February 5, 2013
AMERICAN ROCK-N-ROLL INVADES BRITAIN
London (JFK+50) 56 years ago today, February 5, 1957, "Bill Haley* & The Comets" arrived in Great Britain to begin the 1st ever major American rock-n-roll tour in Europe.
*William John Clifton Haley (1925-1981) was born in Highland Park, Michigan but grew up in Pennsylvania. His father played the banjo & mandolin while his English mother played piano. Bill Haley died of a brain tumor at the age of 55.
The European tour came two years after the band achieved success with their #1 hit, "Rock Around the Clock."**
Rock Around the Clock
Photo by John White (2013)
I just purchased the record shown above from Lost & Found Records here in Knoxville.
The full title of the A side is "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock".
The label designates the recording as a Fox Trot.
The title of Side B is "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)."
**"Rock Around the Clock" was written by Max Freedman & Jimmy (De Knight) Myers & was recorded by Decca.
It has been called "the biggest selling rock-n-roll record of all time" with more than 25 million copies sold.
Bill Haley & the Comets
The band was greeted by thousands of young fans at Waterloo Station.
The tour gave the group's British fans an opportunity to see their first live "rock-n-roll" concert.
Paul McCartney of the Beatles said....
"The first time I really ever felt a tingle up my spine was when I saw Bill Haley & the Comets...."
McCartney saved up 24 shillings for a ticket because he "knew there was something going on here."
Pete Townshend said Bill Haley & the Comets was "the birth of rock-n-roll for me."
Graham Nash was so taken by seeing the band's performance live in Manchester that he kept his ticket stub.
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