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Boothwyn was also home to rock & roll pioneer Bill Haley who, with his band, The Comets, set the world rockinī and boppinī.
Haley who used to live from 1929 until 1960 in Boothwyn, and also attended school there (the one-room Chelsea School), built also his beloved home, Melody Manor on Foulk Road, which still stands there today in stark contrast to the converted little chicken house that was once his home. (Bill said: "I left it there just in case I forgot where I came from.")
Among contributing many American rock & roll classics (for which he was thanked by a
29 cent stamp by the US postal services) such as "Rock Around The Clock", "Dim Dim The Lights", "Shake, Rattle & Roll", "See You Later, Alligator" and "Land Of A Thousand Dances" (of which all made it into Billboards or/and Cashboxs "Top Ten"), Haley was a true pioneer, his firsts are:
First band leader to form a rock & roll group.
First rock & roll star to write his own music
First rock & roll star to reach the national charts with music he wrote and recorded.
First white artist to be elected as the "Rhythm & Blues Personality of the Year"
First rock & roll star to sell a million records.
First rock & roll star to go on a world tour.
First ock & roll star to tour with all-Black supporting artists.
First rock & roll star to appear on a network television show.
First rock & roll star to star in a full length motion picture.
Bill Haley had to sell the Melody Manor Estate in 1960, as he had a bad manager, named Lord Jim Ferguson, who was a reckless gambler and bad businessman too. He did a have a great comeback in 1968, when his Rock Around The Clock made again the Top 20 in the US and the number one spot in the UK.
Haley continued to tour with the Richard Nader Rock & Roll Extravaganzas, and made two artistically acclaimed albums in Nashville during the 70s. His last album "Everyone Can Rock & Roll" and the single "God Bless Rock & Roll" were released in 1979/80.
Haley died of a brain tumor on February 9th, 1981 in the Rio Grande Valley in Harlingen/Texas. He was 55 years old, and towards the end in his unfinished autobiography he always talked of his childhood in Boothwyn as his Tom Sawyer days, and him being a real country boy at heart.
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