Crazy Man, Crazy: The Bill Haley Story

Crazy Man, Crazy: The Bill Haley Story

by Bill Haley, Peter Benjaminson

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Overview

(Book). Bill Haley the man who brought rock 'n' roll into the mainstream. His song "Crazy Man, Crazy" was the first rock 'n' roll song to break the Billboard Top 20 in 1953 and was followed by his evergreen "We're Gonna Rock Around the Clock," the first song of its kind to hit #1. His success made him an idol not only in the US but throughout the world, from Canada to the UK, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and beyond. Yet Haley is often overlooked in the story of rock 'n' roll, overshadowed by others who followed him, from sex symbol Elvis Presley to wild man Jerry Lee Lewis and forever-young Buddy Holly. But Haley's lack of visibility was in part his own doing: he had conflicted feelings about fame, was extremely private, suffered chronic alcoholism, and troubled relationships with multiple wives, which yielded ten children who he struggled to support. Though he managed to carry on a successful touring career, his demons eventually eroded his health, and in 1981, at the age of only 55, he passed away. This book is written by esteemed biographer Peter Benjaminson and Bill Haley Jr., Haley's son, a musician himself, who tours the world paying tribute to his father's music. Culled from interviews with insiders from ex-wives to the Comets, recorded conversations with Haley Sr., official documents, diaries, and more, this book not only charts the happenings of Haley's career but gives insight into the Haley behind the curtain and some of the other trials he faced, from the dark side of the music business to ties with Mafia. Featuring a collection of rare photographs, this book is a must-have for any serious rock 'n' roll fan.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617137112
Publisher: Backbeat
Publication date: 06/30/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 733,564
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Bill Haley Jr. is the son of famed Bill Haley. He is an accomplished musician and tours with Bill Haley Jr. and the Comets, a five-piece tribute band that plays the music of his father and other classic rock 'n' roll artists of the '50s and '60s.

Peter Benjaminson (New York City) is an acclaimed writer whose works include Super Freak: The Life of Rick James, Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar, and The Story of Motown (the first-ever book written about the record company), and more.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Bill's Three-Part Life ix

Part 1 Bill Grows Up, Marries his First Wife, and Becomes a Country and Western Band Leader

Chapter 1 Out of Detroit 1

Chapter 2 The Singing Cowboy 5

Chapter 3 On the Road 11

Chapter 4 Recovery 15

Chapter 5 Let's Try It Again 17

Chapter 6 The Birth of the Saddlemen 21

Chapter 7 Once You Go Black, You'll Never Go Back 27

Part II Cuppy's Story: Bill Marries Again and Becomes a Rock 'N' Roll Superstar

Chapter 8 It's a Sin 33

Chapter 9 The Rock in Rock 'n' Roll 39

Chapter 10 "Rock the Joint" 45

Chapter 11 Bill and Cuppy Marry, and Bill's Father Attempts Suicide 51

Chapter 12 "Crazy Man, Crazy" 57

Chapter 13 "Rock Around the Clock" Hits the Top, and Guitarist Danny Cedrone Dies a Mysterious Death 61

Chapter 14 The Comets Play, Little Doreen Haley Dies in Her Crib, and Bill's Father Turns on the Gas 67

Chapter 15 Bill Triumphs in Hollywood as His Mother Dies an Early Death 73

Chapter 16 The Comets Enter the Stratosphere as Will is Committed to a Mental Hospital 79

Chapter 17 The Comets Shine in Hollywood While Elvis Shines in the Heartland 87

Chapter 18 The War on Rock 'n' Roll Becomes the War of Whites Against Blacks 93

Chapter 19 The Comets Keep Rising as Bill's Father Dies and Elvis Closes the Distance 101

Chapter 20 The Second Battle of Waterloo 107

Chapter 21 Rockin' in the British Aisles 113

Chapter 22 Success Takes Its Toll 123

Chapter 23 The Struggle Continues 127

Chapter 24 Bill Dallies with a South American Dolly 133

Chapter 25 Bill and Cuppy Continue to Fight While Bill's Sister Dies Young 135

Chapter 26 The Second Battle of Berlin 139

Chapter 27 The Financial Noose Tightens and Bill Flirts with Suicide 147

Part III Bill Marries his Third Wife and Becomes a Mexican Pop Star

Chapter 28 Viva Haley! Bill Plummets in the US but Rises in Mexico 153

Chapter 29 Bill Finds the Third Love, of His Life South of the Border 159

Chapter 30 The Night of the Knife 163

Chapter 31 Bill Haley: Business Failure 171

Chapter 32 The World Cracks Down … on Cuppy 181

Chapter 33 Cuppy Prays for Help and Her Prayer Is Answered 185

Chapter 34 Bill Pays for a Divorce 193

Chapter 35 Cuppy Tries to Enter the Music Business While Bill Makes Drunken Calls 195

Chapter 36 Bill's Career Starts to Revive and He Tours London … with Martha 199

Chapter 37 As the Revival Continues, the Tax Men Retreat 203

Chapter 38 Cuppy and Joanie's Florida Visit 205

Chapter 39 Hail Hail Alcohol 209

Chapter 40 The Comets Fade Away 215

Chapter 41 The End of the Road 219

Chapter 42 The Day the Music Died 225

Bill Haley Jr.'s Acknowledgments and Thanks 231

Peter Benjaminson's Acknowledgments and Thanks 233

Bibliography 235

Bill Haley Discography 237

Index 249

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