Another mixed bag of Photos

Added to the Gallery on 7th January 2001

In the back yard of Melody Manor a barbecue is enjoyed. Jolly Joyce (centre) is flanked by Mr & Mrs Ralph Jones and Frank Beecher and his son. Joyce was Bill and the Comets booking agent from April 1950 until the mid 1970's when he sued Haley for breach of contract. Jolly was therefore one of only two long-lasting business relationships Bill had, the other being Jack Howard who managed his publishing and record companies.

Photo courtesey of Herbert Kamitz

 

 

The last performances of Rudy Pompilli with the Comets were in South America in December 1975. He was dying of cancer, and passed away in February 1976. These photos show Bill and the Comets (minus Rudy, who was resting) arriving in Rio in December 1975. In the top picture, left to right, are:- interpreter; Bill Turner (ld guitar); Bill; Patrick Malynn (Bill's Manager), Ray Parsons (rhythm guitar), Tony Benson (drums) and Jim Lebak (bass). The bored expressions can be explained by the fact that they had just spent several hours on a plane, apart from Haley, who had had less far to travel.

Picture courtesey of Bill Turner/David Hirschberg

In January 1960, Bill moved from Decca Records to Warner Brothers. Here he is pictured with Geroge Avakian at a Warner Bros. Recording session that year. Ralph Jones is in the background. Bill had only modest success with Warner Brothers. His first release (Tamiami) was a minor hit for the label. The intended 5 year contract lasted only about 18 months before he and Warners parted company.

Picture courtesey of Dave Bishop

 

 

Hugh McCallum (left) and Bill Turner, taken on the European tour of 1976. Hugh ran Bill's Fan Club single-handed from the early 1960's until Bill's death. Bill Turner was the Comets' lead guitar player from late 1974 until December 1976.

Picture courtesey of Bill Turner.

 

Bill's legendary Manager, Jim Ferguson, in characteristic pose, and wearing no socks. Note the cigar, the flamboyant pose, and the clutter on the desk. One of the paintings in which he invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of Comets' money hangs on the wall behind him. A popular character, Jim did not have the business acumen to run a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Picture courtesey of Herbert Kamitz

 

 

 

 

Gina Haley (full name Linda Georgina) was Bill Haley's youngest child. She is now following in her father's footsteps and pursuing a musical career. He she is (top picture, far right) in performance with "The Bridge", and below is a study taken from her debut album "Gina Haley", which can be purchased on line at GEMM.com.

 

 

Taken during the recording of the 1972 album "Just Rock 'n' Roll Music". In John Swenson's book about Bill, Sam Charters, who produced the session explained the difficulties involved as a result of Bill's heavy drinking at the time.

Bill shakes hands with Lou Graham, a hillbilly singer who appeared with Bill and The Saddlemen many times in the early 1950s, and was backed by the Saddlemen on a number of records on the Gotham label and later by the Comets on "Wee Willie Brown" in 1957.

Picture coutesey of Herbert Kamitz.

 

 

 

In an attempt to promote his latest album "Rocking Around the World" (released March 1958), Bill is pictured here presenting a copy to a senior British diplomat. It didn't do much good, as the album was not issued in the UK

Cutting courtesey of Denise Gregoire

 

This is a Vidcap from a TV appearance by Bill in 1974 on the BBC's popular "Top of the Pops" programme. Bill was touring the UK at the time and "Rock Around the Clock" had been reissued and was in the top twenty once again.

Photo by Dave Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

A classic Comets line up and a classic pose, this picture appeared on the cover of the Rock and Roll Yearbook '57, when Bill was still riding high.

Ralph Jones on drums, Rudy Pompilli on his back, Fank Beecher lead guitar and Billy Williamson steel guitar. Just to the left can be seen the neck of Al Rex's double bass, with Johnny Grande out of shot on accordion.

 

A shot taken by David Hirschberg in September 1971, when Bill was performing in Brooklyn. True Haley afficionados can probably work out which song they are singing which would involve Bill and Rudy singing at the same time. "See You Later Alligator", maybe?

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