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Marshall Lytle (b. September 1, 1933, Old Fort, North Carolinamarker), who also goes by the name Tommy Page, is an Americanmarker rock and roll musician, best known for his work with the groups Bill Haley & His Comets and The Jodimars in the 1950s.

Lytle was a guitar player before joining Bill Haley's country music group, The Saddlemen, in 1951. But Lytle was hired to play double bass for the group, replacing departing musician Al Rex, so Haley taught Lytle the basics of slap bass playing. Lytle, who was only a teenager at the time, grew a moustache in order to look a little older, and became a full-time member of The Saddlemen and, in September 1952, he was with the group when they changed their name to Bill Haley & His Comets. Soon after, Lytle co-wrote with Haley the band's first national hit, "Crazy Man, Crazy" although he did not receive co-authorship credit for it.

Lytle played on all of Haley's recordings between mid-1951 and the summer of 1955, including the epochial "Rock Around the Clock" in 1954. Lytle's style of playing, which involved slapping the strings to make a percussive sound, is considered one of the signature sounds of early rock and roll and rockabilly. The athletic Lytle also developed a stage routine, along with saxophone player Joey Ambrose, that involved doing acrobatic stunts with the bass fiddle, including throwing it in the air and riding it like a horse.[167619] This became a signature performance for The Comets that later musicians working for Haley were instructed to emulate.

In September 1955, Lytle, along with drummer Dick Richards and Ambrose, quit The Comets in a salary dispute and formed their own musical group, The Jodimars. Before leaving, Lytle and his colleagues offered to train their replacements in the art of rock and roll playing, Comets style. Lytle was succeeded by Al Rex -- ironically, the same musician he had originally been hired to replace.

The Jodimars became one of the first rock and roll groups to take up residence in Las Vegasmarker showrooms, but only managed to score minor hits for Capitol Recordsmarker and, later, smaller labels. By 1958 they had broken up, though Lytle attempted to continue the group on his own. Lytle continued to work in music off-and-on into the 1960s, but also got involved in other interests, changing his name to Tommy Page and getting into real estate and later opening an interior design business.

In October 1987, six years after the death of Bill Haley, Lytle was invited to take part in a reunion of the original 1954-55 Comets that was held in Philadelphiamarker as part of a tribute concert in honor of Dick Clark. Despite the musicians not having seen each other in decades, The Comets quickly found their groove again although Lytle sang the lyrics of "Rock Around the Clock" out-of-order. Their performance was the hit of the show, and over the next couple of years The Comets began touring again, primarily in Europe. The band has recorded several albums for the German label Hydra Records, the UK-based Rockstar Records, and the US label Rollin' Rock Records. Lytle also recorded a solo album in 1993 entitled Air Mail Special back by members of The Stargazers, a UK rockabilly group; the album was credited to "Marshall and the Shooting Stars".

Lytle continues to write music, and in the late 1990s he and his friend Warren Farren wrote a topical tune called "Viagra Rock" that The Comets recorded; the song proved to be popular on radio stations in Floridamarker.

On July 5, 2005, The Comets played a high-profile concert for NASAmarker employees at the Jet Propulsion Laboratorymarker in Pasadena, Californiamarker to celebrate the success of the Deep Impact space mission. The next day, the band played to a standing-room-only audience at the Viper Roommarker in West Hollywoodmarker; the show ended with Lytle duetting with Bill Haley's youngest daughter, Gina Haley on "Rock the Joint" and a reprise of "Rock Around the Clock".

As of 2007, Lytle continues to perform and tour with the Comets. In 2006 the group took up a long-term residence at the Dick Clark American Bandstand Theater in Branson, Missourimarker, performing more than 150 shows at the venue, with more in 2007. The group also toured Europe in early 2007. Following the death of Johnny Grande and the retirement from touring of Franny Beecher, both in 2006, Lytle is one of three original band members still with the group.

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