Bill Haley - The Father Of Rock & Roll
The Rise of Bill Haley
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On April 12th 1954, Bill Haley & His Comets created the "National Anthem Of Teenagers" (Lillian Roxon) with "Rock Around The Clock", - the song which became the best-selling rock single of all time. It was not until July 6th 1954 when Elvis Presley cut his first disc - "That's Alright" - which became only a local hit in Memphis. During the same year, Bill Haley & His Comets received their first gold record for their million-seller "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and scored with "Dim Dim the Lights" in the Pop and Rhythm & Blues Charts. Bo Diddley was a year away from scoring his first hit. The same applied to Chuck Berry. Buddy Holly was sixteen and playing with school friend Bob Montgomery as a Western swing duo. Little Richard did various odd jobs, whereas Fats Domino did not change his New Orleans R&B to a more mainstream rock & roll approach until 1955. Last but not least, Jerry Lee Lewis was still performing country music in the honky tonks of Louisiana.
In 1955, Bill Haley's highly controlled, syncopated chorus of sounds, all driven by a wild, primitive, but always thundering beat, was introduced worldwide in the box office smash teenage drama "Blackboard Jungle" starring Glenn Ford and a young Sidney Poitier. This film was the ignition for "Rock Around The Clock" becoming synonymous with rock & roll. With sales now exceeding 200,000,000 copies, it was recorded by more than 500 artists in 32 different languages. It has also been featured in 40 motion pictures and, of course, as the title track to the TV series "Happy Days"
(...)Hier berichtet der Autor über die Anfänge von Bill Haleys musikalischem Werdegang, also über seine ersten musikalischen Formationen, in denen Country & Western auf dem Programm stand. Damals, in den vierziger Jahren, gab es nicht unbedingt nur rosige Zeiten für den jungen Musiker aus Pennsylvania. Die spätere Entwicklung hin zur Gründung der Comets, und die ersten Erfolge mit Schallplattenaufnahmen, lassen sich hier gut nachvollziehen.(...)
(...)Otto Fuchs lays out Bill´s life from the early beginnings through the great years when he was selling million of records and playing sell-out concerts around the world to those last, sad times when drink was his best friend when he tried to relive past glories. An immense amount of work has gone into these books – checking facts, finding pictures and, of course, conducting interviews.(...)