‘Crazy Man, Crazy’ Tells Story Of Rock ‘N’ Roll Original Bill Haley

The book is written by his son Bill Haley Jr with Peter Benjaminson, and is billed as the first complete Haley biography.

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Crazy Man Crazy Bill Haley

A new biography of rock ‘n’ roll original Bill Haley will be published by Omnibus Press on 18 April. Crazy Man, Crazy: The Bill Haley Story is written by his son  Bill Haley Jr  with  Peter Benjaminson, and is billed as the first complete biography to tell the story of the man who was a rock ‘n’ roll star even before Elvis Presley.

The book discusses the songs that Haley and his group the Comets made famous all over the world, including ‘See You Lator, Alligator,’ ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll,’ the titular ‘Crazy Man, Crazy’ and of course ‘Rock Around The Clock.’ It also describes the “wild performances, rough roadhouses and the Hollywood high points” and does not stint in addressing Haley’s personal demons.

Crazy Man, Crazy contains extensive interviews with family members, former bandmates in the Comets and business associates. Decades of exhaustive research have gone into the volume, which contains rare and previously unseen photos from Haley Jr’s  personal collection. It promises a unique glimpse into the personal and professional lives of a musical innovator, including “his tragedies, triumphs and the fallout of his failures as a father and husband.”

Author Dave Thompson says of the book: Bill Haley has always been acknowledged as one of the fathers of rock’n’roll. It’s taken a long time, but at last, he gets the book he deserves. Crazy Man, Crazy is an aptly titled tumble through both Haley’s role in the birth of the genre and its aftermath.”

Fellow author Peter Aaron adds: “Before Elvis, Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly hit the charts, there was the spit-curled, hard-hollerin’ father of rock ’n’ roll: Bill Haley, a one-time cowboy singer from the tiny farm town of  Boothwyn,  Pennsylvania. Despite his waxing some of the biggest, most iconic singles of the early rock era with his band, the full story of this essential musical pioneer has been glaringly absent from the bookshelves.”

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1 Comment

  1. Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello

    March 13, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    If Elvis Presley had not existed, Bill Haley, who I really appreciated because of trhe sound of his songs, tremendous, great for dancing, would have continued being the top rock and roll seller amongst those who were not African Americans until, say,the arrival of the Beatles to the United States in February of 1964. But had Elvis not existed, and assuming everyone else did exist, and to put this simply, the Beatles MAY have gone on to appear the Ed Sullivan Show, but the likelihood that they would have attracted the 45.3, 62% share and 70 million audience that they garnered for Sullivan on February 9, 1964 is slight. Check this out. Other than Elvis, every rock and roller, African American or not, who ever appeared on nationnal television,primetome, top slot, the 9pm on Sunday, for the first 8 years when rock became the biggest craze in the universe (1956/64) none of them were ever seen by a television audience bigger than 14 million people. The fact that Elvis garnered 18, 22, 40, 60, 55, and 50 million in a 10 month period is proof that all the variables which made rock the most important music idiom would not have been there, to make it so, without Elvis being in the mix. He took rock, MASSIVELY, quickly, inside the living rooms of tens ofmillions of homes, from which it has never left. Sullivan had allowed some 24 different rock and pop, and R^B acts in that 1955/1964 period and he never broke any new ground, ratings wise, until The Beatles, but he bet on them garnering a larger audience, there were 25 more million TVs in 1964, than there were in 1956, but not even the Beatles could better Elvis % share, a whooping 82.6 % on his first of three appearances, with Sullivan looking from a hospital bed, which stands to this day. The last time the % share receord looked in danger was on the first Clinton-Trump debate, but it only got to 79.5%, and that was with thirteen different networks contributing.

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