A little bit of history…

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Bill Haley

Today’s New York Times gives us a briefing that:

Sixty years ago tonight, what’s thought to be the first performance of a rock ’n’ roll song on national television helped kick off the rock era.“Rock Around the Clock,” originally recorded by the band Bill Haley and His Comets, swept the U.S. in the summer of 1955. It was the theme song of the film “Blackboard Jungle.”

The band’s Aug. 7 TV performance, at Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” concert in Stratford, Conn., helped clinch its members’ fame in the U.S. and Europe.

The song also became the first rock single to hit No. 1 on the pop charts. (“Rock Around the Clock” became a hit again when it was included on the 1973 soundtrack of “American Graffiti.”)

“Blackboard Jungle” was notable, too, for being Hollywood’s first serious treatment of urban schools, and for having the first rock soundtrack.

The song was an important influence on the Beatles and other rock performers in the 1960s and ’70s. Rock was said to be in trouble during discomania, but it never died.

So how long will the genre last? Demand is hard to predict, but there’s plenty of supply. As Mick Jagger once said, “There is no future in rock ’n’ roll, only recycled past.”

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