Saturday, July 06, 2024

Record #0723: R-O-C-K / The Saints Rock ‘n Roll – BILL HALEY AND HIS COMETS

Decca 9-29870 (original) USA, March 1956
Words & Music by:  Side A – Bill Haley, Arrett Keefer, Ruth Keefer; Side B – (trad.) Bill Haley, Milt Gabler
Musicians: Bill Haley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Franny Beecher (lead guitar), Al Rex (upright bass), Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Rudy Pompilli (tenor sax), Johnny Grande (piano), Cliff Leeman (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Milt Gabler at Decca Studios, Pythian Temple, New York, NY; Side A on 22. September 1955; Side B on 23. September 1955
Highest chart positions:  Side A - US #16, US R&B #15; Side B – US #18, UK #5

This was recorded well before “See You Later, Alligator”, but released two months after it. Also, in these two sessions Haley & His Comets also recorded their single “Burn That Candle” / “Rock-a-Beatin’ Boogie”, which was released already in November 1955. For some reason, this single got lower priority.

The flip is basically “When the Saints Go Marching In”, a traditional song. Louis Armstrong ha a US #10 hit with it in 1939.

This was Haley’s last US Top 20 entry. His last US chart entry was the 1974 re-issue of “Rock Around the Clock”. With the help of the movie “American Graffiti”, it climbed to US #39 (UK #12).

Marshall Lytle was no longer playing the bass in the Comets. His last session was a live TV broadcast in New York City on 5. August 1955. Lytle, Dick Richards (drummer) and Joey Ambrose (tenor sax) quit the Comets due to a salary dispute and formed their own group, the Jodimars.

List price:  Very Good+ is $12,50, Near Mint is $25.


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