November 24, 2014
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Franny Beecher, lead guitarist for Bill Haley and the Comets, which helped kick off the rock and roll era with the hit "Rock Around the Clock" in 1955, has died. He was 92.
Beecher's daughter, Pauline Grinstead, said her father died in his sleep Monday night in a nursing home near Philadelphia.
Beecher played with jazz musicians Buddy Greco and Benny Goodman before the Comets, whose hits also included "See You Later, Alligator."
Philadelphia's Danny Cedrone played on the original recording of "Rock Around the Clock," but Beecher played on the song's national television debut and in films, remaining with the Comets until 1962.
In the 1980s, Beecher and other Comets reunited and played tour dates around the U.S. and internationally.
He was born Francis Beecher in Norristown near Philadelphia.
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