Another mixed bag of Photos

Added to the Gallery on 14th January 2001

image14.jpg - 37893 Bytes Is it true that Bill always slept with his guitar? This picture would seem to be the proof!

Picture courtesey Now Dig This magazine

Bill arrives in Berlin in 1958 for the ill-fated German leg of his European tour. Badly needed to restore ailing finances back home, this tour lurched from disaster to disaster to finally set the seal on Haley's downfall. He came back from the tour even deeper in debt than before, and his circumstances spiralled down until in the early 1960's he was forced to leave home and hide out in South America.

Picture courtesey Herbert Kamitz

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image16.jpg - 44830 Bytes Bill on the set of the film Rock Around the Clock. This was shot in Hollywood, California, in January 1956, and Bill is here rehearsing for the final scene in which the Comets mimed to a specially recorded version of Rudy's Rock and the Decca recording of Rock Around the Clock. Just behind, and out of focus, you can see Billy Williamson, the steel guitarist.

Picture courtesey Herbert Kamitz

Bill on one of his frequent UK tours. This was taken in 1968, the year that the Rock n Roll revival really kicked in. Bill rode on the crest of wave throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, pulling capacity crowds everywhere, and making three new albums for Sonet records. "Man, we're all bushed out" was Rudy's observation in his diary at the end of the tour - fair comment, when they had been working solidly for 2 months, often playing more than one show a night, and fitting in TV. Radio, recordings, and not to mention tens of thousands of miles of travelling.

Picture from Now Dig This magazine

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image18.jpg - 24508 Bytes Jack Haley (left) and Scott Haley, two of Bill's children. Jack was Bill and Dottie's second child, who was born in 1950, whilst Scott was born in 1960 to Bill and his second wife, Cuppy. The uncanny resemblance between Scott and his father does not go unnoticed!

Picture from Now Dig This magazine

Bill and Cuppy's home - Melody Manor, built on land owned by Bill's father on the Faulk Road in Booth's Corner, a part of Bethel Township. Bill and Cuppy started building Melody Manor in 1955. Their marriage broke up and Bill moved out. Eventually, Melody Manor was taken from Cuppy as payment of Bill's tax debt.

Picture courtesey Dave Bishop

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image20.jpg - 22527 Bytes Another building which played a part in Bill's life, this is Radio Station WPWA, where he worked as a disc jockey and general factotum from 1949 until 1953. It was from this building that "Judge Rhythm's Court" was broadcast, and this was the programme on which Bill first heard Jimmy Preston's Rock the Joint. The rest, as they say, is history...

Picture courtesey David Hirschberg

The original Comets are a major part of today's Rock 'n' Roll scene, and are probably the biggest crowd pullers in the business today. Here they are pictured at Chigwell School in Essex, England, where they recorded an album for Tony Barrett's Rockstar Records.

Picture courtesey Marshall Lytle

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image22.jpg - 50954 Bytes The Original Comets on stage in Potters Bar, UK in 2000. Left to right they are Marshall Lytle (bass), Dick Richards (drums), Jacko Buddin (vocals), Joey Ambrose (sax), Frank Beecher (guitar). The band were first re-united in 1988, and have since performed with increasing regularity in Europe and the States. Jacko is a British musician who was brought in because he sounds uncannily like Bill Haley.

Picture courtesey Bob McLeod

He was out of shot in the previous photo, but here is Johnny Grande, the Comets' piano man. Johnny worked with Bill from 1949 until 1962, and was one of the partners in Bill's business enterprises. image23.jpg - 17897 Bytes
image24.jpg - 15914 Bytes Taken at rehearsal in a TV studio in Austria in November 1976. This was Bill's first appearance since the death of Rudy Pompilli in Februrary 1975 (although he had made an album, R-O-C-K with mainly session musicians earlier in 1976). The Comets, left to right, are Jim Lebak (bass), Herbert Hutchinson (rhythm guitar), George Baker (sax), Wayne Stephens (drums), Bill Turner (lead guitar). Securing the Comets' line up had proved difficult because of Bill's tendency to keep changing his mind about his tour plans, and George Baker was very much a last minute stand in, and his playing was not up to scratch. Haley was destined not to appear in public again until March 1979.

Photo courtesey Bill Turner/David Hirschberg

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