Bill Haley

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  • Inducted by:
    Chuck Berry
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Bill Haley was there from the beginning—he was blending sounds from country, Dixieland and R&B before the term “rock and roll” was even invented.

He is best known for his hit single “Rock Around the Clock,” an anthem for rebellious teenagers. However, Haley had been producing hits and pioneering the genre even before “Rock” launched him to superstardom.

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

“We steer clear of anything suggestive,” Bill Haley declared as the battle raged over the lyrics of those newfangled rhythm-and-blues-based pop hits. Haley’s version of “Shake, Rattle and Roll” was one of the tunes in question, since it happened to be sweeping the nation. 

Of course, most of the good stuff from the lyrics of Big Joe Turner’s original rendition had been removed or changed - lines like  “Well, you wear low dresses/The sun comes shining through/I can’t believe my eyes/That all this belongs to you.” 

As Haley explained, “We take a lot of care with lyrics because we don’t want to offend anybody. The music is the main thing.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Program 1987
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Bill Haley_quote
It didn’t matter about the fame. He went out there and played.
Chuck Berry



Biggest Rock 'n Roll Show of '56 Program, 1956
Biggest Rock 'n Roll Show of '56 Program, 1956