March 4, 2023: American Songwriter: Meet the Writers Behind “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets
Co-written by Max C. Freedman, also known as Ray Freedman, and James E. Myers, who went by the stage name Jimmy DeKnight, “Rock Around the Clock” was originally recorded by instrumental group Sonny Dae and His Knights, but it was Bill Haley & His Comets who took it to the top of the charts and turned it into an international hit in 1955.
There is an air of mystery around the composition of “Rock Around the Clock,” with many left wondering if one writer is more responsible for the song than the other. “I had written the melody and about half of the lyrics, but I was having trouble with the rest of it,” Myers claimed, according to Dawson. “Max Freedman…walked into my office while I was fooling around with it one day and said, ‘That sounds pretty good, can I help you with it?’ I said, ‘Why not?’ When we finished it he said, ‘What are you gonna call it?’ I said ‘Rock Around the Clock’ and he said, ‘Why rock, what’s that mean?’ Why not ‘Dance Around the Clock?’ And I said, ‘I just have a gut feeling, and since I’m half the writer and whole publisher, I’m the boss.'”
Feb 10, 2021: Express: Bill Haley death: How did Father of Rock 'n' Roll Bill Haley die?
Bill Haley is one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll. His group, Bill Haley & His Comets, performed some of the rock ‘n’ roll classics many know and love today and helped popularise the genre in general. He died young, as many stars at this time - but what happened?
Dec 27, 2013: Elsewhere: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BILL HALEY (2013):
One of the first victims of rock'n'roll was a founding father of the style: Bill Haley.
A country singer with a love of Western Swing, Haley was 30 when his signature song Rock Around the Clock became a massive hit in '55 when it appeared on the soundtrack to the juvenile delinquent film Blackboard Jungle. He would also appear in the first real rock'n'roll film Don't Knock the Rock the following year alongside Little Richard.
July 6, 1925: William John Clifton Haley was born.
Dec 11, 1946: Bill Haley married Dorothy Crowe
June 14, 1951: Bill Haley's Saddlemen recorded a cover of the Delta Cats "Rocket 88"
November 14, 1952: Bill Haley divorced Dorothy Crowe.
November 18, 1952: Bill Haley married Barbara Joan Cupchak.
May 31, 1955: Bill Haley and the Comets performed "Rock Around the Clock" on the Texaco Star Theater hosted by Milton Berle on NBC in an a cappella and lip-synched version.
July 9, 1955: "Rock Around the Clock" reached #1 Billboard charts.
Aug 7, 1955: Bill Haley and the Comets
performed on the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS in a broadcast that originated from the Shakespeare Festival Theater in Hartford, Connecticut.
April 28, 1957: Haley & the Comets made their second appearance on the ed Sullivan Show show, performing the songs "Rudy's Rock" and "Forty Cups of Coffee".
Oct 28, 1957: Bill Haley and the Comets appeared on American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark on the prime time show.
November 27, 1957: Bill Haley and the Comets appeared on American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark on the regular daytime show.
Mar 22, 1958: the band appeared on Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beechnut Show, also known as The Dick Clark Show, a primetime TV series from New York.
Feb 8, 1960: Haley received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard for his contributions to the music industry.
Feb 20, 1960: The band performed "Rock Around the Clock", "Shake, Rattle and Roll", and "Tamiami" on Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beechnut Show.
Nov 26, 1979: Bill Haley performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance.
October 25, 1980: An issue of German tabloid Bild reported that Haley had a brain tumor. Haley's British manager, Patrick Malynn, was quoted as saying that "Haley had taken a fit [and] didn't recognize anyone anymore."
February 9, 1981: Bill Haley died in
Highland Park, Michigan.
October 27, 2007: Ex-Comets guitar player Bill Turner opened the Bill Haley Museum for the public.