Bill Haley & His Comets

Bill Haley Biography

Bill Haley & His Comets

Bill Haley & His Comets was an American rock and roll band created in 1952 and active until Haley’s 1981 death. Bill Haley’s Comets was another name for the band (and variations thereof). From late 1954 to late 1956, the group had nine top-20 singles, one number one, and three top 10. “Rock Around the Clock” was the best-selling rock & roll single ever for years.

After recording a rockabilly version of Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm’s “Rocket 88,” one of the earliest rock and roll songs, bandleader Bill Haley switched his band from Western swing to rock.

By 1956, more raunchy artists like Elvis Presley and Little Richard eclipsed Haley and his Comets, who had pioneered rock and roll. In the 1970s, Haley and many of his contemporaries resurfaced as nostalgia acts in Europe. Seven groups have claimed to be the Comets since Haley’s death, all with differing degrees of legitimacy. Four such groups performed in the US and abroad as of 2014.

In 1943, Bill Haley assembled his first band and tried singing cowboy. He wore a crimson suit, white cowboy hat, and boots. “Down Homers” was his band. After three years with the band, Haley returned home in 1946. Bill gave up his singing cowboy dream at 21.

He started DJing at WPWA in 1947. Haley also formed the “Four Aces of Western Swing” with three other musicians. The band played hillbilly, Dixieland, and Western Swing. The band got bookings easily because Bill had radio station contacts. Bill briefly became Jack Haley and formed “Jack Haley and his All Western Sextette.”

Haley’s next band, Bill Haley and His Saddlemen included Johnny Grande and Billy Williamson. Only John Grande could read music, so he recorded and arranged their material. 1950 saw the band’s first Keystone records. “Ten Gallon Stetson and Susan Van Dusan,” “Deal Me a Hand,” and “I’m Not To Blame” were the band’s Western Swing songs.

Bill Haley penned “Rock A Beatin’ Bogie” in 1952, including “rock and roll” in the lyrics. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis were greatly influenced by his words and approach.

Finally, Bill Haley and His Saddlemen changed their name and ditched their cowboy gear. The Program Director at WPWA or another associate may have suggested Haley’s Comets, although there are other explanations. Bill Haley and His Comets were born. The band last altered its name and image in 1952. They also gave up country music for Rhythm and Blues-inspired rock and roll.

Bill Haley signed a 1954 contract with Decca to distribute four records to 2000 disc jockeys nationwide. Haley rearranged the band’s year-old “Rock Around the Clock” for this contract. The song was recorded in Studio A at Decca, which was actually an auditorium-like space that sported high ceilings and walnut woodwork that formed a reverberation chamber.

“Rock Around the Clock” became Bill’s first success and the first huge Rock and Roll song and would go on to sell over 25 million copies. Bill Haley soon became a leader of what some have dubbed the Rock and Roll revolution, a change in musical tastes that has persisted to this day. In 1955, Haley was a bizarre teen sensation, already bald and seeming middle-aged.

“Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Move It On Over,” “Lean Jean,” and “Dim, Dim the Lights” were among Bill Haley and his Comets’ Decca recordings until 1964. Bill Haley released many singles and 9 Top 40 albums.

Bill Haley died in his sleep at home in Harlingen, Texas, in 1981.

Discography

Twist Vol. 2
Bikini Twist
Twist
Haley’s Juke BoxYouTube
Bill Haley and His Comets SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Strictly Instrumental SpotifyAppleYouTube
Bill Haley’s Chicks SpotifyAppleYouTube
Rockin’ Around the World SpotifyApple
Rockin’ the Oldies
Rock ‘n’ Roll Stage Show

Top Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Hit Songs Did Bill Haley & His Comets Have ?

Bill Haley & His Comets had a total of 9 hit songs. “Rock Around the Clock” was their first and most famous song, but they also had hits with “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, “See You Later Alligator”, “Rudy’s Rock”, and more.

What Is Bill Haley & His Comets Most Popular Song?

One of Bill Haley & His Comets’ most popular songs is “Rock Around the Clock.” The song was released in 1954 and reached number one on the Billboard charts. It has been covered by many artists over the years and is considered a classic rock song.

What Was Bill Haley’S First Hit?

Bill Haley’s first hit was “Crazy Man, Crazy”, which was released in May 1953. It reached number twelve on the Billboard chart.

Most Searched For Songs

(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
See You Later, Alligator SpotifyApple
Shake, Rattle And Roll SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Crazy Man Crazy SpotifyYouTube
Dim, Dim The Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere) SpotifyAppleYouTube
Rip It Up SpotifyAppleYouTube
Introduction By Jean Marie Proslier (Live 1958) Spotify
Rock’n’Roll Music Spotify
Choo Choo Ch’Boogie Spotify
Mambo Rock SpotifyAppleYouTube