Put your glad rags on and join me, hon,
We'll have some fun when the clock strikes one...
'Rock Around The Clock' was written by Max Freedman and Jimmy De Knight and was recorded by Bill Haley and His Comets. When originally released in 1954 it didn't make much of an impact on the charts, but when it was re-released in 1955 after being featured in the film Blackboard Jungle, it spent eight straight weeks at number one in the Billboard top 100. The song's iconic status could have come about as a result of being the first rock 'n' roll record to achieve a transatlantic number one, and for a number of weeks.
'Rock Around the Clock' is often cited as being the first 'rock 'n roll' hit, although this is inaccurate. Bill Haley and His Comets achieved international success just the year before with 'Shake, Rattle and Roll', a song sometimes credited with inspiring DJ Alan Freed to coin the phrase "rock and roll"1. Though 'Rock Around the Clock' may not have been the first rock and roll hit, it was a chart topper before most people knew who Elvis Presley was, and it predated the Beatles and the Stones by nearly a decade. The song was the second best-selling record of all time, second to Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas', until Elton John's Princess Diana tribute version of 'Candle in the Wind' knocked it down to number three in 1997.
We're gonna rock, gonna rock around the clock tonight!