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Digital Subscriptions > Vintage Rock > Mar/Apr 2019 - Rockabilly is GO! > ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK

ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK

Sixty-five years! That’s right, on 12 April 1954, Bill Haley And His Comets entered the Pythian Temple studios in New York City and cut (We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock. Co-writer James E Myers (using the pseudonym Jimmy De Night here) said he and Max Freedman had written the song specifically for Bill, but delays in Haley recording it meant a version by Italian-American band Sonny Dae And His Knights emerged first, on 20 March 1954. Over its rich history, there’s only version considered the definitive though: in the UK, Haley’s defining release went to No. 1 in 1954 and re-charted in the 60s and the 70s. Tales have gotten complex over the years (Myers himself once claimed he played drums on it!), but we do pretty much know the session nearly got cancelled as Haley and co got stuck on a ferry, there were only two takes (it’s either a comp, or the second take alone released), and it was the last thing they cut that day. It was hurried. Sammy Davis Jnr was waiting outside, with his session ready to start…

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