Bill Haley and His Comets

I’ve always liked Bill Haley and His Comets. I liked the pattern of his vocals and the tone of his guitar. He is sometimes referred to as one of the Fathers of Rock and Roll. Happy Days where I discovered Bill Haley and also Fats Domino.

Haley was blinded in his left eye as a child due to a failed operation. Haley later adopted his distinctive spit-curl hairstyle to distract attention from his blind eye. The hairstyle caught on as a 50s-style haircut.

Bill Haley is overlooked constantly. He was one of the firsts to play Rock and Roll but he didn’t exactly have the Elvis look. He was 30 in 1955 but looked much older. He looked like someone’s dad playing rock and roll but he had some of the iconic songs of the 1950s.

In 1953 he recorded the song “Crazy Man, Crazy” and it peaked in the charts at #15. It is said by some to be one the first rock and roll songs. In 1954 came the breakthrough song “Rock Around The Clock” that went to number 1. Other hits included “Shake Rattle and Roll” and “See You Later, Alligator” that was a hit in 1956.

His popularity started to decline in America with the emergence of Elvis but he was huge in Europe when he toured there in 1957. They had many more top twenty hits in the UK than in America.

A self-admitted alcoholic, Haley fought a battle with alcohol well into the 1970s but he and his band continued to be a popular touring act. He enjoyed a career resurgence in the late 1960s with the rock and roll revival movement. “Rock Around the Clock” recharted again in 1974 at #34 on the Billboard 100.

Haley was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1980 and he passed away on February 9, 1981. Haley was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Over 100 musicians were in the Comets from 1952-1981 and The Comets kept touring until the 2000s…

Rock Around the Clock

One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock
Five, six, seven o’clock, eight o’clock, rock
Nine, ten, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock, rock
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
Put your glad rags on and join me, hon’
We’ll have some fun when the clock strikes one
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, gonna rock, around the clock tonight
When the clock strikes two, three and four
If the band slows down we’ll yell for more
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, gonna rock, around the clock tonight
When the chimes ring five, six and seven
We’ll be right in seventh heaven
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, gonna rock, around the clock tonight
When it’s eight, nine, ten, eleven too
I’ll be goin’ strong and so will you
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, gonna rock, around the clock tonight
When the clock strikes twelve, we’ll cool off then
Start a rockin’ round the clock again
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, gonna rock, around the clock tonight

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

8 thoughts on “Bill Haley and His Comets”

  1. He was bound to lose out when Elvis came along- he looked a lot older than he actually was-Visually looking at that picture they just don’t cut it as a rock and roll band. . I must admit I never cared for anything other than Rock Around The Clock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must be in a fifties mood. His vocals have the same rhythm…he knew his target audience… I’m a sucker for call and answer songs… Yes Elvis sealed his fate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a big fan of Bill Haley and the Comets. Of course I never saw them live but I’ve seen clips and they were awesome. Danny Cedrone’s guitar solo is magnificent. I like a lot of their recordings. Their version of Shake Rattle and Roll was the first version I heard–my Mom use to play their records, but then I heard the original by Big Joe Turner and I haven’t listened to The Comets version since. Ha! Their bassist is one of my all time favorites. Marshall “freakin'” Little. Oh, man! He was a chubby guy but he would put on a show. Stood on his up right bass and just went to town. He’s the inspiration of Lee Rocker of The Stray Cats and Phantom, Rocker and Slick–another great bassist.
    Nice write up. Thanks for highlighting this great band and giving me some info I didn’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you… I just saw where Haley’s son brought his dad’s guitar for Brian Setzer to play at a concert…It was pretty cool.
      Cedrone would double the notes and play those great runs. The tone they got was great…thats the guitar player in me talking…but that tone is wonderful.

      There is no sound like an upright bass…It’s not the easiest thing to play in the world either… Those guys had to be on the mark or you would know.

      Liked by 1 person

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