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Last on

Tue 20 May 2014 22:00 BBC Radio 2

57 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 20 May 2014

On 20th May 1954, Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets was first released, a song that marked the birth of rock and roll and became an anthem for the rebellious youth of the fifties. To celebrate sixty years since the track first came out, Bruce Welch of The Shadows looks at the unlikely beginnings of the song and how it became a global phenomenon unlike anything that came before it.

The programme will also see a brand new version of the song created especially for Radio 2, featuring Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs, Andy Fairweather Low, Mark King of Level 42, Rick Wakeman, Lee Thompson of Madness and Radio 2's own music news journalist Matt Everitt. Together they'll look at the techniques used to create the original, plus what's changed and stayed the same in music since rock and roll was born.

Contributors to the programme include the Radio 2 broadcasters Johnnie Walker and Tony Blackburn, musicians Chas Hodges, Albert Lee, Imelda May and Darrel Higham, plus producers Hugh Padgham and Mike Batt talking about what makes Rock Around The Clock so special, and why it still sounds so good sixty years on.

Music Played

25 items
  • Image for Bill Haley & His Comets

    Bill Haley & His Comets (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock

    That's Rock'n'Roll (Various Artists), EMI

  • Image for The Shadows

    The Shadows Apache

    The Shadows - First 20 Years At The T, EMI

  • Image for Bill Haley & His Comets

    Bill Haley & His Comets Crazy Man Crazy

    For Dancers Only, Prism, 9

  • Image for Bill Haley & His Comets

    Bill Haley & His Comets Pat-A-Cake

    For Dancers Only, Rev-Ola, 12

  • Image for Sunny Dae & The Knights

    Sunny Dae & The Knights Rock Around The Clock

    You Heard It Here First!, Castle Music, 26

  • Image for Bill Haley & His Comets

    Bill Haley & His Comets Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)

    For Dancers Only, Rev-Ola, 21

  • Image for Bill Haley & His Comets

    Bill Haley & His Comets Rock The Joint

    Greatest Hits of the 50s CD4, Cheap O Lata, 2

  • Image for Stan Kenton

    Stan Kenton Invention For Guitar and Trumpet

    New Concepts of Artistry In Rhythm, Capitol, 8

  • Image for The Ravens

    The Ravens Write Me A Letter

    The Greatest Group Of Them All: Roots Of Rock And Roll, 4

  • Image for Joe Houston

    Joe Houston All Night Long

    Cornbread and Cabbage Greens, Ace, 7

  • Image for Tom Jones

    Tom Jones It's Not Unusual

    Fifty Number Ones Of The 60's (Variou, Global Television

  • Image for Cliff Richard

    Cliff Richard Move It

    Cliff Richard - 40 Golden Greats, EMI

  • Image for Imelda May

    Imelda May Johnny Got A Boom Boom

    (CD Single), Universal Classics & Jazz, 1

  • Image for Chas 'n' Dave

    Chas 'n' Dave Rabbit

    Chas & Dave - Greatest Hits, EMI

  • Image for Little Richard

    Little Richard Tutti Frutti

    That's Rock'n'Roll (Various Artists), EMI

  • Image for Phil Collins

    Phil Collins In The Air Tonight

    Phil Collins - Face Value, Virgin

  • Image for Menswe@r

    Menswe@r Daydreamer

    Nuisance, Laurel, 5

  • Image for Madness

    Madness Baggy Trousers

    More Greatest Hits Of 80's (Various), Disky

  • Image for Level 42

    Level 42 Running In The Family

    Heaven (Various Artists), Spectrum

  • Image for Andy Fairweather-Low

    Andy Fairweather-Low Wide Eyed And Legless

    (Single), A&M

  • Image for T. Rex

    T. Rex Get It On

    Million Sellers Vol.19 - The Seventie, Disky

  • Image for The Black Crowes

    The Black Crowes Hard To Handle

    (CD Single), Def American

  • Image for Kaiser Chiefs

    Kaiser Chiefs Coming Home

    (CD Single), Fiction, 001

  • Image for Kaiser Chiefs

    Kaiser Chiefs Ruby

    (CD Single), B-Unique

  • Image for Matthew Everitt

    Matthew Everitt, Andy Fairweather-Low, Mark King, Lee Thompson, Rick Wakeman and Ricky Wilson Rock Around The Clock


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