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.
Bill Haley - 25 years earlier (02/1981) : back in the twentieth century - was still rocking as he did 30 years earlier (07/1951)...The definitive Belgian tribute...
Once there was a long time ago (winter of 1949 : accelerated rhythms mainly of polka, jive, hillbilly, Western swing, songs of his teen youth, tex-mex, classical music (Brahms, Rossini), Celtic music and dixieland as "COW-BOY-JIVE" or "Hillbilly-Jive")...One of the strongest influences in rock'n'roll music has been Bill Haley and His Comets. It was Bill Haley and the driving beat of his group that brought national prominence to the "Big Beat". It was Haley's music and his famed recordings that set the pattern for all rock'n'roll bands to follow.***Bill Haley started it all. His million-seller, "Shake, Rattle And Roll" hitted the world of Popular Music in the 50's, and he followed with a succession of smash hit Rock'n'Roll numbers including the evergreen (We're Gonna) "Rock Around The Clock". Then followed others like "Rip It Up", "See You Later, Alligator" and "Razzle-Dazzle" among others. For a decade Bill was "Mr. Rock'n'Roll" and "Mr. Go Go" [in Mexico, 1961-1966], and even now, more than 50 years after the first hit topped the summum of the int'l charts, his name and his personality are tops in the Rock scene. Bill had a good start : he came from a musical family in Michigan (his mother, Maude Green, teached piano lessons for 25 cents per hour; his father of Cherokee Indian ancestors roots played banjo and guitar) and, after flirting with Western music during his early teens, he instinctively felt that the lively, exciting Rock'n'Roll music was here to stay. Rock'n'Roll Is Here To Stay (Danny and The Juniors, 1958), indeed! Rock'n'Roll has had as great an impact on Popular Music as had Jazz some three or four decades earlier. And what about the current Rock revival in the early 70's and 80's which beared witness to the powerful influence generated by Bill Haley on the Pop world? To assess Bill's songs over and over the years is still a Herculean and exciting task, for he had so many; but to mention "R'n'R" is to conjure up instantly the name of Bill Haley. He was one of the immortals of the Pop scene; he has written into the history of music the most important chapter of all times...Rock'n'Roll...and it is with this that 25 years later he is still alive in our minds. Bill Haley will remain the UNDISPUTED KING and the FATHER of Rock'N'Roll: ain't that rockin' & rollin' so funny? Ha ha ha...And best wishes to his eldest son John William born in December 1950, Sharyn Ann, Joan, Scott Robert born in January 1960, Pedro, Georgina and Martha (my dear)....***Bill Haley was inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame at the 2nd annual induction dinner on January 21, 1987.***Bill haley was born on Thursday, 6th July 1925 and died on Monday, 9th February 1981***Forty years earlier, Bill formed THE FOUR ACES OF WESTERN SWING then changed it to JACK HALEY and his ALL WESTERN Sextette.***Formerly written back on the 3rd February of 2006 for English-speaking Wikipedia but considerably modified here. (C) Stephan "Juke Box Cannon Ball" Koenig.