Bill Haley & His Comets

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Bill Haley & His Comets were an American rock 'n roll band, lead by Bill Haley (July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981). They are seen as the group that made rock 'n roll popular for a white audience. During the 1950s the group scored three hits with "Rock Around The Clock", "Shake Rattle & Roll" (1954) and "See You Later Alligator" (1955). After that their popularity was surpassed by Elvis Presley whose sexy and youthful appearance fit more with the age of the target teenage audience.

References by Zappa

"Also, to be fair about it, there were some classic examples of sterility then, too, in the kind of rock solos on the Bill Haley singles and the obnoxious kleen-teen finger work on the New York-based R&B vocal quintet records (on labels like Gee, on the up-tempo numbers with the ice-cream-cone chord changes)." (Frank Zappa in Frank Zappa On... The '80s Guitar Clone)


Zappa was impressed by the impact the film "Blackboard Jungle" (1955) with Bill Haley and His Comets made on teenagers:

"But then I remember going to see "Blackboard Jungle". When the titles flashed up there on the screen Bill Haley and his Comets started blurching "One Two Three O'Clock, Four O'Clock Rock ..." It was the loudest rock sound kids had ever heard at that time. I remember being inspired with awe. In cruddy little teen-age rooms across America, kids had been huddling around old radios and cheap record players listening to the "dirty music" of their life style. ("Go in your room if you wanna listen to that crap ... and turn the volume all the way down.") But in the theater, watching Blackboard Jungle, they couldn't tell you to turn it down. I didn't care if Bill Haley was white or sincere ... he was playing the Teen-Age National Anthem and it was so LOUD I was jumping up and down. "Blackboard Jungle", not even considering the story line (which had the old people winning in the end) represented a strange sort of "endorsement" of the teen-age cause: "They have made a movie about us, therefore, we exist ..."[1] (Zappa in The Oracle Has It All Psyched Out)


During the KPPC, Pasadena radio show Zappa played "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets.

Referenced in Father O'Blivion: "Which set him off in such a frenzy/he sang "Lock Around The Crock".