William John Clifton Haley, 6 July 1925, Highland Park, Michigan, USA, d. 9 February 1981, Harlingen, Texas, USA. Haley was one of the great pioneers of rock n roll and was the first artist to take the new musical form to the world stage. His roots were in country music and he began his career as a yodelling cowboy. After playing in such country groups as the Downhomers and the Range Drifters, he formed the Four Aces Of Western Swing in 1948. At that point, his repertoire included compositions by both Red Foley and Hank Williams. His next group was the Saddlemen, who played a stirring mixture of western swing, mixed with polka. In 1951, he recorded the R&B hit Rocket 88, which indicated how far he had already travelled in assimilating the styles of rock n roll. Haleys fusion of country, R&B and a steady beat was to provide the backbone of the musical genre that he immortalized. The jive talk used on the following...
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