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This page has been put together by his grandson, Danny, (That's me). Through the years there has been many discrepancies pertaining to my grandfather and his work. Hopefully this page will clear up all of them.

Danny Cedrone was born Donato Joseph Cedrone on June, 20th 1920 in Jamesville, NY. His mother: Domenica (Died - February, 23rd 1937) His father: Vincenzo (Died - March, 4th 1939). They came to America (Boston Harbor) from Italy on September, 28th 1912. He had (4) brothers: Tony, Joseph, Luciano & Clementino and he also had (4) sisters: Laura, Alba, Mary & Anita.

After Danny was born, his family moved to South Philadelphia in early 1921. His mother (Domenica) taught him how to play the guitar before the age of 10. He also played the violin, Bass, Piano, Banjo and just about anything else that had strings. He played by ear and had perfect pitch.

He had a beautiful baritone voice and sang lead for his band, "The Esquire Boys". His first band was called "The Four Kings".

He married Carmela (Millie) Cassella on March, 21st 1939 in Philadelphia, PA. They had four children: Marie (my mother), Theresa, Lorraine & Janet. Marie, Theresa & Lorraine sang together as "The Cedrone Sisters". Danny's groundbreaking recordings were: Guitar Boogie Shuffle (the first electric version of Guitar Boogie) by "The Esquire Boys" (his band) - Rock-A-Beatin Boogie (written especially for Danny by Bill Haley) by "The Esquire Boys" - Caravan, his biggest and only charted hit with "The Esquire Boys", that was covered (stolen) note for note, down to the slapping of the guitar by RCA Record's, Ralph Marterie Orchestra (their only #1 record). According to my mother and grandmother, he never got over that dissapointment - Rocket 88 and Rock The Joint by "Bill Haley and His Saddlemen" - Real Rock Drive, ABC Boogie, Shake Rattle & Roll, Thirteen Women and Rock Around The Clock by "Bill Haley and His Comets.

He died on June, 17th 1954 from a fall down a flight of steps. After a relatively early show at Palumbo's (a legendary nightclub in South Philadelphia) he went to his home at 1922 S. Jessup Street (in South Philadelphia) where his wife Millie asked him if he would go and pick up something to eat for her and the girls. Later, while leaving a friend's establishment with a bag of roast beef sandwiches, (The 819 Bar in South Philly, dining room on the second floor) he fell down a flight of steps and broke his neck, dying instantly.

Believe it or not, The 819 Bar on 819 Snyder Avenue hasen't been open for more than 20 years, but to this day still stands there unoccupied with the sign still up (a constant reminder to my family, the tragedy that took place over 50 years ago).

Ironically Danny was viewed (his wake) on his birthday, which just happened to fall on Father's Day that year. Rock Around The Clock was not released until after he died, and did not become a hit until 1955. Rock Around The Clock was the first monster hit of rock & roll, and the biggest selling Rock & Roll record of all time. Danny Cedrone was the very first lead guitarist of that genre of music. He was the first to bring a structured solo into the recording studio and basically take over a song with a fiery guitar lead. Even today over 50 years after he played it, the solo still presents technical and mechanical diffuculties for some of today's top players. Rock Around The Clock has been in more major motion pictures and more television shows, than any other song in history (even if they only play 30 seconds of it, his solo is always included in the portion.

That should tell you something about what his solo meant, and still means to that song). So, how did it come about that he would duplicate his solo from "Rock The Joint" and use it again for "Rock Around The Clock"? Well there have been many stories, but this is what happened. A couple days before the recording session Bill Haley came to Danny's house in South Philly (as he did many times), hung out there for a while, had dinner, and then they picked up a couple guitars and started an informal rehearsal for the upcoming session (in the parlor, mind you).
From what my grandmother and mother told me it wasn't real long before grandpop started using his now legendary solo (it had always been a favorite of his wife and daughters). So Rock & Roll history was decided that night, in a little row home, up a little street in South Philly with Danny's wife, his daughters, his sister (Mary), and Bill Haley there to witness it.

My grandmother told me many times, when my grandfather was feeling the pressures of show business, he would say to her, "Mil, all I need is that one hit, that one big record and we'll be on our way". Unfortunately the record came, but he wasn't here to enjoy it (physically anyway) and never got to see what his wife and daughters' favorite solo did to the face of Rock & Roll guitar forever. Come to think of it, I find it pretty amazing that the last time my grandfather's hands touched his guitar in a recording studio, it was to play on the song that would ultimately make his name live on forever.

That's the the kind of people and stuff Hollywood makes movies about, hmmm maybe someday, I sure have enough stories about his triumphs and tribulations to write a screenplay about him. For the past ten years his Guitar (Gibson ES-300) has been on display where it belongs, in "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" in Cleveland. I think it is safe to say, that my grandfather Dan Cedrone, was the first of many residents in Rock & Roll Heaven.



That's the the kind of people and stuff Hollywood makes movies about, hmmm maybe someday, I sure have enough stories about his triumphs and tribulations to write a screenplay about him. For the past ten years his Guitar (Gibson ES-300) has been on display where it belongs, in "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" in Cleveland. I think it is safe to say, that my grandfather Dan Cedrone, was the first of many residents in Rock & Roll Heaven.

His daughters (The Cedrone Sisters) couldn't bare to go on singing without him after his death, so they retired after a very successful early career (His daughter, Lorraine passed away on September, 18th 1986. His wife Millie (my grandmother) passed away on April, 1st 2005, she never remarried.





 




















 


 


 





   





   


 





The Cedrone family owns the copyrights to all of Danny Cedrone's pictures on this page.

Page Updated: March, 2007




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