Bill Haley and His Comets: Oriental Rock (1958)

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Bill Haley and His Comets: Oriental Rock (1958)

There are a few views of rock'n'roll pioneer Bill Haley whose Rock Around the Clock provided the revolutionary soundtrack to the '55 Glenn Ford movie Blackboard Jungle: that he was the rebel voice of a post-war generation . . . or that he was the accidental John the Baptist to Elvis' rock'n'roll Jesus.

There is the view that Haley -- who looked like your receeding-hair uncle who was entertaining at a family wedding but no one's idea of a pop star -- was a popular culture abberation who got in the way of black artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Otis Blackwell . . .

Or that he opened the door for others/betters to walk through.

Whatever, within a couple of years of Rock Around the Clock, Haley's career was already on the slide.

In '58 he released the album Rockin' Around the World (sometimes just Rockin' in reissue) and it was as the title said: generic rock'n'roll songs -- each with a slight variation to allow for some regional reference.

And so you had Rockin' Matilda (Australia), Rockin' Rollin' Schnitzelbank (that takes care of Germany), Pretty Alouette for the French, Wooden Shoe Rock (that takes care of the Dutch), Piccadilly Rock for the British . . .

Kinda sad in way. 

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