Rock Around the Clock
Number1project.com is interested in the number ones of the Twentieth Century. And it is also interested in the rock and roll era. Today, I start a project that I have been wanting to do for a long time. I am going to examine each and every number one song since the beginning of rock & roll until the end of the 20th century. There were 888 songs that reached number one in the last 50 years of the 20th Century (give or take a couple) and I plan to cover each and every one. Let’s get started.
Most people (including me) feel that the rock and roll era began with the song “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. So, this is where I start. “Rock Around the Clock” was number one on July 9, 1955 and that, to me, is the start of Rock and Roll. Obviously, not all number ones after this date could be called rock and roll. The crooners of the Forties were still recording. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and many other were still making records and some of those hit number one. But, if I have to draw a line in the sand and say everything after this point can now be called the Rock and Roll era, then I would do it with this song.
Also, “Rock Around the Clock” was not the first rock and roll song. People like Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston were recording music that could be called rock and roll as far back as 1947, maybe even earlier than that. Wild Bill Monroe recorded “We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll” in 1947, but none of these song managed to get on the Top 40, let alone number one. So, for my purposes, “Rock Around the Clock” reached number one in 1955 and that is where we’ll start.
Come back next time and we’ll examine “Rock Around the Clock” in more detail.