Fifty Years Of Rockin' Around The Clock

Published: 2004-04-23
A husband and father of five children who played music professionally stumbled on to an idea that in the past 50 years has taken on a life of its own. Michigan born Bill Haley recorded an R&B / country hybrid song back in 1952 called "Rock This Joint" after realizing the kids wanted to hear something wild. He followed it up with an original composition "Crazy Man, Crazy" in 1953 which was the first rock 'n' roll song to top the charts.

On April 12, 1954 Haley recorded "Rock Around The Clock" which was a song written for him by Max Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight (James Myers). Even though the song was stated by everyone as a masterpiece after completion, Decca Records chose to go with an R&B tune "Thirteen Women" as the A side of the new single and relegated "Rock Around The Clock" to the B side. The A-side song was a minor hit. But as luck would have it "Blackboard Jungle" director Richard Brooks was looking for something to use in his film's opening. While visiting Glenn Ford, son Peter was playing the B side of "Thirteen Women" on the turntable and Brooks decided to use the song in the film. A hit single and an era was born when "Rock Around the Clock" became the very first number one rock and roll song.

It wasn't until the end of 1961 that Chubby Checker brought respectability to the music in the eyes of the adults when he had the nation doing "The Twist".

Rock and roll became a way for people to express their feelings and beliefs. For 50 years the world has been "Rockin' Around the Clock". "Rock and Roll is Here to Stay" in all its various shapes, sizes, and forms thanks to a man who saw it was time for a change in the way young teens listened to music.

Writer: Sherrill Fulghum



Fatal error: Call to undefined function session_is_registered() in /home2/soulshi/public_html/news/newsarticle.php on line 513
Please login / register to post a personalized comment, or you may simply post as an Anonymous user.
SPEAK OUT! Post your comments about this article here.