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Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Bill Haley - Crazy Man Crazy

Joan K has sent a fine collection of m4a files ripped from original 1950s Bill Haley singles and EPs. I’ve converted them to mp3 and both versions are available to download.

Accompanying the sound files is a fantastic collection of label shots and LP and EP cover scans. There are so many scans that on this post I’ll display Bill Haley’s pre-Decca sides from 1951 – 1954. In the next post I will display the label scans for his Decca sides.

Although the visuals displayed on this post are pre-Decca, the sound files and accompanying artwork folder includes Joan’s complete collection. I’ll dig out some more sounds in order to display the Decca label shots in the next post!

In 1951 Bill Haley and the Saddlemen started recording for the Philadelphia-based label Holiday, owned by local businessman Dave Miller. In July 1951 they released a cover version of Jackie Brenston’s R&B hit “Rocket 88”. Further releases on Holiday included uptempo country numbers “Green Tree Boogie” and “Juke Box Cannonball”. In the spring of 1952 Bill and the Saddlemen moved to Dave Miller’s main label Essex and released further singles which mixed country sides with a rapidly developing rock and roll sound. The first Essex single had a Hank Williams rip off as the A side (“Icy Heart”) but the B side was a cover of Jimmy Preston’s wild R&B hit “Rock The Joint”. For their second release on Essex (“Dance With A Dolly” / “Rockin’ Chair On The Moon”) Bill and the boys were now billed as Bill Haley and Haley’s Comets.

Through 1952 – 1953 Bill Haley’s sound developed into fully fledged rock and roll, finally reaching the national top 20 with “Crazy Man Crazy” released in April 1953. Other fine rockers (mostly written by Bill) included “Fractured”, “Live It Up”, “Whatcha Gonna Do” and “Pat-A-Cake”. The prominent steel guitar on some numbers pointed to the country origins of the band but other sides featured a tenor saxophone.

Download the m4a version here:

Download the mp3 version here:

Password for both = greaseyspoon

1. Real Rock Drive
2. Yes Indeed
3. Rock The Joint
4. Icy Heart
5. Dance With a Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stockin')
6. Rockin' Chair On The Moon
7. Pat-A-Cake
8. Crazy Man, Crazy
9. What'Cha Gonna Do
10. Farewell, So Long, Goodbye
11. Fractured
12. Live It Up
13. Juke Box Cannonball
14. Stop Beatin' Round The Mulberry Bush
15. I'll Be True
16. Chatanooga Choo Choo
17. Green Tree Boogie
18. A Sweet Bunch Of Roses *
19. Rocket 88
20. I'm Lonesome *
21. Sundown Boogie
22. Ten Little Indians
23. (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
24. Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)
25. Shake, Rattle And Roll
26. A.B.C. Boogie
27. See You Later, Alligator
28. Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie
29. R-O-C-K
30. Don't Knock The Rock
31. Dim, Dim The Lights
32. Birth Of The Boogie
33. Choo Choo Ch'Boogie

* = Lou Graham and the Saddlemen (see comments section)

Of particular interest are 4 EPs released on Essex in 1954, probably to cash in on Bill’s rapid rise to stardom on Decca.


Randy Skretvedt said...

Welcome back, boogiewoody, and thank you very much, Joan, for sharing these tracks and the *amazing* scans. You must have a terrific collection. I'm very glad to have the artwork!

Licorice Pizza said...

Hey likewise welcome back. Tech question if you are not to busy.

I took the mp3 version but do have many m4a files I have not converted as I am not sure about the appropriate bit rate crosses.

Can you shed any light on this?

boogiewoody said...

Hi everybody!

Joan has emailed me to say:

"*A Sweet Bunch Of Roses* and its flipside *I'm Lonesome* are both sides of a Gotham 78 I once had (Blue Label and familiar Philadelphia skyline in silhouette graphics.) The listed artist is Lou Graham and the Saddlemen (A group reputedly to contain the very young Bill Haley in their ranks)."

Chris Gardner's Bill Haley database lists this record as Gotham 429 released in 1952. The lineup backing Lou Graham is listed as Bill Haley(?), Billy Williamson, Johnny Grande and Marshall Lytle. The recording session was in 1951.

boogiewoody said...

Hi licorice pizza!

Thanks for the welcome back (and you too Randy). As for converting m4a files to mp3, I use the free program Any Audio Converter. This only has a few bitrate settings for mp3s: 64, 96, 128 and 192, so I use 192. I have no idea if this is the best choice or not, I'm afraid.

triacus said...


Well worht the wait. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Joan, thanks so much for taking the time to collect, preserve, and rock us with this great Bill Haley stuff!

SteveR, Phila, PA

luisitoelvis said...

es el mas grande,,,,,,,,,,,