Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The National Anthem of Rock ’n’ Roll

Today in Music History: January 7

If you are one who lives by the phrase long live rock 'n' roll, then, you are definitely familiar with the song "Rock Around the Clock". While Elvis is declared the 'King of Rock 'n' Roll', there are others who have been dubbed the title of 'Father of Rock 'n' Roll'. The first is Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, one of the most prominent blues recording artists of the '40s. The other, who is in this day's spotlight, was quickly given the title by the media as a result of the hit single "Rock Around the Clock". Dick Clark, host of American Bandstand, called the song "The National Anthem of Rock 'n' Roll".

Welcome into the Spotlight...


Bill Haley and His Comets: the earliest group of white musicians to bring rock and roll to the attention of white America and the rest of the world.

Bill Haley was always an unlikely pop star. Blinded in his left eye as a child due to a botched operation, he later adopted his distinctive spit-curl hairstyle to distract attention from his blind eye. He wasn’t sexy, he looked more like a bandleader or your uncle than a rock ‘n’ roll star. Bill Haley and His Comets were the first rock and roll performers to appear on the iconic American musical variety television program the Ed Sullivan Show.
In the mid-1940s, Bill Haley performed with the Down Homers and formed a group called the Four Aces of Western Swing. The group that later became the Comets initially formed as Bill Haley and the Saddlemen c. 1949–1952, and performed mostly country and western songs, though occasionally with a bluesy feel. During those years Haley was considered one of the top cowboy yodelers in America. Many Saddlemen recordings would not be released until the 1970s and 1980s, and highlights included romantic ballads such as "Rose of My Heart" and western swing tunes such as "Yodel Your Blues Away".  [Source: en.wikipedia.com]
1955 'Rock Around The Clock' by Bill Haley and his Comets, entered the UK chart for the first time. The song was written in late-1952 by lyricist Max Freedman and music publisher James Myers (under his pseudonym Jimmy De Knight). Haley released ‘Rock Around the Clock’ in the US on May 20, 1954, and it remains one of the cornerstones of rock music. It was the first rock song used in a Hollywood film, Blackboard Jungle, and had teens dancing in the aisles.
Tidbits of Trivia...
"Rock Around the Clock" began with a veteran Country act called Sonny Dae and His Nights. Their version was released in 1953 to little acclaim. Haley's version was originally released as the B-side of a Dickie Thompson song called "Thirteen Women," which was about a nuclear bomb that leaves just one man and 13 women alive. "Rock Around the Clock" first appeared on the charts on June 3, 1953, selling 75,000 copies and convincing Decca Records to pick up Haley's option. It was featured in the movie Blackboard Jungle, which gave it a surge in popularity prompting Decca to re-release the single. This time the song surged to the top of the charts entering the Top 40 on May 14, 1955 where it stayed for 8 weeks. Source: Songfacts.com
No.1 hits on this day...

  • 1961 Country singer Johnny Tillotson was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Poetry In Motion.'
  • 1977 Andy Gibb was at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Just Want To Be Your Everything' a song written by his Bee Gee brother Barry.
  • 1989 Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Stock, Aitken & Waterman produced 'Especially For You'.

2010 According to Nielsen SoundScan's final 2009 figures, Michael Jackson was the best selling artist of the year, moving 8,286,000 units. Forty years after their break-up, The Beatles were still the best selling group, thanks to their remastered catalog which sold 3,282,000 copies. Digital downloads however, were a different story. Lady Gaga was the queen of the downloads, selling 15,297,000 digital tracks. The Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson and Taylor Swift all finished in the vicinity of 12 million digital units.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...