Bill Haley and His Comets recorded hits like “Rock Around the Clock,” “See You Later Alligator,” and “Shake, Rattle and Roll.” Those songs made Haley a household name, and the group sold millions of records.
But it was Haley alone who was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, at the hall’s second ceremony in 1987. Many music fans thought excluding the Comets just wasn’t right. Formed in 1952, many consider the musicians the first great rock ‘n’ roll band.
And now the Hall of Fame agrees. It is inducting The Comets, including 88-year-old drummer and Ocean City resident Dick Richards, on April 14.
Richards recently arrived back in the U.S. after playing shows in Germany and Austria with a new edition of the Comets. He said he’s happy but calm about being inducted.
“It’s a great honor. But when you get to my age, to be 88 and still playing is what matters,” he said.
Richards’ friends have been supportive, and are throwing him parties. He hopes family will accompany him to the ceremony. Daughter Denise Kubaska teaches biology at Pleasantville High School, and another daughter lives near Philadelphia. Youngest daughter, Elizabeth Young, known as Betsey, was a music teacher at the Ocean City Intermediate School, who died of cancer at age 49 in September 2011.
Richards, who was born Dick Boccelli, said he has performed at events at the hall, and the original band’s photo was always included in the display about Haley, who died in 1981.
Click on this story at www.pressofatlanticcity.com to see Richards performing drum solos.
And many more!
Retired teacher Helen Turner, who began teaching second grade in Margate in 1928, turns 105 on April 1. She sees this stage in life as another adventure, said friend Merry DiBerardino, of Margate, her room mom just before Turner retired in 1972.
Turner lived previously in Pleasantville, and now lives in Brandywine Assisted Living in Linwood. Though she fractured her hip last summer, she is able to get around with a walker.
When she was 100, she wrote her autobiography. She has taught local Girl Scouts to crochet rag rugs, and gets out to garden club meetings and for lunch with friends. She still has plenty of friends, all of whom want to take her out to celebrate.
“My birthday stretches,” Turner said. Friends had already started taking her out to lunch two weeks before the big day, and she had more parties and lunches planned.
Contact Michelle Brunetti Post: