Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Sonny Dae & His Knights

Rock Around the Clock

First recorded by Sonny Dae & His Knights (1954).
Hit version by Bill Haley & His Comets (B-side US #36 1954 |US #1/R&B #3/UK #1 1955).

From the wiki: “‘Rock Around the Clock’ was written (as ‘We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!’) in 1952 by Max Freedman and James Myers (the latter under the pseudonym ‘Jimmy De Knight’). Although first recorded by Italian-American band Sonny Dae & His Knights in March 1954, the more famous version by Bill Haley & His Comets is not, strictly speaking, a cover version. Co-writer Myers claimed the song had been written specifically for Haley but, for various reasons, Haley was unable to record it himself until April 1954.

“According to the Haley biographies Bill Haley by John Swenson and Rock Around the Clock by Jim Dawson, the song was first offered to Haley in the wake of his first national success ‘Crazy Man, Crazy’ in 1953. Haley and his Comets began performing the song on stage but Dave Miller, his producer, refused to allow Haley to record it for his Essex Records label. Haley himself claimed to have taken the sheet music into the recording studio at least twice, with Miller ripping up the music each time.

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