Monday, January 11, 2016
Two "authentic" RATC versions
Two "authentic" Rock Around the Clock versions--and I use quotes because neither of them sticks completely to the song as originally written. But they're close enough.
Last post, I wrote about how the originally published version of RATC differs in significant ways from most of the recorded versions, including Haley's. Music scholars have been passionately discussing this fact in great detail for many centuries--which is funny, since RATC is only decades old. Anyway, I said that the chorus starts with mi, fa, sol, when in fact it starts with do, re, mi (I checked the original sheet music version). I apologize for any confusion or controversy this may have caused.
Last time, I linked to a recording of Artie Malvin's 1955 Waldorf Music Hall version of RATC, which, despite starting with mi, fa, sol on the chorus, is close enough to rate as "authentic."
Today, three more mostly authentic versions of RATC: 1) a dance-class recording in two different tempos, 2) a polka (!), 3) an organ version on the never-heard-of-it-before Maple Records label. The organ version includes the minor-mode verse, and it maintains a tick-tock rhythm throughout, so, out of all the versions I've heard, it's probably the closest thing to the song as written. Would the song have gone anywhere without Haley's Rock The Joint-style reworking? Probably not, seeing as how Haley's version, without the help of Blackboard Jungle, may never have become more than a minor hit.
The polka version, because it's a polka, includes strains unrelated to RATC, but it does feature the verse in minor mode, AND it gets the melody right. And it polkas out like crazy! At MY(P)WHAE, polkas get respect.
To the music: Authentic RATC versions
Rock Around the Clock--Bill Coates at the Console (Maple Records 101)
Rock Around the Clock (Medium tempo)--Band not identified (Velmo 1009, LP)
Rock Around the Clock (Fast tempo)--Same guys! (Artii 104, EP)
Rock Around the Clock Polka--Adam Nowicki and His Polka Band