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Bill Haley and His Comets

Entry updated 2 April 2015. Tagged: Music.

US rock-n-roll band, founded and fronted by Bill Haley (1925-1981); also listed on releases as Bill Haley and The Comets and Bill Haley's Comets. Historians of popular music often credit Haley's earlier group The Saddlemen with recording the first true rock 'n' roll song: "Rocket '88" (1951; the title refers to the Oldsmobile car, not a spaceship); although it was the global success of the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" (1954) that launched rock as a popular-cultural idiom. In fact, and notwithstanding its subsequent prodigious success, "Rock Around the Clock" was first released only as the B-side to a science-fictional single, "Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town)" (1954), a jaunty post-nuclear Holocaust song (see Atomic Platters) about the erotic adventures of the only male to survive an H-bomb attack. [AR]


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