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Bill Haley & His Comets

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Chester PA, United States (1952 – 1981)

Bill Haley & His Comets was an American rock and roll band that was founded in 1952 in Chester, Pennsylvania, and continued until Haley’s death in 1981. The band (sometimes referred to as Bill Haley and The Comets or Bill Haley’s Comets; and as The Comets after the death of Haley) was the earliest group of white musicians to bring rock and roll to the attention of white America and the rest of the world. From late 1954 to late 1956, the group scored nine singles in the US Top 20, one of those a number one and three more in the Top Ten. In 1987, Bill Haley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the Comets were belated added in 2012. In July 2005 the surviving members of the 1954–55 Comets represented Haley when Bill Haley and His Comets were inducted into Hollywood’s Rockwalk. The Comets placed their handprints in cement; a space was left blank for Haley.

The band initially formed as Bill Haley and The Saddlemen c.1949-1950, and performed mostly and songs, though occasionally with a bluesy feel. Many Saddlemen recordings would not be released until the 1970s and 1980s. The original members of this group were Bill Haley, pianist and accordion player Johnny Grande and steel guitarist Billy Williamson. Al Thompson was the group’s first bass player, followed by Al Rex and Marshall Lytle.

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