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Bill Haley and His Comets bassist Marshall Lytle, 79, dies in New Port Richey

Chances are, the only name you remember from Bill Haley and His Comets is Bill Haley.

That is natural, but incomplete. Haley formed the group and pioneered a sound that took bits of jazz and rhythm and blues that was daring for its time.

He also taught an 18-year-old Marshall Lytle, who played the guitar, how to play the bass fiddle. Mr. Lytle would drive the percussive "slap beat" of a $275 late-1940s model B5 Epiphone into rock 'n' roll history. He anchored hits including Rock Around the Clock; Shake, Rattle and Roll; Crazy, Man, Crazy; and See You Later, Alligator while taking chances onstage.

Mr. Lytle, who won gold records for his work but not riches, died Saturday at his home in New Port Richey, of lung cancer. He was 79.

For more on Marshall Lytle, click here for Andrew Meacham's story.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:05am]


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