Bill Haley & His Comets
For a guy who'd spent his career as a third tier (if that) Country-Western performer Bill Haley had incredible timing. There have been books and articles trying to determine the first Rock n' Roll song. But like evolution, it's hard to pin point exactly when something stopped being one thing and started being another. "Rock Around The Clock" probably wasn't first but it was the song that got the whole party going. When featured in the movie "Blackboard Jungle," kids lost control. There were riots. This new sound had power but Haley was way out of his league. He and his crew had a few more hits (though nothing anywhere near "Rock Around The Clock") before he was pushed aside by younger more talented performers.
Along with "Good Vibrations," "Born To Be Wild," "Stairway To Heaven" and just about everything off Boston's first album, Bill Haley & His Comet's "Rock Around The Clock" has joined the terminally overplayed. If you really want to hear the song just tune into Happy Days re-runs that are currently playing consecutively on countless cable channels.
Like a freak of nature "Rock Around The Clock" is something that has to be recognized, if not embraced. It started the whole Rock 'n' Roll craze which is kind of funny since it isn't much of a song or performance. Like many of Haley & His Comets lesser hits, it's just goofy fun. There are several compilations that cover the hits. Seek the original master recordings. For music historians "Rock The Joint! The Original Essex Recordings 1951-54" charts Haley's transition from Country to Rock.