60 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Pop Music Charts Changed Forever

Sixty years ago today, Bill Haley & His Comets took “Rock Around the Clock” to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 (unseating something called “Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)” by Pérez Prado and His Orchestra) and ushered in an era of rock ‘n’ roll domination.

Related: 50 Years Ago, the British Nearly Took Over the U.S. Charts

To give you an idea of what kind of world it was in 1955: the GRAMMY Awards didn’t exist; the first McDonald’s had just opened and only the residents of Des Plaines, Ill., had eaten there (not quite a billion served yet); no one much knew who Elvis Presley was; Rosa Parks had not yet refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Ala.; Marilyn Monroe was still alive and had just married Joe DiMaggio the year before; and On the Waterfront swept the Oscars, including a Best Actor trophy for Marlon Brando.

How did “Rock Around the Clock” become so popular?



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