Released on Decca Records
20th May 1954
B-Side to Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town).
One of the greatest Rock and Roll songs ever was released today all the way back in 1954. Bill Haley and the Comets had recorded '(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock' a couple of months after Sonny Dae and his Knights had recorded it, though the song apparently had been written specifically for Bill Haley.
There continues much debate regarding authorship of the song. it is credited to Jimmy DeKnight (James E. Myers was his real name) and Max C. Freedman, with many biographers and music historians believing that Freedman was the sole writer.
The single was regarded as a commercial disappointment as it didn't seem to have achieved what the label had wanted but in 1955 it got another chance when it was included as part of the soundtrack to the film Blackboard Jungle.
On July 9, 1955, "Rock Around the Clock" became the first rock and roll recording to hit the top of Billboard's Pop charts, a feat it repeated on charts around the world. The song stayed at this place for eight weeks. The record was also no.1 for seven weeks on the Cashbox pop singles chart in 1955. The Bill Haley version also hit number three on the R&B charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1955.
The song has been reissued a number of times since and in the UK Charts it has entered at least five times!
Notable Cover Versions
The Isley Brothers (1959).
Freddie Cannon (1968).
Mae West (1972).
Harry Nilsson (1974).