Sonny Dae and His Knights
Sonny Dae and His Knights

Biography (Wikipedia)

Sonny Dae and His Knights was an American vocal and instrumental group in the early 1950s. The group was the first to record the hit song "Rock Around the Clock".

The group comprised Italian-American singer Sonny Dae (born Paschall Salvatore Vennitti, May 24, 1928 – February 1987), pianist Hal Hogan, guitarist Art Buono, and Mark Bennett, bassist, and/or drummer. It was a novelty group that billed itself as "instrumental, vocal and fun makers", and had a regular slot on the Old Dominion Barn Dance radio show in Richmond, Virginia.

"Rock Around the Clock" was authored by Max C. Freedman and was performed in stage shows in 1953 by his client Bill Haley. Freedman approached Jimmy De Knight, (born James E. Myers), a music publisher, to publish and copyright the song. Myers agreed, but only if his name was added as a co-writer, which Freedman agreed.[citation needed] However, Haley's record company, Essex Records, initially refused to allow him to record it, because the company's owner, Dave Miller, detested Myers and refused to allow his songs to be released on the label. Instead, Myers' business partner, Jack Howard, offered the song to Sonny Dae and His Knights, who recorded and released it (take 6 was the released version) in Philadelphia on 20 March 1954 (recorded, according to some other sources, late in 1953 or as late as March 1954, but the recording date is totally unknown). "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock To-night!" was copyrighted on 31 March 1953 in the U.S. Library Of Congress.[citation needed]

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