Skip to comments.Franny Beecher, guitarist for the Comets
Posted on 02/26/2014 6:45:35 AM PST by Phillyred
Franny Beecher, 92, lead guitarist for Bill Haley and His Comets, the band that helped begin the rock-and-roll era with the 1955 hit "Rock Around the Clock," died in his sleep Monday at a nursing home near Philadelphia, his daughter Pauline Grinstead said. The Comets, whose hits also included "See You Later Alligator," is credited by some music historians with having recorded the first rock-and-roll song in 1953 with "Crazy Man, Crazy," the group's biography on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website says. Francis Beecher was born in 1921 in Norristown. He started playing guitar before crowds when he was 17 and continued until he was 90. Before the Comets, he performed with Buddy Greco and Benny Goodman, Grinstead said. "My dad didn't play music for money. He was no businessman," she said. "He played music for music." Although Philadelphia session musician Danny Cedrone played on the original recording of "Rock Around the Clock" before his death in 1954, Mr. Beecher played the signature song for the first time on national television in 1955 and also played with the group in films. "Rock Around the Clock" became a hit again nearly 20 years after its release when it was included as the theme song of the movie American Graffiti. The Comets broke up in 1962, but in the 1980s, Mr. Beecher and some of the original members reunited and played tour dates around the United States and internationally for years. Grinstead said her father also is survived by two sons and six grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were pending.
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This was news to me.
I'm gonna’ have to dig out my “Best Of” CD and see if a “Frannie” is mentioned when Haley calls out the soloing musicians by name on the ‘When The Saints go Marching In” jam. I don't recall it.
RIP Mr. Beecher.
Rock around the Clock is a fantastic song, and it must have been a mega hit. I remember my mother telling me she sang it to me when I was a baby. And my mom was no pop music fan at all in any way.
I’m always sad when a fellow guitarist shucks off this mortal coil.
"Rip It Up" is another good one.
The movie "Don't Knock The Rock" with Bill Haley & His Comets probably has the best 50's Rock N' Roll dance scenes ever filmed:
I am always sad when a fellow guitarist shucks off his mortal humbucker!
Or his mortal (single) coil, as the case may be.
I think Rock Around The Clock was introduced to the public in the movie Blackboard Jungle, around 1954/1955. Anyway RIP FB.