Today Global Texan Chronicles celebrates the day of birth of one the original and legendary rockers, William John Clifton Haley, who was born in Highland Park, Michigan on this very day in 1925. Mr. Bill “Rock Around The Clock” Haley, Happy Birthday!
For decades fans of Rock N’ Roll have debated who was the first rocker and what was the first rock song. Was It Sister Rosetta Tharp – Strange Things Happening Every Day (1944); Louis Jordan- SaturdayNight Fish Fry (1949); Les Paul and Mary Ford – How High the Moon (1951); Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup – That’s All Right (1946); Joe Liggens – The Honeydripper (1945); Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats – Rocket 88 (1951); Fats Domino – The Fat Man (1950) or could be (We’reGonna) Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets (1954)…The answer is pretty subjective and names like Chuck Berry, Ike Turner, Willie Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Johnny Lee Hooker come into play. We could be here all day.
None of that matters on this day, the day way back when, William Haley and Maude Green brought the man who, without a doubt, popularized what we now know as our beloved Rock N’ Roll into the world. The man who brought the world not only Rock Around The Clock but also See Ya Later, Alligator, Birth Of The Boogie, Mambo Rock, Crazy, Man, Crazy and Shake Rattle and Roll. We dig it all.
What a better way to celebrate a man that made so much possible and unfortunately died lost to history than to look at some Did Ya Knows about the man that took his Comets into the far reaches of music lore.
- Bill Haley and His Comets were The Comets of “Rock Around The Clock” are: Bill Haley (vocals, guitar), Danny Cedrone (lead guitar), Joey D’Ambrosio (tenor saxophone), Johnny Grande (piano), Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Marshall Lytle (double bass), Billy Gussak (drums)
- Bill Haley worked at a bottling plant and as a DJ before his rise to fame.
- Sonny Dae and His Knights recorded Rock Around The Clock a month before Bill Haley and His Comets.
- Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (known collectively as “Jimmy De Knight”) wrote Rock Around The Clock.
- Have you ever compared Hank William’s Move It On Over (1947) to Rock Around The Clock…Uncanny.
- Before Alan Freed coined Rock N’ Roll, DJ’s referred to songs by Bill Haley and other similar sounding artists as ‘Novelty Foxtrots’.
- Bill Haley died in Harlingen, Texas (1981) a broken and lost man. His widow, Martha Velasco, has said; “After a while, he’d start to shift in his seat and look around. … He was giving people around him clues. He wanted people to hear him and say, ‘You’re Bill Haley, aren’t you?”
Well Mr. Haley, we haven’t forgotten and long live you and The Rock N’ Roll sounds you made so popular. Your take on jump blues sounds and legacy live on in us all.
Rock.In.Peace. Bill Haley July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981
“The music is the main thing and it’s just
as easy to write acceptable words.” – Bill Haley