Skip to comments.Passings: Marshall Lytle (original bassist) of Bill Haley's Comets (1933 - 2013)
Posted on 05/27/2013 4:16:24 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
Marshall Lytle, the bass player for Bill Haley and the Comets during their biggest era, died on Saturday morning at 3:30 AM in his home in Port Richie, FL after battling lung cancer. He was 79.
Lytle was honored one year ago when he and the rest of the Comets were among the first backing group's to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For the Comets, the honor came 25 years after Bill Haley was accorded the same honor.
Marshall started out his musical career as a guitarist but switched to double bass when he joined Bill Haley's Saddlemen in 1951. Haley taught Lytle how to play the slap bass, a skill he would take to blistering new heights over the years including his stage antics like throwing it in the air, playing it like a guitar and riding on the side or standing on it while playing.
In late-1952, the band changed their name to the Comets and Haley and Lytle wrote one of their first hits, Crazy Man Crazy (Lytle did not officially get his songwriting credit until 2002). The song is credited with being the first rock song ever used on a national TV show, appearing on the soundtrack of a James Dean play.
In 1954, the band followed with Shake, Rattle and Roll, one of the biggest hits of the year and, in 1955, the song that really started it all, Rock Around the Clock. Clock was actually recorded and initially released in 1954 to only moderate success but reemerged after being used on the soundtrack to the movie Blackboard Jungle.
Shortly after the success of Clock, Lytle and two other members of the Comets left the group in a salary dispute. The three formed the group the Jodimars who became staples in the Las Vegas showroom scene for the next three years. After their breakup in 1958, Marshall continued to try to make it in music but quit two years later to go into real estate and, eventually, interior design.
In October 1987, Lytle and the rest of the surviving members of the original Comets got together for a tribute concert for Dick Clark and found that they enjoyed playing together, setting off a series of tours, mainly through Europe. He continued with the reformed group until late-2009 when he finally retired.
Read more: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2013/05/passings-marshall-lytle-of-bill-haleys.html#ixzz2UXeS2jIV
The man who knew how to ride a bass!
And here are the Beatles at the BEEB covering Clarabella by three founding Comets (as the Jodimars)
“In 1954, the band followed with Shake, Rattle and Roll....”
I was a teenager quietly listening to Stan Getz, when that unidentified noise came over the AM radio waves.
I thought WTF do we have here? And ever since that time America’s quality of music slowly degenerated.
After he quit, he and the other Jodimars taught their replacements (including the Saddlemen’s original bassist) how to do the stage show.
Well, the jazzmen were junkies and adulterers. The folk singers were pinko communists. The poster idols were limp wristed swishers. And Sintra and other crooners worked for organized crime.
How Much Is That Doggie In The Window wasn't much to write home about either.
Ah, so you were the one burning devil’s rock and roll records at the time!
Before Elvis, but about the time of the Burnette Brothers Trio.
“Well, the jazzmen were junkies and adulterers. The folk singers were pinko communists. The poster idols were limp wristed swishers. And Sintra and other crooners worked for organized crime.”
And Liberace....nuff said.
“Damn kids and their rock and roll.”
You can add Johnny Ray, "the Prince of Wails."
Stan Getz in the early to mid-1950's? You must have been a hard-core cool-jazz aficionado. One would think that in those days, he would have been hard to find on AM radio.
Actually, Johnnie Ray was considered a precursor of rock and roll.
I listened to AFN, Heidelberg, Germany.
As a teenager I have seen, Armstrong, Mulligan Sextet, Baker Quartet, Modern Jazz Quartet, Stan Kenton and Lionel Hampton in concert and others (not altogether of course).
I was never an Armstrong or Hampton fan but I got free tickets (too outmoded for me) but Hampton impressed me because I heard and saw, perhaps the greatest trumpet player ever — Clifford Brown.
Yes I am hardcore bebop-based. I was a pre-teenage kid when I heard Parker/Dizzy and it was like smoking crack cocaine for me, although I have never taken any illegal drugs.
That makes sense. AFN featured a variety of programming.
In 1965-1966, I listened to aFN Frankfurt. It featured an eclectic mix of programs, including Hawaiian music and "Polka Party," hosted by Dick Sinclair, who later stopped spinning polka discs and became a conservative talk show host in Southern California. And they played a lot of pop standards--Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Jack Jones, etc. In fact, their number one song for this week in 1966 was Dominique's Discotheque by Mel Tormé. Although it topped AFN Frankfurt's chart, that disc turned out to be a rarity Stateside, and even though I'm an avid record collector, I never ran across it in the hundreds of record stores and swap meets that I visited, and I would not hear that song again until Youtube came along.
They didn't play any contemporary Top 40 hits, but they did feature an "oldies" show on Saturday afternoon, hosted by Jim Pewter, which got me hooked on that genre.
When I returned to Germany in 1971, I listened to AFN Kaiserslautern, where Top 40 now ruled the music scene, although Jim Pewter still had his show. I believe he now hosts an Internet radio show.
I am talking about AFN in the early 50’s where the 7AM news started with “The world is waiting for the sunrise” by Les Paul and they had musical programs like “Cool Castle” and big band music was being played throughout the day.
AFN was a very classy radio station in those days.
Indeed, “Cool Castle” featured a number of up-and-coming jazz men like Stan Getz. It was a late-night program.
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