Many people believe the rock and roll era officially began when “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley And The Comets topped the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart during 1955. That was not the first rock and roll song however, nor was it the first hit by Bill Haley.
Bill Haley formed the Comets during 1952 and they remained his backing band until his death in 1981.
Big Joe Turner released “Shake, Rattle And Roll” during the summer of 1954. It topped the Rhythm & Blues Charts for four weeks and crossed over to the Pop Chart where it peaked at number 22. It remained in the Top 40 for 27 weeks.
Bill Haley added guitars, a thumping bass line, and a saxophone and released his own version several weeks after Turner. His single reached number seven on the BILLBOARD Pop Chart. Some people consider it the first rock song to become a big hit.