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Bill Haley

1925

William John Clifton Haley (a.k.a. Bill Haley) is born in Highland Park, Michigan.

1951

Bill Haley records a cover of Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88,” possibly qualifying it as the first rock and roll record by a white artist.

1952

Bill Haley records a rocking version of the R&B song “Rock This Joint,” which had been a theme song for disc jockey Jimmy Preston.

1953

Bill Haley records “Crazy, Man, Crazy,” one of the first times a performer incorporated teen slang into a popular song.

1954

Bill Haley and His Comets record “Rock Around the Clock” at Pythian Temple, a New York studio.

1954

“Rock Around the Clock” debuts as the B side of “Thirteen Women,” reaching #56.

1954

“Shake, Rattle and Roll,” Bill Haley and the Comets’ cover of Big Joe Turner’s R&B hit, reaches #7.

1955

“Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley and His Comets, reaches Number One for the first of eight weeks.

1955

Elvis Presley and Bill Haley share a bill at a high school in Cleveland, Ohio.

1955

Bill Haley and the Comets record “See You Later, Alligator,” the latest in a series of R&B covers. It will enter the Top Forty in January 1956 and peak at #6.

1956

Bill Haley and the Comets, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and the Platters embark on rock and roll’s first package tour, dubbed “Galaxy of the Stars.”

1969

Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, the Platters, the Coasters, the Shirelles and others perform at a “Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival” concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

1972

Bill Haley headlines the U.K.’s first Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival Show at London’s Wembley Stadium. Also on the bill are Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bo Diddley.

1974

“Rock Around the Clock” enters the U.S. charts for a second time.

1981

Bill Haley dies of a heart attack at home in Harlingen, Texas.

1981

Bill Haley records his final album, Everybody Can Rock ‘n’ Roll, in London and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

1982

“Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley and His Comets, is inducted into the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science’s Hall of Fame at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

1987

Bill Haley is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the second annual induction dinner. Chuck Berry is his presenter.

2004

The 50th anniversary of “Rock Around the Clock,” by Bill Haley and the Comets, is marked in Europe - where Haley is still revered as a rock and roll pioneer – with radio and TV documentaries.