01. Rocket '88'
02. Green Tree Boogie
03. Rock The Joint
04. Rocking Chair On the Moon
05. Real Rock Drive
06. Crazy Man, Crazy
01. Wat'cha Gonna Do
03. Live It Up!
04. Farewell, So Long, Good-Bye
05. I'll Be True
06. Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Original release details:
01. Rocket '88' - Bill Haley and The Saddlemen - Holiday 105 - July 1951
02. Green Tree Boogie - Bill Haley and The Saddlemen - Holiday 108 - August 1951
03. Rock The Joint - Bill Haley with The Saddlemen - Essex 303 - April 1952
04. Rocking Chair On the Moon - Bill Haley with The Saddlemen - Essex 305 - August 1952
05. Real Rock Drive - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 310 - January 1953
06. Crazy Man, Crazy - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 321 - April 1953
07. Whatcha Gonna Do - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 321 - April 1953
08. Fractured - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 327 - June 1953
09. Live It Up! - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 332 - September 1953
10. Farewell - So Long - Good-Bye - Bill Haley with Haley's Comets - Essex 332 - September 1953
11. I'll Be True - Bill Haley and His Comets - Essex 340 - December 1953
12. Chattanooga Choo-Choo - Bill Haley and Haley's Comets - Essex 348 - March 1954
There have been a few requests for Bill Haley to be re-upped to the blog, so I've decided to kick off with this compilation of some of his pre-Decca sides on the small Holiday and Essex labels.
"Destination Rock and Roll!" is a home-made compilation with the front cover art adapted from a series of Essex EP covers, and the back cover ripped off from a Decca EP.
I chose the 12 tracks to illustrate the transformation of Bill Haley's music from Countrified covers of R&B hits to a heavily R&B influenced sound which kind of accidentally ended up as Rock 'n' Roll, if for the purposes of this post we define Rock 'n' Roll as the white version of Rhythm and Blues. Yep, as far as I can make out, Bill Haley invented Rock 'n' Roll. Or maybe it was Jimmy Cavallo. It definitely wasn't that Johnny-come-lately down in Memphis 'cos Bill had been rockin' for a couple of years before Elvis hauled his ass into Sam Phillip's studio and luckily for the big E, Sam had the foresight to team him up with Scotty Moore and Bill Black.
Just kidding - I really dig early Elvis and no one person "invented" Rock 'n' Roll (which I am capitalizing today just because I can). But it must be said that Bill Haley rarely received the credit he deserved when the time came to write the history of where and how and why that music came about.
I wrote a very extensive post for "Destination Rock and Roll!" back in August 2011 which you can read here:
I entreat you all, if you count yourselves as true fans of Rock 'n' Roll, to click on the link and dig Bill and his role in the development of the music to which we still groove, sixty-five years on.
That post has a selection of label and cover shots supplied by Joan K. The sound files on "Destination Rock and Roll!" were also supplied by Joan. They were ripped from original 1950s vinyl singles and EPs, so there is surface noise on quite a few of the tracks. For this post I have put together a second version of the compilation, using non-original audio sources (ahem). Both versions contain a folder of Joan's scans of the original 1950s artwork.
Original vinyl ripped version here:
New version with less surface noise here:
More Bill Haley re-ups coming soon!