May 20 Song of the Day: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets

America’s decline began on May 20, 1954 when Bill Haley and the Comets released “Rock Around the Clock”. Parents, clergy, teachers, and law enforcement lamented how the music was a communist plot; a bad influence on their children; how it was too sexual, how it created juvenile delinquents.

The criticism didn’t end when the teenagers grew up and became parents, criticizing the latest music, saying it was a bad influence on their children, how it was too sexual, how it led to juvenile delinquency and drug use.

It lasted until these teenagers reached adulthood and became parents… You get the idea.

Song of the Day “Rock Around the Clock” wasn’t even the first rock ‘n’ roll song, but it been the song that propelled rock into the mainstream. It was recorded in two takes as the B-side of “Thirteen Women”.

The disc had a modest success, but it was a year later, in 1955, that it became a hit. Ten-year-old Peter Ford, son of actor Glenn Ford, discovered the song and showed it to his father. Glenn Ford was filming “Blackboard Jungle”, a story of young delinquents. He passed the song on to the producers. The song ended up playing over the opening credits of Ford’s film.

Rock Around the Clock” became the first rock track to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It stayed there for eight weeks.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the song has sold over 25 million copies.

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