Chris Gardner's Bill Haley Gallery
Mixed Bag



Bill in "Let the Good Times Roll", filmed at the Cobo Hall, Detroit in 1972. This film was made up of footage shot at one of Richard Nader's great Rock 'n' Roll revival shows, which in the late 1960's and early 1970's did much to revive Bill's career.

I'm not sure where this was taken, but I think it shows Bill and his second wife Cuppy (Joan Barbara Cupchak) leaving the UK after the tour in February and March 1957.

Bill with Little Richard. September 1956, on the set of "Don't Knock the Rock"

Apologies for the poor quality, but this one's a little rarer. Alan Freed with Bill and Little Richard, again on the set of "Don't Knock the Rock".

These four were the partners in the Haley business. Clockwise from bottom left, they are Bill, Billy Williamson, Johnny Grande and James "Lord Jim" Ferguson. Pictured in 1957 when things were going well. Money was flowing in faster than it was flowing out. Within a year, the position had reversed and these guys had to do some quick thinking to keep things afloat. Though the Comets today have good words for Lord Jim, some of his business decisions and investments were decidely questionnable, whilst his penchant for gambling was more than once suspected of costing the band their payroll. In many ways he was similar to Colonel Tom Parker, but his property turned out not to be as commercially viable as Parker's in the long term. Bill finally sacked him in 1958, but not before he had taken a loan from the mob, which Bill spent most of the next decade repaying.

Thanks to Denise Gregoire for this one, a rare Orfeon EP with a photo taken c1966. l to r the Comets are John "Bam Bam" Lane (drums), Al Rappa (bass) Johnny Kay (guitar) Bill Haley, Rudy Pompilii (tenor sax), and Mike Shay (tenor sax, but he also played guitar). This was towards the end of Haley's association with Orfeon in Mexico. Between 1961 and 1966 he made several albums and films there, and by all accounts was a major star.

Back to the Cobo Hall, Detroit in April 1972, whilst filming for "Let the Good Times Roll". l to r we have Ray Cawley, Rudy Pompilii, Bill, Buddy Dee, Chuck Huffman, Ray Parsons

Poor quality again, I'm afraid, but very rare. A shot taken early in the Comets' "Mexican period". The line up is Rudy, Dave Bates (I think), Bill, Franny, Johnny Kay, Billy Williamson. The woman on stage is unidentified. These early days in Mexico were good for Bill. He was once again treated like royalty, selling large quantities of records, and presumably making some money. Things went sour by the mid sixties, but for a brief time, Mexico provided a wellcome bolt hole away from the financial and domestic pressures back home.

Back to the contents page