RIP Al Rappa, Sr. April 20th 1927-July 25th 2021
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Al was aldo a long time resident of Delaware county, PA, in Glenolden and Springfield PA. Before moving to Orlando Florida.
On July, 25th, 2021, Al Rappa, Sr. , Long time musician and one of the original Bass players of Bill Haley and his Comets has gone, to join his twin brother William (Bill) Rappa AND some of his former band mates Bill Haley, Franny Beecher and Rudy Pompelli. Al passed away at his home in Florida where he was semi-retired from the music business.
Known as the THE ORIGINAL WALKING BASSMAN, Al was one of the original members of Bill Haley's Comets 1959 to 1969 and played on all their Warner Brother's records, their last Decca album, and also starred in their movies "Jóvenes y rebeldes", "Besito a Papa", among others made in Mexico.
Next to Rudy on sax, Al was one of the longest serving of the Original comets,, having joined Bill in September 1959. A real comedian both on and off stage, Al has earned a great reputation as a showman, particularly on the “Rudy’s rock”a song where he can be seen standing on top of and hurling his heavy string double bass around as if it were a mere kids toy! Featured vocalist with the comets on songs like, “Long Tall Sally” and “Tutti-frutti” and can be heard leading off the song, “See Ya Later Alligator”.
Al was a key member of Bill’s American night club acts where he would dress up in costumes and go on stage as; a Gorilla and also a full wedding dress. Solid rock mixed with comedy, a showman in a show band!
In the early1980s, Al formed “Bill Haley's Comets.", comprised of some former members of The Comets. Joey Wells, piano/keyboards & Joey Kay, drums. Bookings by Tommy Vale of Tommy and the Torpedoes, who also played saxophone of with the band. Al continued to perform well in his mid 80’s keeping the ‘50’s era music alive.
He is survived by son Albert Jr., daughters Catharine Roggio Laughton of Leesburg Fla
and Jeanne Connolly of Folcroft PA. Diana Rappa-Kesser of Morton PA. Grandchildren (4) Tina Aiello of Orlando, Fla., Sean and Joshua Connolly and Thomas Patrick Kesser of PA. (7) Great grandchildren Angelina and Noah Aiello, of Orlando, Fla. And Barbara Jean, Sean Jr. , Colton, Jonathan and Bryson Connolly of Pa. (4) nieces, Phyllis Tantaros, Joyce Cubler, Cyndi Rappa, Linda Ball. (4) nephews, Steven Tantaros, Jerry Tantaros, Charles Rappa, Jr., and David Rappa. He was preceded in death, by his parents Lucille and Anthony Rappa, sister Marie Tantaros, twin brother William Rappa and younger brother Charles Rappa.
Maybe you'll be hearing new version of Rock Around the Clock or Shake Rattle and Roll coming from the heavens on a clear day?
Cut and paste the link for Rock around the clock on youtube.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to St. Jude