Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Franny Beecher, lead guitarist...

...with Bill Haley and His Comets died at age 92. From his obit in the Times:

The Philadelphia session guitarist Danny Cedrone, who died in 1954, played on the original recording of “Rock Around the Clock.” Mr. Beecher, his replacement, played when the band performed the song for the first time on national television, in 1955, and also for films, notably “Blackboard Jungle” in 1955.


The Comets, whose hits also included “See You Later, Alligator,” are credited by some music historians with recording the first rock ’n’ roll song, in 1953, with “Crazy Man, Crazy,” the group’s biography on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website says.

Or was it? This website lists five earlier songs:
1. “That’s All Right, Mama” – Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1946) 
2. “Good Rockin’ Tonight” – Wynonie Harris (1948) 
3. “Rock This Joint” – Jimmy Preston and his Prestonians (1949) 
4. “Saturday Night Fish Fry” – Louis Jordan & The Tympany Five (1949) 
5. “Rocket 88” - Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (1951)

The moral of the story? Even though we want definitive black and white answers to life's most important questions, origins are often murky.

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