Marshall Lytle, bassist for Bill Haley and The Comets, has passed away at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer. Lytle left his mark on popular music as the bassist on the classic track “Rock Around the Clock,” a song that is often cited as the birth of rock ’n’ roll.
Born in Old Fort, North Carolina in 1933, Lytle started as a guitarist before joining Bill Haley’s Saddlemen in 1951. It was during his tenure with Haley that developed a stage routine of bass stunts, including riding it like a horse. His slap style and stage presence became a signature style that is closely related to rockabilly.
Lytle stuck with Haley’s group until the summer of 1955, after which he founded the band The Jodimars with drummer Dick Richards. He continued to play the Las Vegas scene for many years and took part in a reunion of the original 1954-55 Comets lineup, which lasted for twenty years. In 2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with The Comets.
Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Marshall Lytle.
Photo source: Marshall Lytle’s Facebook page