The Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll?

In the summer of 1954, singer-songwriter Bill Haley and his new group, the Comets, introduced a rollicking new tune that fused elements of country music, Western swing and rhythm and blues.

"(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" became a smash with nightclub audiences and went on to be the first rock 'n' roll song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide.


More importantly, it propelled rock 'n' roll as we know it onto the national scene, inspiring generations of rock musicians.


Where did Haley first perform his groundbreaking hit? It wasn't Cleveland, the self-proclaimed birthplace of rock 'n' roll. It wasn't New York City or even Memphis. It was the southern New Jersey beach resort of Wildwood-by-the-Sea.


Rock and Roll in the Garden State


No New Jersey rocker is more famous than Bon Jovi, who got their start in Sayreville in 1983 and reached worldwide stardom by 1986 with their album Slippery When Wet. The band is still rocking with plans for more albums and tours.


Blues Traveler, another famous New Jersey bank, was formed as a high school garage band in 1987 in Princeton. The band hit it big in the mid-nineties with their bluesy, souther-style rock and have never stopped rocking. You can catch them on tour across the US.


You can catch the biggest acts at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton or the Prudential Center in Newark or find more intimate concerts and rising stars at the Count Bassie Theatre in Red Bank or any of the casino venues in Atlantic City.


For those who want to relive the original rock 'n' roll era, the Wildwoods' Fabulous '50s Weekend is held each October. For more information, visit Wildwoods Tourism.