DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Bill Haley (aged 55)
Rock and roll music pioneer
William John Clifton Haley (July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981) was an American rock and rollmusician. He is credited by many with first popularizing this form of music in the early 1950s with his group Bill Haley & His Comets and million-selling hits such as “Rock Around the Clock”, “See You Later, Alligator”, “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, “Rocket 88”, “Skinny Minnie”, and “Razzle Dazzle”. He has sold over 60 million records worldwide and has been described as the greatest musical pioneer of the 20th century.
DEATH: In addition to Haley’s drinking problems, he was having serious mental problems, as well; Martha Maria said, “It was like sometimes he was drunk even when he wasn’t drinking.” After he’d been jailed by the Harlingen Police, Martha had the judge put Haley in the hospital, where he was seen by a psychiatrist, who said Bill’s brain was overproducing a chemical, like adrenaline. The doctor prescribed a medication to stop the overproduction, but said Bill would have to stop drinking. Martha said, “This is pointless.” She took him home, however, fed him and gave him his first dose. As soon as he felt better, he went back out to his room in the pool house, and the downward spiral continued until his passing.
Haley’s death certificate listed “Natural causes: Most likely heart attack” as the ‘Immediate Cause’ of death. The next lines, ‘Due to, or as a consequence of” were blank.