Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bill Haley: Rock Around The Clock



Bill Haley & His Comets playing on Ted Steele's Bandstand (1955) on WOR-TV (Channel 9), in New York City. Ted Steele's Bandstand was New York's initial venture into popularizing music on TV, paving the way for American Bandstand with Dick Clark.
***************
Written by: Max Freedman & James E Myrers [as Jimmy DeKnight]
Recorded: April 12, 1954: Pythian Temple Studios, 135 West 70th Street, New York City
Released: May 20, 1954: New York City
Label: Decca Records

It is one of the most influential songs in rock and roll history. Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" (1954) became the first rock and roll song to top Billboard magazine's charts for sales and airplay.  It wasn't an immediate hit, but after it became the theme song for the film, Blackboard Jungle (1955), it became hugely popular, and defined a cultural shift where rock 'n roll became a mainstay in America. The song has been described as the anthem of rebellious youth of the 1950s. Rebellious youth still has a pejorative sense, but it all depends, of course, what they were rebelling against.

Variations of the term "rock 'n roll" were used by black culture as early as the 1920s in America. It took another thirty years before it became part of the American mainstream lexicon. The popularizing of term rock 'n roll is credited to Alan Freed, a disc jockey from Cleveland, says The Straight Dope:
In 1952 Alan Freed visited a Cleveland record store and learned that R&B records were being snapped up by white teenagers. Sensing the makings of something big, he changed the name of his popular music show on radio station WJW from "Record Rendezvous" to "Moon Dog's Rock 'n' Roll House Party" and began playing R&B tunes. Freed apparently used the term "rock 'n' roll" to describe the music because he thought the racial connotation of "rhythm and blues" might turn off the white audience. In any case, the term stuck.

Freed was the original high-energy, shout-along-with-the-record AM screamer, and his show, along with rock 'n' roll music, attracted a huge following. A rock 'n' roll show Freed promoted at Cleveland Stadium had to be canceled when the place was mobbed by thousands of fans. By 1954 Freed had moved to a late-night show on WINS in New York City, where he duplicated his earlier success.
On July 8, 1955, Rock Around the Clock became the first rock and roll recording to hit the top number one spot of Billboard's Pop charts, a position it held for eight weeks. Since its release more than 50 years ago, the song has sold an astounding 20 million copies, ranking it among the top three singles of all time. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked the song no. 158 on its 2004 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Rock Around the Clock: Bill Haley and His Comets (1954)
Source: Wikipedia


Rock Around the Clock
by Max C. Freedman
& James E. Myers [using pseudonym Jimmy DeKnight]

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, 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

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ought to reflect the post in question. All comments are moderated; and inappropriate comments, including those that attack persons, those that use profanity and those that are hateful, will not be tolerated. So, keep it on target, clean and thoughtful. This is not a forum for personal vendettas or to create a toxic environment. The chief idea is to engage, to discuss and to critique issues. Doing so within acceptable norms will make the process more rewarding and healthy for everyone. Accordingly, anonymous comments will not be posted.