Bill Haley, known as the “Daddy of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, is widely credited as the originator of a whole new genre of music and his biggest hit, the 1954 Kassner-owned classic Rock Around The Clock ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK by JIMMY DE KNIGHT,MAX FREEDMAN|, marks the dividing line in popular music between the big band, ballad style that came before it and the driving, rhythmic rock style that would develop from it.
For more than a decade previously, Bill Haley plied his trade as a working musician, performing in small venues across America. Wherever he went, he listened to the local music, be it jazz or country, blues or hillbilly, boogie woogie or western swing. It was these varying influences that Haley, together with his initial backing band, The Saddlemen, drew upon for the sound of their first recordings in 1949-1951, including self-penned works such as Yodel Your Blues Away and Greentree Boogie|. As the group’s sound evolved into something closer to what we now know as rock ‘n’ roll, The Saddlemen name become less appropriate and they eventually changed to The Comets in 1952.
The newly-named band’s first hit came in 1953, when Crazy Man Crazy climbed the US charts, but it was the following year’s Shake, Rattle and Roll and Rock Around The Clock ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK by JIMMY DE KNIGHT,MAX FREEDMAN| that really took the American music scene by storm. Even then, Rock Around The Clock ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK by JIMMY DE KNIGHT,MAX FREEDMAN|, originally released as a B side, was a late bloomer. While the new sound it represented was already gaining interest from a largely teenage audience, it took the song’s inclusion in the 1955-released film Blackboard Jungle for Rock Around The Clock ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK by JIMMY DE KNIGHT,MAX FREEDMAN| to make a global impact. It would reach #1 in countries around the world, sell millions of records worldwide, be chosen time and again for film and TV uses and change the history of music forever.
In 1956, Bill Haley & His Comets would feature in two of the earliest full length rock ‘n’ roll musical motion pictures, the inevitably named Rock Around The Clock ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK by JIMMY DE KNIGHT,MAX FREEDMAN| and Don’t Knock The Rock. Kassner-owned songs from the films include ABC Boogie ABC BOOGIE by WILBERT RUSSELL,MAX SPICKOL|, Mambo Rock MAMBO ROCK by JIM AYRE,MILDRED PHILLIPS,S. REICHNER|, Happy Baby HAPPY BABY by FRANK PINGATORE| and Rock-A-Beatin’ Boogie ROCK-A-BEATIN' BOOGIE by BILL HALEY|.
Bill Haley died in 1981 but the legacy he gave to popular music lingers on.
Playlist | BILL HALEY