Support our mission
Bill Haley arrives at the Frankfurt airport in March, 1965.

Bill Haley arrives at the Frankfurt airport in March, 1965. (Lynn Langfield / ©Stars and Stripes)

FRANKFURT — In the fall of 1955 — at a rock 'n' roll show in the Norfolk, Va., Arena — Bill Haley and His Comets had the audience dancing in the aisles.

Thursday morning, nearly 10 years later and more than 1,000 miles from that East Coast port, the Rock Around the Clock hand was still flying high.

Only the audience has changed for this engagement. The majority of the fans that October night were men from the nearby naval base. Now those ready to shake, rattle and roll will be Army and Air Force personnel.

Haley and his five-member band arrived at Frankfurt International Airport and will be on stage for a 10-day swing through U.S. service clubs in Germany.

The Detroit native is known as the originator of rock 'n' roll.

The band consists of Rudolf Pompilli, sax; Albert Rappa, bass, John Kacinsan, electric guitar; Mattias Nastos, electric guitar, and David Hollingsworlh, drums. Mrs. Haley is along for the tour.

When the band was started in 1950, Haley played bass, one he used to spin and toss around, but he has switched to the electric guitar. As usual, however, those on hand to hear him play and sing will be in for some wild antics.

With the many new dances on the scene, Haley was queried about the duration of rock 'n' roll.

"It is here to stay ... It is here to stay," he said. "If it wasn't, I wouldn't be here in Germany."

Fifty-five million records seem to prove that point.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up