Pianist JOHNNY GRANDE, a founding member of BILL HALEY AND HIS COMETS, has died in Clarksville, Tennessee. He was 75. Grande, who passed away on 2 June (06), played piano on the 1954 classic ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK, which rocketed the band to fame. Despite quitting the band in 1962 to teach music and run a Florida restaurant, he was keen to be a part of the world's oldest rock 'n' roll band when the five-piece reformed in 1987 with a new vocalist JACKO BUDDIN. Their 2002 performance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, received rave reviews as lead guitarist and octogenarian FRANNY BEECHER performed in stifling heat for their 90-minute set, while MARSHALL LYTLE finished with a flourish by throwing his upright bass over his shoulder.