Released to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Bill Haley's death in 1981, Bear Family Records in association with Rollercoaster Records present?for the first and only time?absolutely all of Bill Haley's pre-Decca recordings. Other companies have tried to gather Bill Haley's groundbreaking early recordings, but Bear Family and Rollercoaster spent 20 years painstakingly getting it right and carefully assembling every known recording?and more! Was 2004 the 50th anniversary of the birth of rock 'n' roll? Absolutely not! These recordings, made between 1946 and 1954, are where rock 'n' roll really began. Bill Haley was first. Unquestionably the first. And this is where Bill Haley began. All these recordings predate Rock Around The Clock, and reveal Bill and the Comets at work on their own unique blend of boogie woogie, hillbilly, pop, blues, and jazz, years before anyone else. For the first and only time, all of Bill Haley's pre-Decca recordings have been gathered in one place. On five CDs, we hear him invent the as-yet unnamed music that came to be called rock 'n' roll and eventually changed the world. In 1946, Bill Haley was a member of the Downhomers cowboy band before going out on his own with his Four Aces of Western Swing. From that point, the music changed fast as Bill Haley recorded for Center, Cowboy, Keystone, Atlantic, Holiday, Abbey, Vogue, Gotham, and Essex. In addition to all of Bill Haley's recordings for those labels, this set also includes fabulously rare 'live' recordings, transcriptions, demonstration discs, and alternate takes. It's all here, including the first true rock 'n' roll hits: Rock The Joint, Real Rock Drive, Crazy Man Crazy, Fractured, and Rocket 88. The last word on the beginnings of rock 'n' roll! This box also includes hundreds of rare and previously unseen photos as well as a complete essay on Bill Haley's early days by expert Chris Gardner.