyway Jimmy Cavallo/Cavello And His House Rockers played rockabilly since 1951) and Haley gradually lost his hold on the pop record charts. Yet Bill Haley has retained a popularity that even today keeps him as the undisputed king and he remains possibly the finest exponent of rock and roll. ***Rock Around The Clock will remain one of the wonderful evergreens of all time. (C) Stephan Koenig.