JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1850BILL HALEY AND THE COMETS ARRIVE IN LONDON TO BEGIN EUROPEAN TOUR
London (JFK+50) Bill Haley* and The Comets arrived here in London 59 years ago today, February 5, 1957, to begin the first major American rock-n-roll tour in Europe. The tour came two years after the band achieved success with their #1 hit, "Rock Around the Clock."**
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 and the Comets...." McCartney saved up 24 shillings for a ticket because he "knew there was something going on here."
Pete Townshend said Bill Haley and the Comets represented "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.
*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.
**"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.
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