Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
‘Rock Around the Clock’ is a rockabilly song remembered most as performed by Bill Haley and the Comets, although it was written by Max Freedman and James Myers and performed by Sonny Dae and His Knights. Myers says, however, that the song was written for Haley, so Bill Haley and the Comets did not really cover the song. Bill Haley recorded ‘Rock Around the Clock’ in 1954. It was undisputedly the first rock song to top all of Billboard’s charts - ‘Best Sellers in Stores’, ‘Most Played by Disc Jockeys’, and ‘Most Played in Juke Boxes’.
In 1955, ‘Blackboard Jungle’ came out, with ‘Rock Around the Clock’ played during the credits, and instrumentally in the middle of the film.
In 1956, ‘Rock Around the Clock’ premiered, a movie named after the song. I have actually watched this movie, and it was very entertaining.
In 1974, the famous song was used again in a movie titled ‘American Graffiti’.
The solo in ‘Rock Around the Clock’ was originally used in another Bill Haley song, ‘Rock This Joint’. When ‘Rock Around the Clock’ was about to be recorded, the lead guitarist, Danny Cedrone, had not had time to come up with a guitar solo, so he just reused the one in ‘Rock This Joint’.
Bill Haley died in 1981, but his famous song lives on, and even today his band is still alive, with his daughter as one of their musicians.