One of Bill Haley's Comets has died.
Philadelphia's "Inquirer" says Franny Beecher passed away at a nursing home in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He was 92. Beecher's granddaughter, Michelle, announced the pioneering rocker's passing on Facebook Monday, saying he "will be missed but he is at peace now."
In a post last week she said her grandfather wasn't doing well. She reported that Franny was "fighting to survive" and would "probably be leaving us this week God bless his soul, shake Rattle n roll!!!"
Beecher began working with Haley in 1954, following the death of guitarist Danny Cedrone. He was with the group as they rose to prominence in 1955, and appeared with the band in the 1956 films "Rock Around the Clock" and "Don't Knock the Rock."
Franny left the Comets in 1962, but returned for the band's reunion following Haley's death in 1981. He permanently rejoined the Comets in 1987, and continued touring with the group until 2006.
Beecher began his career as a jazz guitarist. Prior to his days with the Comets Beecher worked with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. He was Goodman's lead guitarist in 1948 and '49, and is featured on two Goodman albums.
Rest in peace.
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