February 9, 1981 – Bill Haley was born on July 6th 1925. He was born in Highland Park, Michigan, but because of the Great Depression on the Detroit area, his father moved the family to Boothwyn, Pennsylvania. For six years Bill was a musical director of Radio Station WPWA in Chester, Pennsylvania, leading his own band The Saddlemen all through this period and in 1951 they made their first recordings. They renamed themselves Bill Haley with Haley’s Comets on Labour Day 1952.
Bill Haley and his Comets were there before Presley, Holly and Berry, playing rock & roll before it even had a name, and is credited by many for being the first popularizing this form of music in the early 1950s. Their hit song “Rock Around the Clock” went around the world for many decades.
After his massive world hits of the 50s he continued recording and touring. He performed for Queen Elizabeth II at a command performance in 1979, and Bill made his final performances in South Africa in May and June 1980. Prior to the South African tour, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and a planned tour of Germany in the fall of 1980 was canceled.
Bill was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He died from a heart attack at age 55 on 9 February 1981.