The Birth Of Rock And Roll



On 20th May 1954, Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets was first released, a song that marked the birth of rock and roll and became an anthem for the rebellious youth of the fifties. To celebrate sixty years since the track first came out, Bruce Welch of The Shadows looks at the unlikely beginnings of the song and how it became a global phenomenon unlike anything that came before it.

The programme will also see a brand new version of the song created especially for Radio 2, featuring Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs, Andy Fairweather Low, Mark King of Level 42, Rick Wakeman, Lee Thompson of Madness and Radio 2's own music news journalist Matt Everitt. Together they'll look at the techniques used to create the original, plus what's changed and stayed the same in music since rock and roll was born.

Contributors to the programme include the Radio 2 broadcasters Johnnie Walker and Tony Blackburn, musicians Chas Hodges, Albert Lee, Imelda May and Darrel Higham, plus producers Hugh Padgham and Mike Batt talking about what makes Rock Around The Clock so special, and why it still sounds so good sixty years on.