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1987 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Haley

Bill Haley

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Chuck Berry
  • Category:

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

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