Today we are going to jump back to the early days of Rock & Roll.
Rock Around the Clock was not the first Rock & Roll recording. Nor was it the first successful record of the genre. That honor goes to Big Joe Turner for his song Shake Rattle & Roll, which reached No. 1 on the billboard chart in 1954. Nevertheless, Bill Haley’s version of Rock Around the Clock became song that catapulted Rock & Roll into the mainstream.
The original full title of the song was "We're Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!" which was used on the original Decca recordings. It was later shortened to Rock Around the Clock on subsequent recordings.
“Rock Around the Clock" is often cited as the biggest-selling vinyl rock and roll single of all time. The exact number of copies sold is unknown. The Guinness Book of World Records once cited a number as at least 25 million in its category "Phonograph records:” When technology transitioned from vinyl to Compact Discs (CDs), Guinness discontinued the phonograph category. But Guinness consistently listed "Rock Around the Clock" as having the highest claim of any rock music recording. The song is listed as second in sales only to Bing Crosby’s 1942 recording of White Christmas, which also has listed as having sold approximately 25 million vinyl copies. White Christmas of course has been recorded over and over in other formats and by other artists. Exceeding 100 million.
Even today, there is hardly a music lover, young or old who hasn’t heard the familiar opening line “One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock Rock.”
The song is ranked No. 158 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2018, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant."
I like this video, which was recorded as a live performance in the years before music videos were even imagined. It is a fun look back at a bygone era.
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