Bill Haley and The Rockets’ classic "Rock Around The Clock" topped the charts this day in 1955. The song is credited as the first rock song to do so, and the flood they could not stop started right after with Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbinson, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dion, Ricky Nelson, Smokey Robinson, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Eric Clapton, The Band, Otis Redding, Van Morrison, Jefferson Airplane, The Dead, Creedance Clearwater Revival, The Who, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Led Zepplin, Frank Zappa, Allman Brothers, Neil Young, ABBA, Van Morrison Tin Lizzy, David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Ramones, The Talking Heads, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Elvis Costello, The Neville Brothers, DEVO, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, AC/DC, REM, The Pogues, U2, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nirvana, The Killers, White Stripes, and Pat Boone just to name a few.
Rock n’ Roll has been the soundtrack of many of our lives. It is somewhat disconcerting to watch bands I recall starting out have their 20th reunion tour, and the Woodstock audience went grey (if they kept their hair) some time ago. I often stare in horror at young co-workers who have never heard "Lola", who think Sherryl Crowe wrote "The First Cut is The Deepest" and who call 80’s music oldies. Rock is a form of popular music that has abandoned the notion "I Hope I Die Before I Get Old" some time ago. Or at least those of us north of forty have rejected that line, although I am sure there are some twenty-somethings who have at least embraced the idea "Hope You Die Before I Get Old." Bill Haley may look to some teenagers now as somebody’s old Uncle who lingered too long at the buffet table before grabbing a microphone at a cousin’s wedding in black and white prehistoric times. But count it out for me Bill "One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock ROCK!!" Hit that guitar riff, and with the aid of a few cocktails and lax nursing home security I’ll be out on the dance floor. If we can no longer use rock to rebel asagainst our parents, let us use it to rebel against our kids!!!