An introduction to the life of bill haley

The book by C.

An introduction to the life of bill haley

The group that later became the Comets initially formed as Bill Haley and the Saddlemen c.

An introduction to the life of bill haley

During those years Haley was considered one of the top cowboy yodelers in America. Many Saddlemen recordings were not released until the s and s, and highlights included romantic ballads such as "Rose of My Heart" and western swing tunes such as "Yodel Your Blues Away".

The original members of this group were Haley, pianist and accordion player Johnny Grande and steel guitarist Billy Williamson. During the group's early years, it recorded under several other names, including Johnny Clifton and His String Band and Reno Browne and Her Buckaroos although Browne, a female matinee idol of the time, did not actually appear on the record.

Haley began his rock and roll career with what is now recognized as a rockabilly style in a cover of " Rocket 88 " recorded for the Philadelphia -based Holiday Records label in It sold well and was followed in by a cover of a s rhythm and blues song called " Rock the Joint " this time for Holiday's sister company, Essex Records.

Slap-back bass, one identifying characteristic of rockabilly, was used on the Comets' recordings of "Rocket 88", "Rock the Joint", "Rock Around the Clock", and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". It soon became apparent that a new name was needed to fit the new musical style.

A friend of Haley's, making note of the common alternative pronunciation of the name Halley's Comet to rhyme with Bailey, suggested that Haley call his band the Comets. The new name was adopted in the fall of Members of the group at that time were Haley, Grande, Williamson and Lytle.

Grande usually played piano on record, but switched to accordion for live shows as it was more portable than a piano and easier to deal with during musical numbers that involved a lot of dancing around.


Soon after renaming the band, Haley hired his first drummer, Earl Famous. Soon after, Haley asked Richards again, who then accepted the role. During this time and as late as the fall ofHaley did not have a permanent lead guitar player, choosing to use session musicians on record and either playing lead guitar himself or having Williamson play steel solos.

In Haley scored his first national success with an original song called " Crazy Man, Crazy ", a phrase Haley said he heard from his teenage audience, again released on Essex.

Haley later claimed the recording sold a million copies, but this is considered an exaggeration. Shortly after their second record released from Essex, a saxophonist named Joey Ambrose joined the band, playing baritone saxophone, and finally switching to tenor on their final b-side for Essex, "Straight-Jacket".

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In the spring ofHaley and His Comets left Essex for New York-based Decca Recordswhere they were placed under the auspices of veteran producer Milt Gablerwho would produce all of the band's recordings for the label and who had been involved in creating many proto-rock and roll recordings by the likes of the Andrews Sisters and Louis Jordan dating back to the s.

Their first session, on April 12,yielded " Rock Around the Clock ", which would become Haley's biggest hit and one of the most important records in rock and roll history.

Sales of "Rock Around the Clock" started slowly, since it was the B-side of the single, but it performed well enough that a second Decca session was commissioned.

The single was one of Decca's best-selling records of [6] and the seventh-best-selling record in November It did not attain the Number 1 position on the American charts, but it became Haley's first gold record. Elvis Presley recorded the song incombining Haley's arrangement with Turner's original lyrics, but his version was not a substantial hit.

Johnnie Ray had reached Number 1 with " Cry " in The belated success of "Rock Around the Clock" is attributed to its use in the soundtrack of the film Blackboard Jungle[9] which was released on March 19, is the place to go to get the answers you need and to ask the questions you want.

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