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Johnny Grande.

Johnny Grande, an original member of Bill Haley and His Comets who played piano on their hit "Rock Around the Clock," died June 3 in Clarksville, Tenn. He was 76.

Born in Philadelphia, Grande recorded more than 40 records, including four that went gold. He played piano on hits like "See You Later, Alligator" and "Rockin' Through the Rye." He helped arrange albums like "Rockin' Around the World."

"Rock Around the Clock" was recorded in 1954 and was a No. 1 hit for eight weeks before going on to sell 22 million copies worldwide. It gained new popularity when it was chosen for the soundtracks of the movies "The Blackboard Jungle" in 1955, a film named for the song in 1956 and "American Graffiti" in 1974.

Grande was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997. Haley was the only member of the group to be inducted in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

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Title Annotation:MUSIC BIZZERS
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 19, 2006
Words:156
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